a time-challenged businesswoman, maintaining a working wardrobe can
be a daunting task. We all know how important a polished image is.
We dress to impress. What we wear tells people who we are. Our self
worth and productivity may be affected as well. Companies are changing
direction from casual dressing because studies have shown it causes
a drop in productivity. So much time and effort is spent shopping,
yet most women end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to
So where's the problem? It lies in the
women's fashion industry! Men have no problem: they have always had
their tailor who knows their body and their measurements. They fly
into a shop and choose a fabric, and when they come back there is
a garment made to their specifications complete with detailing of
their choice. And their salesperson has coordinating shirts and ties
laid out for their approval. Why do men get all the service? Because
they have always been in business. The men's industry is geared to
giving them exactly what they need without any wasted time or effort
on their part. After all, they are busy and important people!
And what about women? Well, we're still
stuck in a previous century when shopping was a recreational activity.
The department store was a destination: we would spend the day there.
And the designers made clothes for ladies who lunched. They had a
vision of "their woman". She was a five foot ten, size six
lady who was deemed worthy of their couture creations. Even in this
day and age when the average size of North American women is 14, a
lot of fashion houses will not accept an order over size 12. It makes
no economic sense until you realize the famous fashion houses like
Dior and YSL make the big bucks from the mass marketing of their cosmetics
And then there are the trends, which
are engineered to make you buy all new outfits every season. Spring
and summer of 2002's hot items will be ruffled blouses, Latin skirts,
and low waisted pants that allow you to show off your navel ring.
(Body piercing is the trend right now!) It's not exactly what the
woman in business wants to wear. If you look in any well dressed woman's
closet, it will be full of classic styles. But those classics can't
be found in the stores right now: retail business is slow in this
recession, so stores feel their inventory needs to be unusual to tweak
the consumer's interest.
Colour forecasting is of prime importance
in women's wear. There is an exact shade of certain colours that are
hot for one and only one season, and stores are intimidated into carrying
that specific shade because it's what "they're wearing".
This is designed to create built-in obsolescence: it will become last
season's colour. And you can bet it won't co-ordinate with whatever
shades come along next. Plus, a lot of the colours won't suit you,
which makes you tire of them quickly.
And if all that doesn't make you buy
new outfits every season, they'll just change the hemlines. Okay,
so a lot of women aren't wearing skirts now. How does one change hemlines
on pants? Ever hear of crop pants? Or capri pants? Can you imagine
men allowing themselves to be exploited by their fashion industry?
Maybe men's "floods" will be a big trend this summer and
they will get all their fine wool pants shortened a couple of inches
Men demand a good fit. Almost every menswear
store has an expert tailor in the back room who will make any garment
a perfect fit (and at no extra charge). Few ladies wear stores offer
an alteration service. Those that do will pay someone the lowest possible
hourly rate to sit at a machine in the back room, assuring a skill
level which usually doesn't extend far beyond hemming. Or they will
farm alterations out to a local dry cleaner who hasn't even seen the
garment on your body and has to interpret someone else's pinning.
And for women, buying off the rack is much more difficult than for
a man. Men's shoulders are bigger than their hips. So we find a jacket
that fits the wider part and we take in the pants. Women are the opposite:
small shoulders with wider hips. That means we work from the skirt
and pant and alter the jacket to fit (a much more difficult alteration).
Most shops facing tough economic times
have replaced seasoned sales help with less costly juniors. What they
lack in expertise they replace with enthusiasm: anything you try on
looks great on you!
All this makes finding clothes in classic
styles in our size and colour, adjusting them to our bodies and making
them all mix and match to create our dream wardrobe next to impossible.
Today's retail ladies' wear market does not address our needs. Women
need to change the fashion industry. How? By voting with our wallets!
The Wardrobe Workshop Inc. is one company
that has set out to revolutionize the system by creating custom couture.
Our mission is to give women what they need with the minimum expenditure
of time and money on their part!
In the initial free consultation, figure
and style is analyzed, a personal color palette is developed, and
lifestyle is taken into consideration before any recommendations are
made. Women are asked to bring in current wardrobe items to determine
needs and to facilitate selection of matching fabrics from hundreds
of in-house bolts. New additions are carefully planned to be multifunctional
and work back with what you already own, achieving the greatest number
of looks with the least number of pieces. Your wardrobe will perform
beyond your expectations! Although business
dressing is the main focus, your daytime wear is designed to dress
up for evening and down for weekend, eliminating the need for separate
sets of ensembles. All clothing is custom tailored to measure. Styles
and fabrics are recorded in the client's file, making it easy to add
co-ordinating pieces in later seasons.
Your wardrobe is a valuable asset. Like
your other investments, it deserves professional planning. And you
deserve the free time you won't need to spend in shopping malls.
Our 5,000 square foot fully equipped
factory and spacious showroom (where we manufacture everything from
gowns to golfwear!) is located at 1987 Leslie St. (just south of the