February 17, 2010

Tailor Made

I remember the tailor coming to our house in the ‘80s, and fitting father up for his suits. He wasn’t a particularly good tailor, but I gained an early appreciation for fabric samples, and understood implicitly that ‘off the peg’ was synonymous with ‘does not fit’. That is still true, unless you have marvellous fortune, but hardly anybody cares anymore. So much the better for those of us who do, for therein lies our cachet.

It’s taken me years to find a tailor I actually trust. Walk into H. Padar Bespoke Tailor on Ste. Catharine in downtown Montreal, and you will be sized up before a tape measure has been unfurled. After 35 years, Mark H. Padar simply has an eye for fit. He immediately put me into a 36” suit jacket that he thought would work and, while I swooned with incredulity that anything could be that good, he told me he could make it much better. It took a great deal of resolve not to part with $600 on the spot. I have known this man to work miracles on garments that were never meant to fit me, but which ended up seeming as if they were made for me. It gives one a great deal of confidence while shopping to know that ‘not quite’ can be transformed into ‘spot on’.

Bespoke tailoring need not break the bank. It represents great value for money, for one is buying into a genuine skill. Hems are so cheap to do that I cannot fathom why trousers are worn too long. Fake-buttoned jacket cuffs can be made authentic for a small fee. Even quite major alterations fall within the purview of most. I have today converted a rather large waistcoat into a rather small one, which will be some comfort to the person who overestimated my girth when he bought it for me. I’ll post pictures of that at some future date, along with some of my other projects that have brought great garments back from the brink.


  1. A particularly interesting tailor is Steven Hitchcock in London. He is and excellent tailor, learned from the best, he is relatively young (not that common in such a traditional business), and he is a very nice person to be with. Beside his work at Savile row he also regularly travels to New York. You can also read his blog at www.thesavilerowtailor.co.uk

  2. Thanks, I'll check out Mr. Hitchcock.


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