Guest Post: Tips on Finding and Working with a Local Tailor By Jenni Keating (Mali)

Until H&M opens in Bamako (Summer 2075) I’ll be getting my clothes made by a local tailor. The experience itself doesn’t always live up to expectations (kinda like that “bangs only” perm I spent months begging my parents for in the 6th grade.) However, when there aren’t many ready-to-wear options – What’s a girl to do? It can be a little overwhelming, for sure, but don’t be discouraged! If this blog proves anything, it’s that it’s totally possible to get fun and beautiful things made that can fit you and look great! You might just have to be a little stubborn about getting it right.
Anyway, here are some of my tips for finding and working with a local tailor:
1. If you see someone wearing a style you love and think it would work for you, don’t be afraid to ask for the tailor’s number! Just be sure to tell her that you LOVE the outfit.  Personally, I find myself drawn to well-fitted, well-tailored pieces like button-down shirts, blazers and even well-tailored pants. For me and my style – these are promising signs of a good tailor.
2. Bring a photo (or at least a drawing – or better yet – both!) of what you’re wanting. This ISN’T a good time to practice living by faith. Pinterest or your favorite online store might be a big help here.
3. If you have an actual sample item as an example – bring it along! The tailors I’ve met are really talented and whatever you bring will help give them a better idea of what you really want.
4. If it doesn’t fit exactly, don’t be discouraged! Every body type is different. Talk to your tailor and work together to get it right. This will help him/her better understand how clothes should fit you. That being said if you have to work on an item more than 3-4 times, it may not be working. If there are ‘extra arms” sewn in or closed arm holes you may just be trying on a one of a kind Vlisco skirt – So wear it with confidence girl!
5. If all else fails, start over at #1.



3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Tips on Finding and Working with a Local Tailor By Jenni Keating (Mali)

  1. This is one of my biggest frustrations with myself. When something doesn’t fit right, especially if it’s too tight or after two tries, I get so downhearted and just give up. I definitely need to practice the wearing it with confidence attitude more! Thanks for all the great advice!!

  2. I’ve been able to email or send a photo by text to my tailor. Or one time a tailor took a picture of a photo I was showing her on my laptop screen with her phone. I thought that was pretty smart!

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