A tailor is basically a well-dressed psychologist, and here’s why…

Of course, as a tailor, fabrics, cuts, trims and colors are my game – no surprise here. But the human-side of it all is equally as important. When you see me loosely chatting away at a dinner table or socializing at a party, I’m in fact trying to find subtle ways to tune into the other person’s needs, wants and, yes, insecurities too. And it is exactly this intricate understanding that creates the foundation for a well-tailored suit… 

As I’m writing this, I’m getting ready for a classic car rally in Utrecht and Amsterdam later today. It’s a pretty big event: 3 days, 60 vintage cars and 150 people… Sponsoring the event, Mr. Blue and Butch Tailors created an entire collection for this particular happening! So of course, I have to show my face – or rather: my pulled-together look – there. It’s a great networking possibility for me and basically, networking is at the background of everything that I do. Meeting new clients in an informal setting is what I prefer, as this way they get to see a living proof of what I can deliver: that proof is the way I am dressed myself. You might have heard of the advice to ‘always look your best, as you never know who or what you might bump into’ – well, as my own personal marketing machine I second that. You have to show your expertise, not just talk about it…

Listening is key

I often hear that men feel inspired after they first meet me – a huge compliment. An even bigger compliment, is when I see that someone feels at ease with me and starts to open up. This is essential for the process of relationship-building between a tailor and his client. Visiting my clients in their natural habitat – whether it’s Beirut, Istanbul or London (and sometimes I have to pack all these destinations in one week’s time – well, they don’t call me a flying tailor for nothing…) is also a part of that. People feel least threatened when they’re in their own trusted environment and one’s surroundings do tell quite a bit about the person already. Mostly, there’s a lot of fun chit-chat involved, clients invite some friends over, we all have a cigar together – during all time I psychologically analyze who I’m dealing with. Asking the right questions, listening (a skill not to be underestimated) and interpreting them suitably is key.

Frustrations and insecurities

What does their lifestyle look like? What do they want to express with their look? What kind of compliment really lights their fire? I want to know it all! But maybe the most important question is: what are some of their (physical) frustrations? Despite of one’s status or power, everyone has flaws or insecurities that hinder their confidence. For example, people’s weight fluctuates quite a bit throughout the year: when the winter is approaching, most of us pack some extra kilos around their waste. (And the funny thing with men is: they only notice that once they have to wear that tuxedo for a party and it doesn’t fit… yes, having insight into the peculiarities of a male’s character helps, too). It is then up to me to use my knowledge of tailoring and color psychology to create a suit that will hide one’s flaws and show one’s strengths. To me, that is the definition of success.

In the end, clothing is about personal well-being: an equally external as internal process. I’m just as much a psychologist as I’m a tailor. Luckily I have so much energy and am a born social butterfly, so analyzing and advising people comes naturally to me….

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