Couture Work Clothes

Started 7 years ago. There are 13 replies by 5 different members. The latest reply was from natasha.
  1. This is more of a rant than a discussion :-) I've just finished reading several books on haute couture clothing, from how they are made to an actual class on teaching yourself how to do it. The reason for this interest is not that I ever want to own or wear runway fashion but that I really wish that I could by well made sturdy work clothing that fits. I've tried Duluth, LL Bean, Lands End, Cartharrt, TravelSmith, Wells and more and the one style of decent work pants that I found that actually fit properly were discontinued. I've yet to find a decent cover jacket that works and looks good with what I have to carry on my belt. I've searched high and low for a tailor to take my clothes to to get them modified. The one lady in town who used to do limited tailoring has retired and won't take on anything more and there is no one else within 75 miles. I've called the people who advertise as tailors in the sewing stores in the town that is 75 miles away and none of them are willing to tailor heavy canvas or jean work clothes. They only do dresses or wedding stuff or in a few cases men's suits. I am limited in my style because of the work I do but I know that if things fit properly I could look a lot better within those limitations. It's frustrating not to be able to get the changes made. So I'm trying to teach myself how to do it and it's VERY slow going. I've never learned how to sew much at all. I tell you there is big business is making bespoke or even semi custom heavy duty work clothing for women. Stuff that is tailored to fit properly but is sturdy enough to wrangle a ram, pull a calf, drive a tractor, shoot a coyote, dress out a deer and still be able to throw on a nice blazer and go to town to the bank and the grocery store. It needs to be able to provide decent cover for your sidearm (necessary on the farm but I don't like to advertise), your leatherman tool, cell phone, notepad and other required farm stuff and not look bad. What will it take to get tailors back into every town? Or what does it take to convince talented seamstresses that there is a market for work clothing? I've offered to pay $100-150/pair of pants for properly tailored work clothes and $200-$250 or so for properly tailored jackets/blazers that provide the appropriate protection and cover! I get NO takers. I'm open to suggestions but getting really tired of waistbands that are too big and so make folds that are both unsightly and uncomfortable. Jackets that are too large at the shoulders to get them to cover my tools and fit my hips and so on. Heck if I could find a decent tailor for undercover detectives I think they might do a better job! :-)

  1. I have thought about this often, so I hope you don't mind me commenting on your rant! You might be willing to pay but I am not sure there are many people who want to pay. People have gotten accustomed to wearing ill fitting or almost fitting clothes. I believe it is because we have become a disposable culture. How many times does MSP have to remind us to find a tailor! Do we keep our clothes until we wear them out or do we buy cheap and toss them frequently. I bet that you would keep well fitted tailored clothes until they were wore out. In defence of the people doing tailoring, it takes heavier equipment to do canvas and heavy work clothes. It is hard on equipment not designed for heavy work. I would suspect that they don't have enough demand to purchase the heavy duty sewing machines. Good Luck, I hope you can find a sewing course and start sewing and altering for yourself, if you have the time and energy for it!

  2. Hello BaaBaa,Sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having in trying to find a tailor. Have you only been asking the types of tailors who make and alter women's clothes? If so, what about trying men's tailors? Also, in my town there is a tailor offering alterations and repairs on leather motorcycle clothing. Presumably this type of machine would be capable of dealing with the thick materials you mention. Is there a tailor of this type in your nearest town? Best wishes Diane

  3. CatherineK Good point about how many people would pay, but every woman farmer I know is willing to pay if we could get stuff that fits. I would keep the clothes until they wore out, at least on a farm even when they get ratty you can patch them and use them for the really messy jobs. Got to look at cost per wear and then the prices are very reasonable. FWIW I have the heavy duty sewing machine and have even offered to let a tailor come use my machine. I have made sheep coats and repaired tractor seats as well as other stuff from heavy fabrics. It's well able to handle anything up to medium thickness leather and can easily handle canvas and jean fabric. Natasha, there are no tailors in my town at all. None listed in the phone book or on-line and only the 1 person who was suggested but she won't do heavy stuff even when I offered my machine and workshop. When I tried the folks that were in the next town over (75 miles away) I called every single one, not worrying whether they were women's or men's tailors and still the answer was no. I didn't think of trying the motorcycle places though, I'll give them a shot. I know there is one motorcycle dealer that is in the 75 mile away town. I'll do some more checking and see if there are any others.

  4. Another thought that came to me: - is there a fashion or dressmaking course at a college that has keen students who might welcome this challenge? (I believe you're a long way out, but thought I'd just make the suggestion. Or what about Facebook - could you put the question onto there and see if any helpful person pops up?

  5. Have you considered men's or boys clothing? They may have sturdy pants and jackets.

  6. Update: Asked about a fashion or dressmaking other college class. Closest is 750 miles away. I know someone who works at that University so I'm following up but not that hopeful. Re men's clothing, That is what I basically wear, but it doesn't fit particularly well, I've got far more curves than the clothing can handle so ifgI get things to fit my hips and bust it's like wearing a sack elsewhere.

  7. Have you looked at military surplus? If you find a basic pant, shirt combo, a tailor could alter. They might be more willing. When I was a park ranger, the pants were a wool blend very durable and comfortable. The jackets that LE wore accommodated many tools.

  8. I have considered that. I do have some BDUs that fit but dressing in camo, even desert tan version, isn't exactly a good idea where I live :-) Then again I haven't looked at military clothing in a few years and with women in more areas maybe they have expanded the options for clothes. What I need is a LE tailor who works with female plain clothes detectives. I've been reading a lot of mystery books lately and it seems the heroines all are wearing and carrying items similar to me but on paper at least manage to look stylish all the time. I do look good in khaki, dark brown and a pure warm navy blue. If I could find basics of pants and light jacket or overshirt in those colors and then get tuckable blouses or knit shirts in brighter colors like coral, green and other colors I love I'd be happy. The 2 areas of my wardrobe that are problem are the long sleeve shirts I wear over my tucked in shirt and pants. The shirts all seem baggy and if I follow MSPs advice to tuck in the waist I end up really looking odd because of the tools on my belt. They force the bottoms to flare out and I can't just go with a much shorter jacket because that looks even worse. The other problem is pants. To get sturdy mens pants that fit my hips I end up with a wasitband that is anywhere from 1-2 inches too long so when I tighten my belt I get wrinkles that can actually rub sores on my waist.

  9. With reference to your quest for women's heavy duty work clothing, Mcolopy's suggestion of military surplus women's clothing seems a good idea. Or police surplus women's clothing, if such exists. The problems of your location are an interesting riddle.

  10. Engelbert-Strauss have women's workwear. A German company but seems to have some suppliers in USA.

  11. I'm not finding any US distributers for Engelbert-Strauss. Could you perhaps post a link or 2 please?

  12. Hello BaaBaa, I thought I saw USA shops selling it the other day, but can't find now. (I'm in UK, so it keeps showing me the site). However - I've found this: -which has lots of advice and comments about womens outdoor workwear, and places to buy it in the USA. It mentions engelbert-strauss, among others. The page is a year old, so I don't think you can add any questions. I suppose you could register on reddit and put your question as a new topic.

  13. Any more news of the couture heavy duty work clothes?

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