Tailoring & socialization, mens tailoring and the enlightenment era. Self realization and the age of reason.

History of the Gentleman

History of the Gentleman

Previous to the suit we know today was an era of landowners and royalty, silk stockings and powdered wigs, pomp and circumstance. Early  tailoring and the fitted jacket started in this era. Once Saville row got adopted by the fast growing stylish middle class shipping industry, the upper class began to follow “suit”. Here is where the history of the Gentleman started.

One of the most charming eras of mankind was called the Enlightenment Age.  After the religious wars of the earlier period, the invention of the Gutenberg press created the availability of the Bible. Previously only the churches could produce and this allowed people to think for themselves. This era also brought forward the encyclopedia that then had as much impact if not more, than today’s net. This era was known most prominently for it’s well-tailored people walking  the streets of Europe, no cars , only bikes and trams. This reminds me of the success of the Tweed Ride in many cities, where people cloths, bikes and picnics, create a wonderful day without cars. As well part of this nostalgia movement I have discovered is the Diner en Blanc.dinerenblanc2_

The Enlightenment Era was a time when the wealthy invited those with accomplishments and those with etiquette. They opened their “Salons” or living rooms to the educated, the talented, the inspired and the gentleman. Today with the web for democratizing good tailoring, and event creation, the past can be a part of the future. This most human of preoccupations, being received, even honorably cannot be discounted as a value. One of the largest economic issues is the restriction of the economy to the upper classes without borders. Instead of the well to do buying buying locally of world class standards where the old trickle down theory of economics could once apply again. All it takes is for under or unemployed individuals to be given the tools to look and act according to their skills while building a contact list and a career. The web is here to make available information about quality in any industry. Once the “tipping point” defining poor wrinkles over acceptable rumples is achieved a conscientiousness will be evident in the amount of persons viewing tailoring standards when searching keywords such as tailors, suits, bespoke and custom.

tweedsm  Early trains, called locomotives, supplied the first tailors in the fast expanding suburbs of London that was once the world’s largest city. This was where the term retailer was first coined where tailors then re-tailored, literally taking apart garments as it was simpler than cutting a suit from the cloth.  Often customers would have alterations of the garment, but had no idea of how a garment was supposed to fit. These first retail stores grew with the new middle class that was that contributed largely to the economy’s stability.

Today the net is creating a new distribution model much like the old trains for people to have new cost effective sources, choice and sometimes quality even a retailor cannot provide at that cost range.  Like the first tailor shops simply held cloth the minimum retail inventories were the most efficient while making direct to the customer. And much like the past, small business interests can fulfill the personal service with low or no overhead. One of retails chains main policies are for planned obsolescence so customers of tailored suits have to come back more often and replace rather than build their wardrobes.

Not having the time or inclination to shop is often evident in the way most men dress today. This creates an opportunity to create quality and service standards higher and more direct.  Imagine a busy executive being able to send jpgs to his tailoring-designer of a more conservative classic looks or for an entrepreneur to send pix of unique edgy looks that brand their image.  These garments can be delivered confidently because the customer knows and appreciates the cut the designer made for him. It’s at this point in the designer client relationship that garments can be delivered in office, service far beyond what a retailer can do. This is historically what the tailor client relationship did for hundreds of years. As tailoring was prevalent in the 19th C, it will again proliferate again in the 21 st C. This is based on the facts that there are two new generation of entitled and competitive and curious men, the net can bring these exclusive services to myriads of men, for a new look at socialization like the Enlightenment era and the gentleman.