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The cutter’s role

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April 30, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“The most important man in a tailoring shop is the cutter. He is the one who is responsible for giving the customer a proper fit and for designing clothes that suit him. Although England is famous for its tailors, many of the best cutters are of other nationalities. I have known wonderful cutters who were Swedish, Italian, Spanish, even Greek. But no matter what their nationalities may be, cutters are much alike in many respects. They always seem to have the weight of the world resting on their shoulders, and a good many of them are heavy drinkers. I suppose they are disillusioned artists, embittered by the problem of trying to hide the strange and misplaced contours of the average male figure.

The first time I met a cutter who liked the bottle too well was in London. This chap was giving me a fitting, and I suspected that he was a bit under the influence but had no idea just how much he had consumed.

‘This won’t do at all,’ I said, inspecting myself in the mirror. ‘I don’t like the way the coat hangs.’

‘Seems a bit of orlright to me, sir.’

‘It’s too loose,’ I insisted.

‘Hi wouldn’t sy so, sir.’

‘I tell you it won’t do; it fits like Mahatma Gandhi’s bed sheet.’

The cutter heaved a big sigh and said, ‘Hit ‘angs like a bloomin’ ‘orse blanket, it does.’ With that he folded up on the floor, out like a light.

The fitting was delayed for a few days, but the fellow finally made me a wonderful coat, even if it did have an aura of Scotch whisky about it.”

~ Adolphe Menjou in It Took Nine Tailors, his autobiography from 1948


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"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
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