Vol.2 Magic Number

   The expert fitters and tailors at Sarto Ginza are committed to helping you look your best.  It’s one of their core operating principles.  They carefully take into consideration each customer’s body type, weight and height, as well as what image that customer is presenting and the occasion at which the garment is to be worn.  In my case the experienced and talented fitter, Naoko Matsuo, who speaks English fluently, came up with a combination of numbers to unlock the proportions of trousers that enhanced my personal look and image.  A 77 cm inseam with a 19 cm leg opening and 5 cm cuffs.  These are my magic numbers.

  The standard width of cuffs in Japan is 4 cm.  However, when I requested 4 cm cuffs on a pair of suit trousers in an attempt to be more conservative, Matsuo san commented, “those cuffs look a little lonely down there.”  She recommended a 5 cm cuff because I have somewhat long, slim legs and can therefore carry a wider cuff.  When the trousers came back with a 5 cm cuff I was surprised at what a difference 1 cm made.  The entire suit took on a more stylish look without calling too much attention to the cuffs.  

   Aside from what one might expect a tailor to be able to do with trousers, such as adjusting the length, finishing the bottoms and taking in or letting out the waist, there are other things that Sarto 
Ginza can do.  The legs of trousers can be tapered to change the silhouette of the trousers.  Pleats can be removed or reversed, too, in order to optimize the volume and line of the trousers.

   In one case, I had a pair of tweed trousers that I liked but was bothered by how much volume the double forward pleats created.  
Matsuo san recommended removing the second pleats and reversing the main pleats.  The result was that the volume was reduced substantially but there was still a clean line from the waistband to the cuffs, thereby elongating the appearance of the legs.  A pair of trousers that I was thinking of giving away quickly became one of my favorites.

   Another alteration that I was surprised to learn about at Sarto was that the waistband can be lowered.  The degree to which it can be lowered depends on the length of the pockets, but in many cases it is possible.  Lowering the waistband will shorten the rise of the trousers if that suits your body type the best.

   Perhaps one of the most difficult areas to get right is the seat of the trousers.  Not a problem for Sarto.  I have a “European figure,” which basically translates to not having much of a backside to speak of.  Through a process called “hollowing out,” Sarto is able to get the seat of my trousers to look perfect, allowing me to be able to take off my jacket with confidence.

   The magic numbers that Sarto 
Ginza came up with for me have kept me looking my best for years.  If you want to look your absolute best, take your garments to Sarto Ginza and let the experts there recommend your magic numbers.

Text:David Retzlaff

David Retzlaff

Our good friend David has worked internationally for the past 25 years as a model, stylist, photographer ‘s assistant and most recently as a fashion journalist.

Vol.1 About SARTO

If you are a foreigner and looking for a tailoring shop, look no further than the professionals at Sarto.  Sarto offers a full range of services from bespoke and made-to-measure suit and dress making to alterations and repairs.  They even offer a bespoke shoe making service.
Best of all, there are several staff members who speak English fluently.

While living in midtown Manhattan, in New York City, I was often frustrated by the lack of tailors and alteration shops.  Too many times I had to resort to having alterations done at my local dry cleaners.  Although it was quick and convenient, the services were usually limited to the most basic alterations such as hemming trousers, taking in or letting out a waist, or shortening the sleeves on a jacket.  If you’re as particular as I am about how your clothes fit, then the simple offerings of the dry cleaner or the local seamstress shop are not enough.

New York Magazine publishes a “Best of” annual guide to the best of the city’s dining, shopping, services and entertainment.  It was there that I found a tailor based in Tribeca, recommended as the best place for alterations.  After a couple of visits, I got the feeling that this tailor wasn’t so keen on my business.  When asked, his honest reply was, “I only take in alterations until I can make enough money with my bespoke business.”  That was my last trip to that shop.

After moving to Tokyo on a modelling contract, I started doing a lot of work for the men’s magazines.  Through the fashion editors and stylists, I was introduced to Sarto.  The level of skill and professionalism I found at Sarto soon turned me into a regular customer.  

No matter how big or small or how simple or complicated the repair or alteration required, the Sarto staff were happy to help, their skill always matched by their friendliness.  Since being introduced to Sarto, I have had countless alterations done, but have also had bespoke and made-to-measure suits, jackets and trousers made with absolutely beautiful results.

Working in the fashion industry, it’s important for me to be well dressed.  Having clothes that fit properly is a big part of that.  Without the help of my friends at Sarto, I wouldn’t be half as well dressed.  I love Sarto and I’m sure you will too.

Over the coming months, I will be explaining all of the alteration and tailoring options available at Sarto. 
The Italians have a philosophy of “La Bella Figura,” or always look your best.  Sarto can help you achieve this, in style.

Text:David Retzlaff

David Retzlaff

Our good friend David has worked internationally for the past 25 years as a model, stylist, photographer ‘s assistant and most recently as a fashion journalist.