Thursday, 19 March 2015

Out and about: A trip to the tailors

Driving around the streets of Muscat you will notice the shops are one of three things, restaurants, beauticians, or tailors.

Although you can buy clothes off the rack, it seems local men and women have their clothes custom made, and for women this is especially true for evening dresses.
So with a close family members wedding coming up I needed two dresses, one for the reception, and another for a celebration lunch the following day.
evening dress fabric
dress design
fabric shops muscat
I have only ever purchased clothes off the rack and even my wedding dress wasn't custom made for me, so I went along to the tailors with no idea what to expect. 

I already had some fabric for one dress gifted to me by my mother-in-law, a beautiful gold embroidered fabric. It was a bit on the flash side and had to be special because I couldn't have just any dress made -- in my husband's culture I am considered a bride until I have a baby, and I have to dress the part, generally this means the dress is extremely long and there is a train involved.

Choosing the design for that dress was fairly easy, we already had the fabric and therefore had to come up with the best design for the amount we had. I say "we" but I really had no idea what was going on and left my sister-in-laws and the tailor to decide, and they presented me with a sketch of the design

For the lunch occasion dress, which I had already decided would be purple, I flicked through fashion magazines and pointed out designs I liked. I ended up selecting something that reminded me of Maleficent, a dress with lots of flowing fabric and movement, nipped in at the waist for some definition. Again they drew me a sketch, and told me how much fabric I would need to buy and that any detailing that would be added to the fabric we would decide at the fitting. Fabric shops in Oman are also plenty and for two different fabrics at 3 metres each I paid 10OMR. 

The turnaround time for the dresses was very quick, I was back for my first and final fitting after a week. It gave me the opportunity to point out any problems and add additional beading. The dresses were very fitted, giving me no room to gain weight if I plan on wearing again. More problematic than this they were a little bit difficult to walk and sit down in, but I guess comfort wasn't the aim here.

For both dresses I paid about 160OR, which is reasonable for something so individual, that said I am not convinced I would go through the fuss of getting a custom made dress again, dresses off the rack are fine for me, and they are usually made with comfort in mind too.

I have since been gifted more fabric, but for day dresses. This time I plan on taking a dress that I already own that fits well and asking the tailor to use the measurements and pattern to make the new dress. My sister-in-law knows of a new, cheaper tailor that specialises in this sort of thing (as opposed to party gowns) so we'll see how I feel about tailoring after that.