So if you’ve lived here in Kuwait for more than 15 minutes you’ve probably run across someone who will tell you how easy (“cheap”) it is to have custom tailored clothes made here. For the most part that’s not an entirely inaccurate statement. That doesn’t mean that you can just wander around town and stumble upon honest and talented tailors just waiting for you to darken their doors. It does take a bit or time to find fabric shops that won’t give you ‘oh you’re obviously not from here’ price or try to pass off crappy chinese poly blends as 100% cotton Italian wool. Then you’ve got to find a tailor that one understands you, two will actually do what you tell him to, and three doesn’t have too much of a local bent or a pimp-tastick bent to his clientele. Once you’ve done all that you can usually have some really nice things made and compared to full retail they’re pennies on the dollar.
So I’ve got a client meeting coming up and need a new suit and then there’s the Father Daughter Formal next month and the Fog Blue & White Ball in March that are both black tie so its time for a new tux. In the past I’ve always chosen affordability over quality in the selection of fabric that I’ve used to have my suits made and I’ve paid for that choice over the seemingly short lives of my suits. Yest – despite all evidence to the contrary not only do I own pants I also own a few suits. This time however I want a suite that will stick around a while and if I’m going to have a tux made I’d like it to be pretty decent. So I’ve enlisted Jennifer as my resident expert on fabric to come with me down to the souk and guide my fabric purchases. I have to say that her friends and family consulting rates are VERY generous!
She and Anita had to go down that way for one of the balls they’re working on so I drove us all and got to pick out my fabric too. Now if you’ve never been down there the fabric souk is in an absolutely lovely part of town – the buildings are dilapidated, the parking lots are pitted and over crowded, there is trash everywhere – it’s a pit. But that’s where it is so that’s where we go. First stop was to the tailor to figure out how much fabric I need to buy. I’ve used Fitwell Tailor in the past and he’s done a good job of making decent suits out of cheap fabric so that’s where I went. Got the totals and then its into the bowels of the souk. My first stop was the King of Wools where Jennifer found several suit fabrics that she liked. I picked out two – one for the suit and another for the tux. Found fabric for the lapel on the tux and a vest. Their shirt fabric wasn’t up to par so it was back outside. After wandering around we found another guy with decent shirt fabric and then hit the Indian Heritage Souk for some silk for the bow ties.
After pulling everything together it was back to Fitwell for measurements and to drop off the fabric. Unfortunately I was under a bit of a time crunch on the suit and needed it in one week. The tux they had a few extra days on. I was assured that it would done in time and given a date to come back for my first fitting on. We were out of there before lunch so all in all a successful morning if you ask me. Some pix of the area are below.