Dubai tailor test

Can Time Out find a jacket that actually fits? It’s tailor time for Jeremy Lawrence

This is an article from 2009. For 9 Dubai tailors to try, click here.

I’ll begin with a couple of confessions. I’m very slim – some would say skinny, but let’s go with slim. I’m also at the age (mid-30s) where I think that jeans and a suit jacket is a good look. This means I’m increasingly in the market for nice jackets, but finding a good one isn’t easy. Cheap, off-the-peg suits are generally a sloppy fit and while designer ones look the business, you usually need at least Dhs5,000 in spare change (which I don’t have).

This leaves the bespoke option. There are some excellent tailors in Satwa and Bur Dubai but they can be a pain to get to if you don’t live nearby. And their idea of what looks good is not necessarily the same as your own. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve had to argue with a well-meaning fitter that I don’t need ‘extra growing room’.

So it was with interest that I heard about Creative Thread, a new service in Al Quoz. ‘We produce everything from cocktail dresses and wedding dresses to workwear,’ says owner Lauren McDonald. And a cursory look at the website confirms that they can make pretty much anything from sailor outfits to bridesmaid dresses to Mary Poppins-style skirts. So fancy dress parties can be taken to a whole new level. All well and good, but I was after a jacket. I had a picture in my head of something that didn’t just look like the upper half of a business suit. But obviously I didn’t want to emulate Miami Vice – there’s a fine line between casual and catastrophe when it comes to jackets.

The Creative Thread tailor measured me up while I explained my concerns to Lauren. She nodded sympathetically and produced a samples book. Normally I go for non-controversial colours where I know there is no chance of a spectacular fashion faux pas. Lauren encouraged me to be bolder. Not as in lemon-coloured pinstripes or paisley linings, but a lighter blue than I would have thought advisable and a grey with more pronounced pinstripes than I would have selected.

I confess I wasn’t sold on the idea, but I decided to go with her recommendations and I was surprised with how well they looked on my first fitting. Some minor adjustments to the cut were necessary, but Lauren knew what was working and what wasn’t. The upshot was that the finished jackets were a real success – they added a new dimension to what I’d normally choose. It didn’t cost the earth, either – Dhs450 per jacket, which is considerably cheaper than you’d pay in most malls.

Finally, and most importantly, the finished article made me look slim, but not skinny. Got that?
Creative Thread, Al Quoz, (050 144 7490). Full suits range from Dhs750-Dhs1,500. Short dresses cost Dhs250, evening dresses cost Dhs500-Dhs750 Creative Thread also produce costumes, stage and events sets

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