Crafting a special garment for your special day

When shopping for any new addition to one’s wardrobe, whether it be for business or pleasure, one must first ask, “Do I really want to just fit into this suit, shirt, or pair of pants?” This is particularly true on that “special day,” when everyone wants to look perfect!

More often than not, if the answer to that question is ‘yes,’ the customer is unknowingly falling into a common trap plaguing the American clothing market—one size does not fit all. Designers and clothing brands have created their garments to fit into a very specific size category, i.e small, medium, or large.

Personally, I know that my chest fits in to a “medium” shirt, but my arms fit in to a “large” shirt. This used to always leave me wondering, who is this “medium” sized person? Is there even an individual out there that fits perfectly into this medium shirt? The answer is yes, but more often than not, you are not that person.

This dilemma leaves you with a several choices: Option A, buy ill-fitting clothing possibly leading to unwanted self-consciousness, which is particularly an issue on important occasions, such as a wedding; Option B, buy ill-fitting clothing and take it to be altered, adding unnecessary time and increasing cost; Option C, buy clothing designed to fit your body, i.e. custom clothing.

A custom clothier (most commonly referred to as a tailor) will solve the sizing problem by eliminating it at the source. After taking your measurements, the tailor creates a body matrix using your one-of-a-kind measurements to help build your bespoke garment. You can then work with your tailor to adjust the fit based on your preference. By expressing your choice of fit (more tailored fit vs fuller cut), your custom-made shirt will most likely become your favorite shirt. After experiencing a one-of-a-kind garment (also known as bespoke), you will likely never be satisfied with anything other than the proper fit.

Further, fit is not the only adjustable element when working with your tailor to create your bespoke garments. There are infinite combinations of textiles and designs to highlight one’s features and showcase each individual’s “one-of-a kind” spirit.


The Process

At my Green Hills studio, Eric Adler Clothing, we eagerly welcome you to our space, where we discuss your design goals. With a drink-of-choice, you can relax as we help guide you through the tailoring process to help achieve your desired garment. Even if you are unsure of what you like or desire, we are here to help give our expert advice on fit, fabric, construction and proportion.

This calls for measurements! We then personally gather a comprehensive list of measurements, allowing us to perform calculations and create your one-of-a-kind body matrix. Once your body map is created, we will then draft a personal pattern to your specifications.

That pattern is then used to cut and balance a muslin copy of the jacket, shirt, trousers, or waistcoat. After these initial pieces have been constructed (usually within a week), we welcome you to come in for an initial fitting. This gives you the opportunity to make changes to the initial design and fit before the real garment construction begins. In general, with custom garments one should allow two to six weeks for careful construction before the finished product is ready for final fitting and approval.


Particular Styles

Every bespoke tailor has his or her own influences and style, and you should definitely seek out a tailor whose style matches your personality and vision for your special event. I, for instance, being a Music City local, have been deeply inspired by the vast, multi-cultural world of music. With influences rooted in 1920s and 30s Jazz culture, modern hip-hop and electronic music, Nashville is the chief inspiration in my personal style and therefore design aesthetic.

This lends my designs a jazzy, bold, and symphonic appearance. Its traditional roots in jazz have built a foundation of clean lines and classic styles. My designs reflect the fast paced rhythm of the saxophone, piano and drums in harmony. My love for hip-hop and R&B music bring out the creation of bold, iconic garments. It’s the powerful “boom” of the bass drum that lives in my clothing.

In trying to reinvent the neon light, I aim to make garments that induce a sensation of electricity to its wearer and observers. This characteristic is representative of the ability of electronic music to transmit an electric current through the body. It’s the harmony of all of these sound waves resonating through textiles that are Eric Adler.

So when you sit down to plan your special day, or when you decide to do something that’s just for you, you should consider carefully what your own personal style and decide who can best help you turn your vision into a reality.


Eric Adler Clothing, which was a local feature in the Nashville Fashion Week 2015, is located at 4101 Hillsboro Circle; he may be reached by email at

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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