• A Master Tailor


    A good tailor can make you look like a million bucks. A master tailor can genuinely make you feel like a million bucks. Quang Dau, the master tailor holed up in the back of Sid Mashburn’s eponymous boutique, has been honing his craft for over 40 years. Since Mashburn opened his doors in 2007, Dau has ensured every client is meticulously finished. He’s known to magically transform pleated trousers into flat fronts, taper classic 501s and consistently hoists the holy grail of custom tailoring—reconstructing a jacket. “Pay close attention to fit and finish—a good tailor is essential,” advises Mashburn.

    “I can do anything." —Quang Dau, master tailor

    Photographed in Atlanta, GA

    Don’t have a guy yet? Start looking for one in your area. I look to my tailor solely for alterations. When you do choose your tailor, visit (with) him—on a regular basis. My tailor understands the intricacies and nuances of my style. Every time I bring in a pair of trousers Nam knows I want a 29” inseam. More importantly he listens to me—and I listen to him.

    Jun 11, 2010 | Permalink (13) Total Comments

    Kyle left a comment on 5/12/2011 at 9:32 PM:

    This is excellent. Thank you!

    http://athensstyle.tumblr.com/ left a comment on 6/16/2010 at 4:23 AM:

    Its really very usefull to have a tailor, either for making a brand new suit from the scratch, or to make some changes to ready made ones. Especialy if your body doesnt fit the top model icon. But even in that case a tailor is needed.

    mjl left a comment on 6/14/2010 at 1:51 PM:

    kudos to andy and F.E. for the kind responses.  i’ll think twice next time i have stuff altered.

    TRAVIS left a comment on 6/13/2010 at 1:15 AM:

    Great story - I like how you exposed what’s often swept under the rug in fashion. People see the smoke and mirrors but not the people producing the illusion.


    Andy left a comment on 6/12/2010 at 2:29 PM:

    @MJL, I see where you’re coming from, but in my case I’ve gone to Dau for two things: First, I took several pairs of pants that I bought a few years ago before I realized I was buying my clothes sized all wrong… huge flowing pleats, etc.  I walked into the office for the first time in one of my reworked pairs and heard “nice pants” from literally the first person I saw.  Secondly, it can be difficult to find pants that truly fit right.  Aside from the obvious issues such as length, cuffs/no cuffs, pleats/flat front, a good tailor can take a few inches out of the butt or the legs to create a slimmer, better looking silhouette.  I’ve found that to be something that just not any tailor or dry cleaner can pull off.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/12/2010 at 1:46 PM:

    @MJL—If you take a second look, you will realize I am not recommending a master tailor for alterations (I mentioned I require only alterations from my tailor thus you can assume my guy is not a master tailor).  This post is about the beauty a master tailor can provide if you want the shoulder pads removed from a jacket to produce a natural shoulder.  I’m also bringing attention to Sid Mashburn putting his money where his mouth is. Sid believes in tailoring and as one should expect, he has a master tailor on staff to make his custom suiting and alterations.

    With that being said…you should rise above going to a dry cleaner for your alterations. Choose a guy who does it all day, everyday…and does it well.

    mjl left a comment on 6/12/2010 at 1:31 PM:

    i wonder a few things about this post, and don’t take them as condescending by any means.  i understand the incredible talent a master tailor has, and think its very admirable.  i can barely thread a bobbin, so i’m not one to criticize.  but, here’s my real question, other than having pants hemmed, sleeves on a jacket shortened, what else are you having altered?  if you’re having reconstruction done on pants or jackets, wouldn’t you be better suited (no pun intended) buying a different size jacket or pants, or even having them made from a few yards of fabric?  the basic alterations i mentioned can easily be performed at your dry cleaner for a fraction of the cost and appear exactly the same.  that being said, other than custom made clothing, what are you going to a master tailor for?

    if i’m off base here, enlighten me, please.  i’m always open to suggestions, advice, etc.

    Andrew Eastman left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 9:37 PM:

    I’m sure he’s a superb tailor.


    Keith left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 9:06 PM:

    Great post full of worthwhile advice.  I definitely need to look around for a tailor.

    JMM left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 6:28 PM:

    Dau is amazing. He’s converted pleated pants to flat-front and you’d never know the difference. He’s done jacket reconstructions that fit like skin when he was finished.

    Rashidi left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 5:36 PM:

    He’s done some work on three pairs of pants that I’ve purchased there, unfortunately, I don’t have any before and after shots on my site yet.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 5:35 PM:

    @Memphis88—Very good choice in the 7” inseam. Cuff them 2” every now and then this summer.

    Memphis88 left a comment on 6/11/2010 at 5:33 PM:

    Just dropped of 4 pairs of too-long shorts with my guy yesterday and didn’t even try them on because he knows that I like my shorts with a 7-inch inseam.