Friday, March 23, 2012

Made-to-order clothes at your doorstep

So there I was at my desk in the office, editing an article about a freezing week in Sweden for our upcoming issue, when one of our editorial interns wheels in a rack full of colorful clothes.

"For our shoot," she said, without my even asking, as she'd seen me look up inquiringly. We had a shoot scheduled the following day and so the editorial staff was busy gathering up the clothes and accessories we needed.

I usually don't really look at the clothes they bring in as our managing editor oversees this section, and I'm often never around anyway when shoots are scheduled. But for some reason, a pink dress with elbow-length sleeves and dainty embroidery caught my eye.

It was from a made-to-order home-service dressmaking service called Tinsley that's well-known for making colorful and wearable clothes. We'd used their clothes a couple of times before, and even on a few covers, and I'd always liked them. The lovely print dress worn by our model in Hawaii for our Travelife Hawaii cover story, for example, was from Tinsley. These were all real clothes for real women.

"Can I see that one?" I asked the intern. She brought it over and it was love at first sight. Needless to say, the dress never made it to the shoot. "Pull it out," I said, "that's mine. Find out how much that costs."

While our editorial assistant was trying to get a handle on the prices, I was already having the dress packed up for bringing home. It was just what I wanted for cocktail parties. However, when I tried it on at home, there were a few crinkles in it that needed adjustment.

Not to worry, I was told, because Tinsley is really a made-to-order service that includes having their modista visit you at home with swatches of fabrics and various designs so you can choose, measure, try on, and sample everything in the comfort of home. Sending the modista over costs PhP500 but if you order more than PhP5000 worth of clothes, the modista home-service fee is waived.

What a great idea, especially in Manila, where traffic and time are always problems. I haven't bought a dress in Manila in ages simply because I don't have time to look through stores.

So Tinsley's modista arrived at my home at 9 am sharp and I tried the dress on in front of her. She then made all the adjustments with pins and took measurements; then I looked through the swatches she had brought for me, to choose what I liked.

Within a week, the dress was delivered to my home. The modista even offered to come again, in case there were any further adjustments to be made; but with all the measuring we had done the first time, I was fairly confident that the dress would turn out right.

The prices are pretty reasonable as well, and they offer a free first alteration and minor fees for succeeding alterations. Wow, I can have all my dresses made this way, I told myself. Just get a design I like, call them up, choose from the fabrics, and voila -- I have a dress in just over a week. No need to take a break from my schedule to travel to a store or a workshop.

When my first Tinsley dress finally arrived, I was so happy with it. In fact, I wore it to a cocktail party that same day and received rave reviews. And now I'm already thinking about my second Tinsley dress...

by Tinsley & Carmen Aurora
Smart Mobile (0918) 808-0741
Globe Mobile (0917) 569-2188
YM: tinsleymanila



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