Handmade, does it matter?

above: tailor at Eduardo de Simone making a jacket for Simon Crompton (Permanent Style)

There is a huge debate about the importance of handwork in a garment. Some people say it’s absolutely necessary, others say that they don’t see/feel a difference. I think I’m between both camps. I think that it can look really nice, and I also feel the difference, in the shoulder for example. But why do we want a handmade garment? Is it purely for comfort and aesthetic? I don’t think so.  

I think there is a big psychological reason for preferring handmade garment. At first sight, one can argue that a handmade shoulder or buttonhole has emotional value, because it feels more personal. Someone cared and took great care to create a special detail. This is the first layer, but there is much more at play, so let’s dig deeper.

That feeling is the feeling of ‘being in the know’. We know what handwork looks like. We know what we are buying. We love it and we like to show that to others; it’s something about your education. You know your stuff. This in turn can make you confident. 

At a deeper level lies the fact that it makes us feel more important. The people that made this garment put their: skill, time and energy into it so we can wear it proudly. Of course these people didn’t do it just for us mortals, and we know it. As I said in a previous blog post: ‘we buy feelings not products’. We are not a logical species, as much as we like that to be true. We are emotional human beings. So there is nothing wrong with it, yet it is beneficial to be aware of it.

So how important are handmade details for you? Does it really matter?

I find handmade buttonholes really nice to look at, but most of the time it makes no difference. A handworked shoulder? Yea it wears a bit softer, I like it. There isn’t a big difference though. Do I like a hand sewn floating canvas in my coats? Yea definitely, that’s something that feels so much better, and that lapel roll looks so nice! At the end of the day I like that feeling of confidence and importance. That’s something that really hits it home. So yea handmade is important, too me at least.

The choice is up to you! 

Photo’s credits to Bean (member of stijlforum.nl) who was willing to help. 

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