Anyone that has ever had to purchase Aso Ebi knows the stress of dealing with an African Tailor. Not all of them have poor work ethic. However, a healthy portion of them do. If you find yourself a great tailor that is affordable, timely, and has talent hold on to them because you have found gold! It seems as if most of them can only attain two out of those three attributes. If you find a tailor that is timely and has talent it will not be cheap. If you find someone that is cheap and timely they probably cannot sew well.And if you find a tailor that is affordable and has talent they are booked for three months in advance!
African tailors are also notorious for their “I fit sew am” mentality. They will never let you know upfront that the style you have selected is above their level. Instead they will just attempt to sew the style and then disappoint you when it is time to pick up your outfit. Some of them also like to “steal fabric.” They can easily ask you for 7 yards of fabric for a gown that should only take five. Why they do that I’m still not very sure. Many of them will have an awesome catalog of their work on their websites and social media pages but when you go to make a gown with them it looks awful. Headache and Stress….
Here are a 3 tips to help you next time you need to deal with an African Tailor!
1. Give them a date far before your event
Never tell a tailor that you want to pick up your outfit the day before the event. This is an easy recipe for disaster. If the person is a procrastinator they will rush to hastily sew your gown and it will not be good quality. If there is a mistake and it needs to be fixed your will now be crunched for time. Do yourself a huge favor and always tell them that you need the gown at least a week in advance of the event. If you get the gown and you absolutely hate it there will still be enough time to maybe go somewhere else and get it altered or demand that the original tailor do a better job.
Check their work
If you weren’t directly referred to this person by a friend always ask to see some samples of their work. Don’t feel shy. These things are not cheap. The last thing you want is to pay all this money and patiently await your outfit only to be disappointed. Anyone that is a true professional should have samples, references, and photos readily available.
Just like with any other thing always shop around. One tailor might tell you that they will sew a gown for $140 and another tell you they will sew the same exact gown for $90. Price is not always an absolute sign of quality especially when it comes to a small business. Someone who is just starting out might be cheaper but produce the same quality of someone that charges more.
Also when the person gives you their first price always try and ask for a discount. Unfortunately, when it comes to things like this “pricing” is expected. They have already added and extra twenty or forty dollars onto the price because they expect you to ask for a discount. This is especially true if this is your first time working with that particular tailor.
*Bonus* Check your zipper well
Actually check all parts of the gown well! Did they sew all the hems? Did they iron it properly? Did the person use a quality zipper. Last thing you want is for you to have your hair and makeup done for an event time for you to put on your gown and leave and the zipper breaks! This has happened to me and it literally ruined the whole day. I was so late for the event because I had to look for someone to fix the zipper. Whats the point of doing Aso Ebi if you miss the whole entrance?
Have you ever had a bad experience with a tailor?