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April 21, 2015

By now, you know of our obsession with the classic white shirt, so when I was invited to visit The Tailory, a year-old custom clothier in New York City, I couldn't get to 53rd street fast enough. Wanting equal parts tailored, timeless, and tomboy, I met with founder Shao Yang and sales director Garrett Wexler, in the hopes of creating the white button-down of my dreams. "The whole idea came about because there is no custom clothing for women," Yang tells me at The Tailory's studio.

Finding it nearly impossible to buy off-the-rack themselves, Yang and Wexler could relate to my difficulty finding this elusive closet staple. Prior to our appointment, the girls did a little research, referencing my Instagram and conducting a quick (likely embarrassing) Google search. They then constructed a Pinterest mood board, with reference images that distinctly matched my '90s minimalism meets French girl cool aesthetic.

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Though The Tailory operates on an appointment only basis, the hour spent at their studio involved a full consultation with sketches to review (to ensure we were all thinking perfect white shirt = boyfriend's stolen slouchy dress shirt + Carolina Herrera's elegant fit), a collaborative design meeting to choose fabric, buttons, cuffs and collar, followed by a proper old-school atelier fitting. "Fifty years ago, this was how women shopped," Wexler says. "Knowing what you want and having it customized to fit you is how fashion used to be."

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The Tailory's razor-sharp tailoring skills are not limited to my need for the ultimate white shirt, nor are they outrageously expensive (my custom shirt only cost us $150). Their goal is to provide the core foundation of a women's wardrobe, with the advantage of being able to offer a couture-like approach to clothing for customers who have never had the custom experience. Consider us custom-converts.

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