Yep, a fashion spree. Not a shopping spree, because it isn’t like I bought a ton of stuff. What I did was design and commission two beautiful new pieces of clothing, and I feel kind of silly for not having done this sooner in life!
Some of you remember (I blogged about it here) me saying I wanted to have some clothing made for me by a local tailor. It’s finally done, and the experiment was a huge success. Check it out …
First I started looking around for inspiration. I saw a dress online a long time ago and I really wanted it, but the site only had super-small Asian sizes available. It was a lovely pale blue chiffon dress with an almost fairy-like feel to it, and the idea of it stuck with me. If I saw a dress on Etsy or somewhere else that kind of resembled it, I usually took a second look. And here in Dubai, I flipped through my bookmarked pages and decided to ask for a replica of this pretty little number from Lipsy London.
Okay, to be honest, I actually picked out 5 Lipsy items that I wanted made, and printed pictures of all of them, but I didn’t let myself go visit the tailors until I’d calmed down a bit. Remember, I had no idea how much any of this would cost. By the time I finally did go, I’d narrowed down my Lipsy selections and I also brought along a Charlotte Russe blouse (hey, I’ve also blogged about this blouse before!) because I was curious about having a replica made of that.
How did I decide which tailor to go to? There are hundreds here, but I found a blog by Caitlin Wilson which heartily recommended City Land Tailors (and now I can see why!) so I called them up, made an appointment, and found my way over there. Their phone number is 04-344-5442.
If you’re using public transit, just take the metro to Al Jafiliya Station, hop in a taxi, and ask for the Satwa Post Office. The ride shouldn’t cost more then ten dirhams unless there’s crazy traffic. Directly across from the post office are a bunch of fabric shops; look for the one called Deepa’s, and if you’re standing facing it go slightly to the right – the entrance to City Land Tailors is in the little alleyway there.
Raj is an absolute joy to talk to and work with, and great at answering questions and offering advice. After I told/showed him what I was hoping to get done, he told me how much everything would cost (scroll down to the end for the number-crunching, lol), and I decided on one Lipsy replica, plus the blouse replica. I told him exactly what I wanted changed in each design, and what I wanted to stay the same. Raj took me a few blocks away to where City Land has another shop, recently opened. Here I chose the fabric. While I was poking around, I also got some zebra-patterned silk for a couple of headscarves. I almost got pillowcases made too (it can be easy to get carried away!), but I refocused.
I paid a deposit, they took my measurements, and that was that. 3 weeks later (my choice; they could have done it in 2) I went back to try on both dresses and have alterations done, which is included in the original price. This was my chance to point out any little changes I’d like made (example: I’d asked for 6 inches to be added to the blouse, but that made it too long), and I took my new scarves home.
After 1 more week was the big reveal! And I absolutely love the results, especially the blue dress. I call it Lipsy Lupita, since it reminds me of the dress Lupita Nyong’o wore to the Academy Awards while staying true to its original Lipsy inspiration. The orange one is Firebomb (haha), and look, they stitched up and gave me the excess they’d trimmed off the bottom; it makes a great headband!
Now for the numbers.
The fabric for the dresses cost me 130 dirhams, or just under $40 Canadian. The making of Lipsy Lupita cost 225 dirhams (about $67 Canadian) and the making of the blouse/dress was 100 dirhams (about $30 Canadian).
Was it worth it? Well, I believe the original Lipsy dress retailed for over $100 Canadian … without a tailor to custom-fit it to my body. My grand total for everything, including the silk headscarves, was under $145 Canadian. I’m curious to see how much tailors back in Toronto charge for similar work.
Suffice to say, I absolutely recommend Raj and Iqbal and the rest of the City Land Tailors crew for any of you who are in (or near) Dubai, men included! (There was one tall cutie trying on his custom-made blazer and trousers on my last trip there. I love foreign accents. But I digress.) Again, their number is 04-344-5442; call or visit them before 1pm or after 4pm. I hope to come back to this part of the UAE so I can revisit them and have more clothes made; and if you go, please tell them Chattrisse said hi!
Til next time …