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Voila! My new custom made wardrobe


As some of you may remember, I went to Cayen in search of clothes that would fit my 5’10” Western frame (Part 1, Part 2). Having been thoroughly discouraged in each and every shopping mall from Bangkok to Singapore to Hong Kong, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and have something made. Having had disappointing experiences in Bangkok with tailors, I was encouraged by my initial consultations with Carol Randall at Cayen. Her style was modern and fashion forward and she carried all manner of fabrics, not just wool gabardine suiting materials like so many other tailors in Asia. So I took the plunge and ordered 5 pieces of clothing to be made. The process had been quite heady up to this point…with Carol’s expert guidance I had picked styles, fabrics and trimming details and was about to see it all become reality.


For my first fitting, I tried on first drafts of my clothing – these were items that had been cut and loosely stitched together, also known as a “skeleton baste” for those in the know. A basting stitch is a loose stitch that holds items together temporarily to give a sense of their shape but can also be easily removed allowing for easy adjustments. It is later replaced with the final seams.

Cayen’s expert seamstresses then fit the skeleton baste right on my body – arm holes were cut to fit, hems raised and lowered and waistlines tightened and fitted. It was fantastic to see the clothes taking their final form right on my body. You’d be surprised, but it is actually quite tiring to stand dead still, occasionally raising or lowering an arm – a word of advice, eat before you go or you could easily get lightheaded. Ah, what luxurious problems to have! After the first fitting I was told that my new clothes would be ready in a few days time and scheduled a final fitting later that week. It may be corny, but all week it felt like Christmas…waiting for the final fitting, the promise of new goodies to enjoy.


At the final fitting, all the minor adjustments we had discussed had been completed. I tried everything on again – standing and sitting to check for any puckers or tightness in any posture. There were a few small tweaks to be made on a couple of the tops – and just as soon as they were off my body, they were whisked away upstairs to be adjusted…on the spot, while I waited.


While I love all the clothes, I think my favourites are the dresses. In general, I love dresses…feminine and elegant…and nothing to decide, e.g. what top is best paired with these trousers?…plus dresses are perfectly polished for any occasion. Carol says the stretch cotton dress, like the black-and-white one I ordered, is one of her best sellers and I can see why. Dressed up or dressed down it is one of the most flexible items in my closet these days.

And now with my measurements on file and my color / fabric / style preferences known, I can easily visit Carol at Cayen anytime to fill out my wardrobe. Plus if upon multiple wearings I decide something would be better if it were slightly adjusted, Carol insisted that I should return to have it adjusted to my liking.

Is this what it is like to be a celebrity? Well, maybe not entirely…I mean Dolce & Gabbana is not sending me evening gowns…but still this feels pretty special.


54A Club Street
Singapore, 069431
Telephone: + 65 6227 6187

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