Small Change

Perfect thrift

Ditching the off-the-rack route of instant gratification in 1998 and filling my wardrobe with bespoke pieces brought me huge savings and taught me the economics of wear.

The sketches by Suzanne Chua of Zann and Denn were spartan but captured the design's essence. By tailor-making clothes, the writer has stopped buying clothes on impulse only to discard them afterwards. PHOTO: ZANN & DENN
The sketches by Suzanne Chua of Zann and Denn were spartan but captured the design's essence. By tailor-making clothes, the writer has stopped buying clothes on impulse only to discard them afterwards. PHOTO: ZANN & DENN
The sketches by Suzanne Chua of Zann and Denn were spartan but captured the design's essence. By tailor-making clothes, the writer has stopped buying clothes on impulse only to discard them afterwards. PHOTO: ZANN & DENN

Years ago, more specifically 20 years back, I had my own version of the Daniel Day-Lewis movie Phantom Thread pan out in my life when I stepped, albeit tentatively, into a boutique tailor shop in Temple Street, just around the corner from Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman Temple in South Bridge Road.

There was an almost monastic sign just above the cash register that said: Zann and Denn. It turned out to be a bridal apparel-design shop run by a soft-spoken couple who also did bespoke clothes for a small clientele.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 25, 2018, with the headline 'Perfect thrift'. Subscribe