Why did I build my fashion startup, Befits Tailor?

Trang edits 19 - Befitstailor

My name is Trang Ho and I am originally from Vietnam, and moved to the US in 2011 for college. After working for a large multinational company for more than 6 years, I have decided to embark on my entrepreneur journey. In this blog, I want to share why I built my sustainable fashion startup, Befits Tailor to address fit issues for women and what it is like to be a female founder. 

What is Befits Tailor?

Befits Tailor is an Indiana-based sustainable fashion brand that addresses the fit issue for women by creating clothing that is customized to their shape, while also being ethically made. Each garment is handmade by independent tailors in Vietnam, who receive a fair living wage instead of garment factories who often underpay workers. Customers will have the opportunity to connect with the tailors who hand make the clothing and to understand the actual cost of each garment. We want people to wear our pieces for years, so we carefully source the finest eco-friendly fabrics to make our clothing. Befits Tailor is fashion for real people, by real people.

What made me want to launch this sustainable fashion startup?

I have always struggled to find clothing that actually fits from off-the-rack clothing stores. I wanted versatile clothing that would highlight my feminine curves and personal style. During a phone call in late 2019, my mom suggested sending measurements to her favorite tailor, Thanh Nga, in her hometown, Tu Son, for a tailored dress to wear at my wedding. To my surprise, the dress fit perfectly when it reached Bloomington! It was the exact design I wanted, and it cost a fraction of what a tailored dress in the US would cost.  

I quickly realized that many other women experience the same fit issues. After 8 months of talking to women about fit and shopping experiences, to Vietnamese tailors, and to fabric suppliers, Befits Tailor was born. 

Our tailors' expertise and relationship with Befits Tailor

Befits Tailor partners directly with independent tailors who own their tailoring shops in Vietnam. They are highly skilled and have been hand-making women’s clothing for 10-20 years. These tailors are entrepreneurs themselves and mentor a team of young apprentices. You’re welcome to visit their shops if you’re ever in Vietnam! Befits Tailor is very lucky to partner with these talented tailors to bring their handcrafted clothing to the USA.

What’s the process like for a customer ordering her very first custom tailored clothing?

The customer picks her favorite style from our collection for home try-on. If the garment doesn’t fit her, she can request a free alternation (including adjustments to the shoulder, sleeve, hemline and hip). Our tailors in Vietnam then handmake a new garment based on the requested adjustments and mail it directly to the customer. It takes 4-7 business days for the customer to receive her tailored garment. We offer a perfect-fit-guarantee program that allows the customer to return the order, even the altered garment, if it still doesn’t fit her perfectly.

What’s next for Befits Tailor?

We are launching our blazer and work pant collection in November, 2021 so I am currently focusing on pre-launch marketing this quarter. With the recent funding that Befits Tailors has received, I would like to invest in innovative eco-friendly fabrics (recycled coffee fabrics, recycled polyester, and plant-based fabrics), improve the current ecommerce website and expand our network of tailors in Vietnam.

How can you connect with me and Befits Tailor?

You can join our VIP club via the link below to learn more about our talented tailors, updates on our latest collection, and my entrepreneur journey!

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Why did I build my fashion startup, Befits Tailor?

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Measuring Guide

All you need are a friend and a measuring tape. Empty your pocket, relax your body and be honest! Please provide your exact measurements (not rounded) as you can choose your fit preference, exact fit verse loose fit, while you select a product.

Place the measuring tape where the shoulder seam meets one of the sleeves. Measure up over the curve of the shoulders, until the other shoulder seam meets the sleeve. The measuring tape should touch the lowest part of the shirt collar.

Run the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest, tight up under your armpits and over the shoulder blades, just in line with your nipples. Keep the tape parallel to the floor. Please note that the type of bra you wear will affect the measurement. For the best fit, wear the type of bra you usually wear on a daily basis.

Start from where your shoulder meets your neck and measure down along the front of your body to the tip of the bust.

Measure around the narrowest part of the natural waistline, which is usually in line with your elbow crease and about 1-2 inches above your belly button. To check, bend to one side – the crease that forms is your natural waistline. Often it is just below your ribcage and in line with your elbow crease. Try to keep the tape measure parallel to the floor as you measure all the way around your torso.

For the best result, tie a ribbon (or string or skinny belt) at your natural waist (the narrowest part of the waistline) to mark it. Then start from where your shoulder meets your neck and measure down following along the curve of your front to the marker at your natural waist.

Standing with heels together, measure around your body at the broadest part of your hips. This will include the fullest part of your backside, too and should be just about where your legs meets your torso.

Wrap the measuring tape over the top of your shoulder and around under your armpit.

Place the tape measure around the widest part of your upper arm, your bicep.

Place one end of the measuring tape where the shoulder seam meets the sleeve. Measure along the arm down to the point where you would like your sleeve to end.

Start from where your shoulder meets your neck and measure down following along the curve of your front to where you would like your dress to end.

Meet the Tailor, Nga Thanh

Ms Nga is a well-known tailor in her district, Tu Son in Vietnam. She has been hand-making women’s dresses for more than 20 years and women of all ages come to her for perfectly tailored dresses. She has her own shop in Tu Son and currently mentors a team of three young apprentices. You’re welcome to visit her shop if you’re ever in Tu Son! Befits is very lucky to partner with her to bring the best tailored dresses for women all over the world. While not hand-cutting fabrics, she enjoys spending time with her 10 year old son and cooking delicious Vietnamese food.