Duty to self

I continue to be puzzled by the fact that people feel that the Government has to fulfill their every personal needs and wants. Why is it that some people feel that it is the Government’s obligation to take care of them?

In a recent article a young designer was appealing for funding for him to go abroad and study bespoke tailoring. Let’s say that these funds were provided for the individual to study this form of tailoring, what are the benefits to be derived by the Government from the individual skills in this area?

I see this in the same light as any other individual studying for a degree in maths, law or medicine, they are all personal achievements!

Bespoke tailoring is where a suit is cut from a pattern that is drafted for an individual and made for that individual, unlike a ready to wear suit made in a factory for mass production. There is really not a market in Barbados for this type of personalised garment. Most Barbadian men would rather go to a store and purchase a suit off the rack with limited alterations, rather than going to a tailor to have one made.

First of all, there are very few tailors around who are trained to perform this task. Yes, the demand for such exquisite tailoring exists in European countries and North America where men take their dressing very seriously, but the same does not exist here. This is a statement that I can defend and have been for years trying to teach the art of men’s dressing to my fellow countrymen.

Since the days of C.B. Rice, this type of custom tailoring has been slowly dying and there are only a few tailors around that can craft a suit from scratch to finish. Basically, the entire suit is made by hand with limited sewn parts and not many tailors are willing to subject themselves to this type of tedious work and not many individuals would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars to have a real custom made suit made – the market is just not there.

Yes, it would be good for the country to have more trained individuals in skilled areas, but I really do not see it as a function of the Government, but as a personal commitment to yourself to further your studies.

— Wayne Cadogan

Garment Designer and Consultant

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