Having a glass of whiskey with your tailor isn’t exactly how you would picture getting your outfit done. At Q Menswear, however, relationship building is a crucial process in determining the direction it takes with each customer. The bespoke tailor is located on the second storey of a heritage shophouse on Telok Ayer Street. Customers who step into the establishment are pleasantly surprised by its homely décor, which give them a respite from the bustle of the CBD as they set about finding their style.

The brand was created in 2011 by fashion visionary Chong Han San, who has had the honour of dressing celebrities and even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Chong’s aim was to modernise the art of bespoke tailoring and retail. Q Menswear started out making shirts, pants and suits, with bespoke shoes thrown in too, but in time, the brand also sold ready-to-wear clothes.

At the helm is Cheryl Yeo. Coming from a retail and merchandising background, she decided to pursue her dream of fashion designing after the birth of her son. She joined Q Menswear in 2013 and has played a major role in developing its holistic approach to tailoring.

In addition to designing, Yeo views relationship building as the key to tailoring a masterpiece. “You have to understand the customer. It’s important to know what he’s comfortable with and what he wants in a suit. When a customer comes in, we sit down to have a whiskey or coffee while having a chat. This way, they calm down and we get to know each other better,” she explains.

During each consultation, Yeo attempts to identify personalities and match them with colours and textiles. “Our Italian wools are very popular due to the hand feel, quality and weight. We focus on lightweight materials here, as they are very comfortable to wear in this weather.”

Organic wool, wool-linen blend and Egyptian cotton are some of the most common choices because of their water- and crease-resistant qualities. Flannels and pure wool have also become increasingly popular for overcoats and blazers during the fall season. “Colours play a very big part since each colour has a different meaning. Dark colours are formal, while light colours portray a more casual tone,” says Yeo.

Her years of experience in the field and eye for style make her a natural fit at Q Menswear, but being a woman in men’s tailoring has led to new experiences. “I’ve had customers come in with an uneasy feeling, but I would make it a point to build a relationship with them and perform my task professionally. This has led to positive feedback; some even tell me that I’ve broken stereotypes.”

The fashion designer reveals that men aren’t the only ones looking for bespoke suits nowadays. “We have an increasing number of ladies coming in to get shirts, pants and suits tailored. They feel comfortable with me because I am a woman and will be the one taking their measurements. I understand what’s comfortable on them and the kind of look they want.”

Q Menswear will have your order ready in two weeks if it is a bespoke shirt and trousers you need. The set starts from $170 and is made from standard and pure cotton. A complete suit with premium fabric can go up to $4,000 and take four to six weeks. If you are looking to make a fashion statement but can’t quite find a style that is uniquely yours, Q Menswear is worth checking out. Moreover, you get a glass of whiskey too.

This article appeared in the Options of Issue 750 (Oct 17) of The Edge Singapore.