Style

Tom Paolini Talks Menswear and ‘Men of the Cloth’

Spend an evening with cocktails, conversation and tailoring documentary “Men of the Cloth.”

On November 6, Paolini Garment Company teams up with producer/director Vicki Vasilopoulos for a special premiere of “Men of the Cloth,” a film about Italian tailors, fashion and history. Valentino would be proud.

See the passion and talent of the men featured in the documentary as they navigate the challenges of the declining artisan craft at Kansas City’s premiere of the film at Union Station, presented by our very own clothing craftsman, the Paolini Garment Company.

With cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres kicking off at 4:30 p.m. and a post-film discussion with guest panelists about Kansas City fashion and the future of custom and bespoke menswear, this is an event you can’t miss, so purchase tickets online now.

We caught up with owner Tom Paolini to pick his brain about why you need a tailor on speed dial, his favorite part of the menswear biz and how “Men of the Cloth” has inspired his practice.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of working in the menswear business?

A. The “new suit look” is the most enjoyable part of the business; it’s the look of appreciation on the client’s face, the improved posture when the client trying on their new suit for the first time and seeing the immediate change. I love the transformation we make with a client’s look. It’s about trying to uncover and integrate their profession along with personality and building their personal brand. I joke that it’s the third most important relationship a man can have, after his companion and his doctor.

Q. Why is it important to have an excellent tailor?

A. It doesn’t matter if you invest $2,000 or $200 on a suit, if it’s ill fitting, then it’s pointless. The whole idea of wearing a suit is that you are attempting to present yourself in the most respectable manner. The perfect fit is as important or more important as any label, brand or thread count you wear.

Q. What do you think people can learn from “Men of the Cloth” Has it inspired you or your practice?

A. I have an advanced copy of the film, but look forward to seeing it for the first time with the rest of the audience at the event. I have seen the trailer and know the general story Ms. Vasilopolous is telling.  Part of what I’ve taken away is that there is nothing compared to the artistry and craftsmanship of something made by an artisan who cares, and we need to maintain these methods. Quality is the final piece, whether it’s an elegant custom suit, painting or creating a luxury automobile.

When I watch and listen to the tailors in the trailer, I’m humbled by the care and expertise they put into their work. It makes me continue to aspire to higher and higher standards.  And that you always keep learning, no matter how many suits you’ve made; there is always something to learn in the custom suit business and adapt with the next suit you make.