“Style is saying who you are without having to speak.”
These are the words emblazoned across the Sors Studio website. I gulp, scanning through their profile. This Singapore menswear label specialises in customising bespoke apparel which includes suits, vests, shirts and pants; all the things you need to be the modern man apparently.
I do not consider myself much of a style aficionado, so I was naturally apprehensive when I got tasked to interview an image consultant whilst getting my very own personal makeover.
Gary Foo, 39, is a tailor, style expert and the owner of Sors Studio. He has coached and conducted workshops for numerous clients from all walks of life; financial planners, dating agencies to grooms and the average unassuming man, looking to make a transformation.
Whether it is being your personal shopper, wardrobe planner or coach, Gary can do it all.
A Passion For Clothes
“Since young, I’ve been intrigued by colours. I liked to mix and match different things.”
Gary studied fashion merchandising at Temasek Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he worked at clothes manufacturing factories where he learnt about fabrics, the processes, merchandising and design as well. It was a hugely beneficial and impactful experience which allowed him to learn the pros and cons of dressing people.
“I then worked in companies like Fila, where we catered to the local department stores like Tangs, Robinsons and Takashimaya.”
Gary learnt all about how supplies are created based on buyer’s orders and trends, but he did not find that fulfilling in the long run.
“I wanted to do something that would cater to individuals,” he explained, “because everyone is different. Our preferences are different. Our body size is different. Where we go, who we meet, the way we want to portray ourselves is different.”
“We take, for example – everybody’s handphone. It might be the same model, same brand. But the screensaver, the profile picture, everything is all different.”
It was this change of philosophy that led him to enter the bespoke and tailoring industry. He started by working with a company at first, before freelancing and eventually establishing Sors Studio in 2014.
“I was doing freelance for a while. But by doing freelance, I was very limited. I had the help and encouragement from my clients and friends and that’s where I decided to open Sors Studio.”
Sors Studio is not just a place to do custom tailoring – Gary conducts talks and workshops as well. He generously shares a lot of information with his clients, be it on Instagram or Facebook. It is this personal touch which sets him apart most from others.
“For me, I’m all about the service.”
Gary’s affable demeanour certainly put me at ease as he invited me into his office and struck an easy conversation. He certainly had his work cut out for him – I was dressed in my casual weekend best: nondescript jacket, shirt, khakis and sneakers.
“When you see a person come in the first 3 seconds, your brain starts to process a bit of information and perhaps a perception of how the person is.”
Gary’s words were slightly unnerving, but fair enough. He elaborated by saying that each outfit should serve a function.
Whether you aim to stand out or blend in the crowd, he reassures that you can remain stylish while being understated at the same time. As someone who is not into loud fashion statements, that was certainly a relief.
He further explained that we should choose our wardrobe colours based on our skin tones. Be it warm or cool, certain colours will look much better in contrast with your natural skin.
You Create The Perception
Gary also gave a lot of great advice with regards to making your proportions work to your advantage. And for those plus-sized gentlemen out there, here’s a style tip from the expert himself.
“One misconception I should add is a plus sized guy doesn’t have to wear bigger clothes necessarily. They can wear fitted as well. Because if you wear bigger clothes there is more excess fabric which creates the perception of size even more.”
I shared with Gary the trouble I always seem to have when it comes to finding pants that would fit me just right.
He added: “For athletic guys who do a lot of running, play football, they may have thick thigh muscles. For that kind of leg shape, I won’t suggest for them to go for fitted. Because it will be fitted at the top, when it gets to the bottom it becomes very slim like a carrot. So if you want to go for fitted, you just have to slowly taper it on the way down.”
“We can wear any clothes but the focus still needs to go back to the face. If the clothes are too outstanding, subconsciously your eyes will be distracted. Our eyes are sensitive to colours and contrast.”
Gary continued, “When I look at a person, I’m looking at the height, the body and the proportion to the legs – we actually like to see longer legs as compared to the body. These is how the brain sees and perceives as one having longer legs.”
With my measurements taken, fabrics chosen, and colours selected, Gary set upon sprinkling his magical stylish fairy dust. And voila!
A simple cobalt suit that’s fit for meetings but casual enough for a date or a slightly more informal setting. I particularly liked how he convinced me to keep my white Puma sneakers on to pair with the wardrobe.
It was a great decision as it added a dash of youthful exuberance while still keeping to the classiness of the outfit.
Another thing that Gary really pushed for was to add details and little accessories to complete the look. The pinstripe details, flower brooch and pocket handkerchief gave the look a bit more personality most definitely.
Clothes truly maketh the man. And I was pleasantly surprised by how my confidence, body language speaking cadence grew just from a simple outfit makeover. Gary on the other hand, beamed knowingly.
“Psychology, colours and dressing they all go hand in hand.”
The Singaporean Man
“I find that Singaporean men actually like to dress up, it’s just that they don’t have someone to sit them down and guide them.”
“For example, when I meet someone, I need to know his job, who are his clients and the age group so all of this are information that I analyse to suggest colours, stylings, what to wear or where to wear when they meet their intended audience.”
Gary’s confident that Singaporeans will eventually be more open to explore their individuality through their wardrobe.
“Recently there’s been a slow and steady flow of guys who dress up, so naturally they’ll look for more tailors. That’s why there’s more tailors popping up these days. Their mindset is slowly opening up – it’s just how to tap on that mindset to bring them out of the closet.”
Gary believes that there is a huge market for guys to really dress up and wishes to capitalise on it by doing more consultations to guys whether for dating, personal or corporate scenarios.
Armed with the knowledge and Gary’s style advice, I’m definitely on the road to become that manifestation. Take it from me guys, it’ll do wonders for you!
34 Arab Street #02-01 Singapore 199733
Email : email@example.com
Tel : +65 92984668 Sms & Whatsapp (only during operation hours)
Please call for an appointment (On going coaching during office hours at times)
Mon – Fri : 11am to 7.30pm
Sat : 11am to 4.30pm
Sun & PH : Closed
* Any appointments outside the usual operating hours can be arrange at least 3 days in advance.