”You could say that Wardrobe Management & Design is to a person’s closet what a financial planning firm is to a person’s investment portfolio. Both provide professional services focused on forms of investments that must be carefully managed and protected to optimize results. But once someone becomes a client of Wardrobe Management & Design, they never have to worry about their wardrobe again—unlike their investment portfolio!”—Nicki Berkowitz
Nicki Berkowitz, proprietor of Wardrobe Management & Design, has built a stellar reputation in custom tailoring and wardrobe management by providing personalized service and luxurious, handcrafted garments that exceed clients’ expectations.
What is ‘wardrobe management,’ exactly?
NICKI: Wardrobe management is a consultative service, and one that we offer to our clients, at no additional charge. The philosophy behind wardrobe management is that a person should be able to enter their closet and love what they see, namely beautiful quality clothing that accurately reflects their taste, is appropriate for their lifestyle, and their body type. A wardrobe should be practical and coordinated. Selecting something to wear should be enjoyable and EASY, not stressful or time consuming. That’s Wardrobe Management.
A wardrobe should be a dynamic, ever-changing part of your life with occasional replacements and updates made. Most people don’t have the time to devote to wardrobe decisions; still they understand the importance of looking their best, so they turn to me for professional assistance. My goal is to put together wardrobes that inspire and excite my clients.
Wardrobe Management is a highly personal and consultative professional service relationship in which my client’s needs always come first. You and I look carefully at what exists in your current wardrobe, what is outdated, what can be retired or updated , what doesn’t fit, etc. I learn about your profession, who your audience is, your lifestyle, and where you spend time and explore other aspects of your life and how your clothing comes into play. It’s never about trying to sell someone something you don’t need or want.
A critical aspect of Wardrobe Management is careful record keeping. We keep comprehensive records and history swatch charts for each client, reflective of important details such as your body measurements, your pattern, personal preferences and previous clothing orders. This valuable tool helps to streamline future wardrobe purchases by eliminating duplication and coordinating items in your existing wardrobe.
What are the advantages of investing in custom-tailored clothing?
NICKI: There’s a world of difference between custom-tailored and off-the-rack clothing. With custom-tailored clothing, you are getting exceptional quality and fit in what is essentially a one-of-a-kind garment that has been constructed to fit and compliment you, and meet all of your personal preferences—not what the buyer at a store thinks you should be wearing. You and I work together, and you call the shots (and, as an expert, I can help you with selection) when it comes to style decisions, such as two-button or three-button jackets, double vent or single vent, peak or notch lapel, French or button cuffs on your shirts, etc. You choose the precise fabric color, pattern and grade you want, and so on.
Do men generally know what they want in custom clothing?
NICKI: More often than not, they don’t know exactly what they want. For example, with a tuxedo for a special occasion, they are looking for expert guidance, because there are many styles of tuxes. It’s also true that some people can get easily overwhelmed with too many choices (I know I can)—my clients don’t want to be inundated with having to pour over swatch books of hundreds of fabrics. I like to ‘narrow their world’, so I do my ‘homework’ in advance, based on questions I’ve asked to get to know their personalities, likes and dislikes. I present and tag fabric suggestions which will enhance their existing wardrobe, are most appropriate to their personal style and needs for a particular article of clothing.
Are men comfortable working with a woman for their wardrobe needs?
NICKI: Absolutely! I bring a woman’s perspective on what looks good on a man, and my clients appreciate that.
What do you enjoy most about working with women clients?
NICKI: I enjoy the built-in camaraderie. The ultimate satisfaction is working with a woman to give her that “dream” dress, pants suit or skirt suit that couldn’t be more perfect. When a woman steps out in one-of-a kind ensemble that affords her an impeccable and flattering fit, she looks fabulous and feels a special confidence about herself.
What is the biggest misconception about custom clothing?
NICKI: Probably, that it’s unaffordable. Yes, custom clothing costs more—as a general rule about 50% more—than off-the-rack, but you have to look at the bigger picture. You are investing in handmade clothing of superior quality, clothing that fits you perfectly and will serve you well for many years to come. Additionally, you receive my relentless personal service, which does not exist in stores. Look at it this way, for about the same price that you would pay for three off-the-rack suits that may become outdated, if not wear out in a couple of years, you could own two custom-made suits that could easily last you a what seems like a lifetime. Wardrobe should be about quality, not quantity. That’s my philosophy, and one that my clients readily embrace.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
NICKI: All in all, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help people look and feel their best, whether it’s the father or mother of the bride or the young professional who needs to look impeccable while climbing the ladder of success their chosen field, or making someone their “power” suit.
To be more specific, probably the most satisfying ‘moments’ are when a client wears a custom-tailored garment for the first time contacts me to say, ‘Nicki, I looked fabulous and received so many compliments! Thank you!’ There’s so much enthusiasm and appreciation there. Helping recent college graduates look their best when their going out in this very competitive world to interview with prospective employers is extremely gratifying. The classic adage it true: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In other words, when you walk through the door, it can make or break you!
In terms of your business, what makes you proudest?
NICKI: I think the level of trust that I develop with my clients. I have clients who will call me to say, ‘Nicki, pick me out three new suits, six shirts, and a couple of ties and have everything sent to me.’ That’s total trust.
NICKI: It’s our policy not to disclose any information about the clients we work with, which is exactly what you would expect from a professional service. The only exception is if a client expressly gives permission to do so—for example, I am extremely appreciative of the clients who took the time and effort to provide testimonials for this Web site.