High demand for tailor-made uniforms

August 22, 2016
Crosby/Photographer Tailor Patrick 'Shalla' Smith working on a khaki uniform
Crosby/Photographer Tailor Patrick 'Shalla' Smith working on a khaki uniform

West Kingston-based tailor and fashion designer Patrick 'Shalla' Smith says he doesn't have hands to sew school uniforms with the high demand coming in as the new school year draws near.

Smith, 42, says the work can be stressful, in this the high season, with parents rushing to have their children tailored for school.

"It can be stressful cause a the last moment thing. The amount of bags weh throw down a mi foot and mi don't even touch yet. One and two will get the fabric and bring in early, the others complain about the funds," Smith said.


When asked by our news team if tailors were still in demand especially this time of the year with back to school, Smith said yes with confidence.

He told THE STAR: "People still use tailor. It's more fitted because most of the ready make nuh fit and den after them buy dem, they still come back to the tailor to get it fitted. Everybody want dem youth look neat."

Smith said that the factory-made khakis are different, adding that it goes by size. "It big and odious sometimes. It go by size 1, size 2, size 3.

Sometimes when you buy them the crotch tall and dem ting deh. Mi still get khakis fi do. Tailor and dressmakers still get dem props cause is not every uniform sell in stores. Is mostly khakis, but what about the other schools and their type of uniform?" Smith asked.

family trait

He said his community in Denham Town depends on him deeply for getting uniforms ready for back to school. "Dem look to me, dem say mi a di best, a dat dem say," he said. Smith, who has no formal training, told our news team that tailoring is a family trait. "A the only thing me ever do from mi small. Is just a family thing," he said.

Smith says his most stressful time of the year is now as he is forced to work right around the clock. "Mi have uniforms, bridal clothes, and other jobs. Right now mi a talk mi stop from the uniform to cut this blazer. When it reach dem time ya, mi work late, up until midnight. Then by after five to 6 (a.m.) mi affi up again fi get the work done to satisfaction," he said.

Other News Stories