The latest development in pampering could be the individually tailored shirt. Sit on a sofa and look through hundreds of fabric samples to choose a linen, or a cotton twill or poplin or even a silk or denim. Pick the pattern: maybe a check, stripe, spot, paisley or floral or a solid in a vast range of colours. Discuss the fit, shape, collar and cuff type and buttons. Get measured – neck, arm, wrist, back, shoulders, bust and waist. Discuss personal body asymmetries or the particular peculiarity that careful tailoring can camouflage (one shoulder is often higher than the other, for instance, or one arm longer than the other). Finally, wait a few weeks for a courier to arrive with the finished product. It takes time, and costs money: this is the polar opposite of fast fashion. Discussing design and fabric with a professional can be a leisurely and luxurious experience, reminiscent of an earlier age when clothes were treasured, cared for and worn for many years. Any number of tailors can provide this bespoke service in Hong Kong, but measuring women’s bodies can be a sensitive matter. Armed with a tape measure, a huge pair of scissors and various fabric swatch books, Viveka Mansukhani, 50, began her tailored shirt business, Macella, in May. She personally measures clients, stretching the tape around chests and necks of all sizes and along arms and backs. The finished shirt will cost several hundred Hong Kong dollars, depending on the type of fabric chosen. ‘The suit is not dead’: tailors adapt to the casual wear trend “Many people don’t really know what they want,” she says. “If you’re buying something in a shop, you take what’s available. If you have it made, you have a far wider choice.” International clients can measure their own waists, busts and hips and order shirts via the Macella website, but a personal fitting provides a far more detailed sizing. Mansukhani, of Indian heritage, has lived in Hong Kong since the 1980s. Her father-in-law opened a tailor’s business more than 50 years ago, and her husband took it over in 2004. Like so many clothing businesses worldwide, his Hong Kong-based operation has been hit hard by the pandemic. She hopes, though, that she will be able to keep Macella afloat for local clients in Hong Kong, offering a bespoke service. She will provide the measuring and the design advice, and she will help clients select a fabric from among the 800 possible options; the actual sewing is done elsewhere. “Some people like to be guided,” she says. “Some people say: ‘Can I just spend some time looking through the books?’; it’s really up to them.” Mansukhani will not recommend a polyester, or “easy-iron” fabric for a shirt, and she advises against shirts that are so tight they restrict movement and can show a gap between the buttons after a large lunch or dinner. Shirts can have a box pleat at the back, or two smaller pleats for a looser, blousier look, she says, and clients can choose whether to have a fly-front panel down the front, fabric-covered or uncovered, for the buttons. They can also choose a collar design, from spread to mandarin, whether to have angular or rounded corners on their shirt-cuffs, and whether cuffs should have one, or two buttons, or none at all. She almost always uses pearl-sheen buttons, either thick or thin. “The length depends whether you tuck the shirt into trousers or skirts or not,” she says. “One client doesn’t like her butt, so she wants her butt hidden.” Mansukhani herself doesn’t like to tuck her shirts in, so her shirts fall the length of her body to her hips. Some clients have long torsos, yet still want to tuck in their shirts, so their shirts are tailored to ensure they don’t pull out of skirts or trousers too easily. “We are all made differently,” Mansukhani says. Her shirts can also be monogrammed, with names or initials, on the shirt tail, the cuffs or even the chest, and it’s possible to have a mask made in matching fabric. “A tailored shirt is an affordable indulgence,” Mansukhani adds. “It’s a way to pamper yourself.” Macella, 1209, Beverley Commercial Centre, 87-105 Chatham Rd South, Tsim Sha Tsui Want more content like this? Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram .