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International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 20 , No. 1

[ Article ]
International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.10-26
Abbreviation: IJCF
ISSN: 2233-9051 (Print) 2288-7490 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Jun 2020
Received 18 May 2020 Revised 14 Jun 2020 Accepted 22 Jun 2020

Narrative Analyses of Korean Master Tailors and Incoming Tailors’ Ways of Thinking and Behavior Patterns
Yung-Hyun Yoo ; Yhe-Young Lee
Ph.D., Dept. of Human Ecology, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea
Professor, Dept. of Home Economics Education, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

Correspondence to :

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Citation Yoo, Y.-H., & Lee, Y.-Y. (2020). Narrative analyses of Korean master tailors and incoming tailors' ways of thinking and behavior patterns. International Journal of Costume and Fashion, 20(1), 10-26.


To contribute to the revitalization of menswear custom-tailoring, narrative analyses were conducted to study the ways of thinking and behavior patterns of Korean tailors. Two master and two incoming tailors were interviewed. The interview results were analyzed applying Labov and Waletzky’s six elements of narrative plots, yielding the following findings. First, in relation to occupational perceptions, tailors pursued good appearance, made efforts for self-development, felt both pride and shame in their works, and pursued craftsmanship. Second, in terms of training process, tailors agreed on the necessity of a systematic training. It was also observed that trust between the master and the apprentice almost disappeared nowadays. Third, in relation to work environment, few incoming found a place to experience field practice while receiving a reasonable wage. The older generation was reluctant to share know-how, while the incoming tailors exchanged information. The interviewed tailors were frustrated by consumers’ ignorance of the value of bespoke tailoring. Based on these results, pursuit of high-end image and craftsmanship, improvement in social perceptions of bespoke tailoring and economic conditions of incoming tailors, vital information exchange between the tailors, and the promotion of bespoke tailoring publicity could be suggested for the revitalization of bespoke tailoring in Korea.

Keywords: Menswear, Custom-tailoring, Tailors, Narrative analyses


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A5A2A01025348).

This paper was modified and developed from the Ph.D. thesis of the first author.

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