Survival became tougher as off-the-shelf trousers and shirts came to be more freely available; many tailors turned to jobbing for the readymade brands. Some sought out niches - movie costumes, school uniforms, only churidars - and managed to remain afloat. But largely, the whole business of trousers, shirts and suits moved to the readymade segment and custom - rather, 'bespoke' - tailoring began to carry with it a tag of exclusivity and extravagance. But the worry that a bad tailor would spoil the wonderful material has always been a hurdle to experimenting.
While that worry can be put to rest, Syed Bawkher will certainly be expensive; I remember a friend telling me that he paid the price of a decent branded suit just for the tailoring at Syed Bawkher's - the whole affair cost him nearly five times the price of an off-the-shelf suit. He became a convert (in spirit), for now he yearns to have an excuse to get another suit from Syed Bawkhers. In that, he joins me - getting one from them has been a desire for a long time and will probably remain just a desire longer still.