welcome to my garment district



Welcome to my “garment district.” If you’ve never seen a garment made, here’s a glimpse into the process, a process dear to me because of my grandfather, who was a tailor.

When I see these pictures of Germaine DeNigris, of Arkins, working, I can hear the pattern paper rustling, the pins rattling in the little tin box, the sound of scissors munching through fabric, and the smell of a warming iron. Even though I’m not sure of what all those little hieroglyphic dots and arrows are, I love this process. This is how a garment is made—and this is what Germaine says about what’s coming:

“The thing I love about the suit we’ve created is that the wearer is given the power to show or cover what they want, and what works best with their unique body type. We all deserve to feel peaceful and playful at the beach, not distressed and distracted about an unflattering swimsuit. My goal with this piece was to create a classic garment that would appreciate any woman’s shape or size via customization, and give the wearer the confidence they deserve to be able to enjoy every beach day more fully.”      

I love the idea of a garment “appreciating” my shape!    


pinning.pressing process




I feel lucky to be a part of something that is so fundamental and yet usually hidden from view. It’s about the shirts on our backs and who makes them. Unless we’re shopping for couture in Paris or Milan, or have our own seamstress, most of us are far removed from the actual people who make our clothes.

All over this country, though, there are makers who are patiently slowing down in order to help things to become less opaque, and to allow us all to get a bit closer to them and their work.


Anita Fit (color)


It fits! And I love the material, the sleeve length and the length of the pant!  I’ll have the finished product soon. There will be more pictures, and I’ll tell you more about how the suit feels to wear.

What do you think of it so far? Looking like something you might wear? Do you have any questions?




  • Esther Zimmer says:

    Oh, your swimsuit!

    I love what you and Germaine are doing and I love what you’ve shown us so far.

    I’m so impressed that you’re working together to make a suit that will encourage more women to get back on the beach and one that ‘appreciates’ their shape.

    Keep up the amazing work, you’re such an inspiration!

    Esther xx

    • Anita Irlen says:

      Esther, This has been so much fun because I really feel like it’s a need, this swimsuit, and also because working with Germaine has been so very pleasant. I think the finished product is truly going to be special. Soon soon. Anita xx

  • Diane says:

    Love this! My speciality is blue jeans, so not as classy as this, but satisfying!

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