Summer gold & Perils of alterations

Summer is linen season, not the greatest time of year, but we dress for the weather we have, not the weather we want. Today I am presenting a classic combination of blues and browns with a few details and colors to discover.

“Es ist nicht alles Gold was glänzt.” Even if a nice, thickly woven linen fabric and custom buttons certainly evoke a golden appeal, today’s post will talk about the difficulties I have faced while following one of the most popular menswear tips found on the internet: Alterations.

Knit ties do indeed go with everything, I have said it before, I will say it again. Even if I own plenty of striped and dotted and checked ties, a man would be just fine with a selection of grenadine and knit ties, with maybe a wool option depending on where he is.

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Do we not always preach how ‘fit is everything’ and how only ‘tailored’ (by which I mean everything that’s not off any rack) clothing is worth getting ? Yes we, rightfully, do. Not only is there a visual benefit to properly proportioned clothes, it can also help wear them more comfortably. Somebody who has to move his arms a lot appreciates his jacket closer to the body and as diverse as people’s taste is, so is their figure. Yet, tailoring, as much as any other craft, depends on the person cutting, sewing & shaping the garment, and nobody is perfect. (Which applies to the most famous and most expensive houses as well as the neighbourhood shop.)

I have bought this linen jacket at a local menswear store for its sturdier lining and length. It felt a bit too wide in the waist and arms and since I really liked the color, the decision to have it tailored at a local, inexpensive tailor was made. He was experienced, having worked for a couple of middle to upper level stores, with an understanding of proper lengths and what would be possible.

When I picked it up the fit was how I wanted it to be, narrow arms with a wider cuff and a narrow waist. However after wearing it for a bit, creasing appeared along the outer line, something that had not happened while wearing it for two years. You can also see that it might not have been the best idea to slim the waist, as the jacket only has a single vent. (I absolutely agree with the prophets of menswear who are wishing for more vent-less jackets to appear at Pitti for example, but that requires a well thought out back and proper length.)

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I bought a set of buttons which once belonged to a jacket by German brand Eduard Dressler (A brand with heritage but, like so many in the industry, difficulties to adjust to their changing audience) and replaced the brown plastic that was originally on the jacket. I also had a tailor open the cuffs and put blue stitching on one side.

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Here you can see how the fabric creases along the edges, probably due to the slimming that was being done. (If you’ve got a different theory, feel free to write me.) The arms turned out well and I absolutely love the curve leading down to the wider cuffs. Those heavy metal buttons also help with keeping the arms straight when moving. I find the natural creasing of the linen around the elbows very charming, notice also how the slimmer waist accentuates the lower quality lapel.

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Lower rise cotton trousers, which are part of a double-breasted Suitsupply suit, with a nicely faded wash giving it the appearance of denim (while retaining the seasonal qualities of cotton). Ready to Wear, I bought it blind and no need to have it altered. I am not saying that one should never consult basic alteration tailors, but the dogma of ‘Everything needs to be tailored and fitted’ is not true at all. Always remember that changing proportions on any item can lead to unwanted contrasts (If you slim down the arm too much, the shoulder will stick out. Same goes for the back.) I would never trust a tailor who swears that a shoulder is easily altered as well, unless he was the one who made it.

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Usually known for rather fashion forward high quality jeans, Jacob Cohen also makes some nice cotton pocket squares. The only issue is its larger size, I like my squares to stay inside the pocket instead of flopping out of it, even though I understand it is part of popular ‘sprezzy’ aesthetics.

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I am curious, how would you describe the fit and would you be okay with the faulty creasing ? Did you have an experience where altering a garment has not led it looking better ?

Have a great start into the week,

/jf

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