ASK DAN: Lapels Un-Rolling, Patch Pockets, Short Jackets
June 29th, 2015
Q: Hey guys, I have a quick question about the lapels on one of my suits. It’s a pretty standard medium weight wool and I haven’t had it more than two years, but the lapels are starting to kind of “unroll”. I know you’ve mentioned this issue in your “How to Spot a Cheap Suit” article, but I was wondering if there was anything I can do to fix it?
A: Unfortunately not. This is a sign that your jacket is fused, rather than canvassed. The problem with fusing (fabric glue used to add “stiffness” to the chest and mark the lapel roll-line) is that, like any adhesive, it eventually loses its “stick”. You can try pressing the lapels to roll back to the natural button stance, but chances are this will be a temporary solution at best. This is a great example of the advantage (and cost savings) of buying quality – a canvassed jacket (where the chest is re-enforced with a hand-stitched layer of canvas) should last plenty longer than two years, and never have these kind of issues. Good news is, we’ll be able to help you replace that suit soon… :)
Q: I’m looking at getting my first double-breasted suit. I know these are typically seen as more formal but I’d like to be able to use it in more casual situations as well (like using just the jacket for a night out, for example). I know patch pockets are more casual (which I like) but want to know if they are “OK” on a double breasted jacket? And should all the pockets be patch, including the breast pocket? Or just the lower pockets? Thanks for the advice!
A: Personally, I love patch pockets. I’d say probably 75% of my jackets have them – single or double breasted. Like you, I like to wear my tailoring both dressed-up and dressed-down. A patch pocket gives the jacket a slightly more casual feel (which can be perfect to offset the fact that it’s double-breasted) and is also much more practical and easy to use. To really get the most out of this new jacket, I would also recommended looking for something that is softly constructed (minimal shoulder padding, soft chest canvas, perhaps unlined). As far as double patch or triple patch, I would leave the breast pocket as a standard welt – three patches can make it look like a country shooting jacket, which is not ideal for those times when you need to dress it up.
Jacket Too Short
Q: I must admit that I just found your site recently…and now it’s changing everything I thought I knew about men’s fashion! After reading several of your fit guides and your awesome guide to buying a bespoke suit, I realized that my tailor has been cutting my jackets too short for years. They seem to be a trendy cut (the jackets end above the bottom of my seat) and I don’t think it flatters my body (large-ish hips). My question is; is there anything I can do to lengthen these jackets? If not, should I bring it up to my tailor?
A: Damn. Unfortunately, more bad news here. There’s nothing you can do to lengthen a jacket. Body length is one of the few measurements that is crucially important to get right the first time. I would certainly voice your concerns with your tailor, and see how he reacts. My prediction is that he’s going to tell you that your jackets look great that way and that it’s a more “modern cut”…since there’s nothing he can do to fix it, and he’s probably not interested in re-making all of your jackets. Either way, it’s always good to see how a craftsman reacts with an unsatisfied customer. If he’s not willing to go the extra mile to do right by you and keep your business, our online bespoke shop will be launching this September… We’ll take care of you.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Have a style or tailoring question? Hit me.
Yours in style,