ASK DAN: Vest with DB, Tie Storage, Photo Fittings

January 16th, 2016

Vest with a DB?

Q: Dan I understand that having a 3pc has more versatility than a standard 2pc suit but would you recommend wearing the vest with a DB? I rarely see this done but it seems as if the DB jacket does both the jobs of a vest and single breasted jacket. What’s your thoughts on this or were you just trying to show that it could also be worn as a 3pc.

A: Good question, it is surprisingly rare in modern menswear (not so much in old school menswear). The waistcoat of a DB suit is primarily for when the jacket is worn open (as it should always be when sitting), and when the jacket is removed. A waistcoat has it’s own benefits separate from the jacket, such as an added layer of warmth to only the torso, a great way to keep a shirt tucked-in, and an even better way to keep a gut tucked-in (with the invaluable help of the rear adjuster…a sort of corset for a beer belly).

Storing Ties

Q: I’ve recently been investing in some new (more expensive) neckties. So now I’m curious what’s the best way to store my ties? I’ve read that rolling them is the best method to keep them from wrinkling and helps to keep their “density”. The problem is that would take valuable drawer space in my (relatively small) closet. Do I stack them in a drawer? Please advise.

Q: I hang all my ties. Some on a curtain rod, as I’ve shown and described here, the overflow I sling over a couple suit hangers that have a velvet-gripped trouser bar. I’ve also read about, but never noticed the problem of them stretching out, or “losing density”.  I hang them because it saves valuable space and it’s much easier to see them all on display (and quickly drape a couple potentials over a shirt fabric). Granted, I have more than 100 ties and we go through them regularly for our shoots…and ain’t nobody got time to roll all them ties.

Photo Fittings

Q: As a new client, I now get the idea of reviewing try-on photos to improve the final fit. But, as an engineer, I guess I’m more curious to know how this gets applied by you and your tailors to make the necessary adjustments? I’d like to learn more about men’s suit/garment fittings, more generally. Any feedback or recommendations on where to start would be greatly appreciated!

A: Thanks for your question. Since launching AOS Tailoring it seems we’ve inspired a young group of technical tailoring enthusiasts – which is great, because it’s kind of a dying art. Fittings ultimately come down to experience, and aesthetic judgement calls based on your aesthetic and your clients personal preferences. It’s like training for anything, it takes practice. Nobody gets a flossy jumpshot without putting up hundreds of thousands of reps alone in the gym. I’ve personally fit thousands of suits (and our team of tailors have fit many thousands more than me) and seen first-hand the effect of each particular pattern adjustment on different body types. Identifying a fit problem is all about reading the cloth of the try-on – each wrinkle is telling you something about the wearer. A trained tailor can look at a garment on you (granted, one that already fits well; adjusted for your size and shape) and tell you things about your body that you never knew before – posture issues, a low shoulder, uneven arm pitch, etc… There are some decent tailoring books out there that break down the basics of pattern-making and what different fit issues look like, like this one or this one. It may be dry, but that’s what you’re signing up for. If you can couple your studies with some experience with a local tailor to see the effects in person, that would be ideal. A last word of warning; once you start learning this stuff, you will start to only notice suits for their problem areas and what you would improve about them… Good luck brother.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier