I recently picked up a Paul & Joe dark navy cotton poplin sport coat for $5 at a thrift shop. It was in like new condition, but was missing one of the two front buttons and the sleeves were way too long. The fit in the shoulders and waist were perfect, so I decided I’d buy it and take it to my tailor to have him shorten the sleeves. Finding a set of matching navy buttons for the front wouldn’t be a problem—I just went to my local fabric shop and picked up some navy Corozo nut buttons.
The major obstacle was the jacket’s faux cuff buttonholes (which I despise), so I couldn’t shorten the sleeves from the wrist, but had to shorten from the shoulder, which is a more expensive job. I took it to my tailor and he told me the armhole was already quite high, and that coupled with the slim cut of the sleeve shortening from the shoulder of the jacket would run the risk of leaving sleeves that hugged my arms too tightly. He suggested shortening from the wrist, and said he could unstitch the faux buttonholes, and they’d be barely visible—and perhaps not visible at all since I was having to lose about 3” on the sleeve anyways…
I generally take his advice on these sorts of things, since he knows much better than I do what works best within the realm of alterations possibilities (he’s a young guy who has copies of Japanese magazines like Free & Easy and Lightning sitting around his shop). The jacket originally had its dark navy buttons stitched on with navy thread, and I asked him to reattach the cuff buttons with white thread, and to attach the front buttons using blue, white, and red thread in a hat tip to the French company and origin of manufacture of the jacket. Here’s a pic of the results.
I’m quite happy with the added character the contrast and multi-color stitching brings to the jacket, and encourage you to ask your tailors to add little details when you are having alterations done. Since the buttons had to be taken off and reattached as a part of the alteration anyways, the contrast stitching didn’t add to the price of the job.
My advice is that you develop a relationship with your tailor, befriend him or her, and establish an honest rapport with them through which you can transform off-the-rack garments into items that say a little more about your character. One needn’t go the bespoke route to stand out from the crowd. The total cost of this jacket after buying it from the thrift store, purchasing two new buttons, and having the sleeves shortened was still under $40.
FYI, if you live in the SF Bay Area I highly recommend my tailor, Zoltan, who runs a small shop in Berkeley called Advanced European Tailoring. He recently moved one and a half blocks west, but is still on the same street: 1919 Addison St. instead of 2114 Addison St. Zoltan is also a master at restoring vintage leather jackets, and often has clients send him jackets from Japan, Australia, and elsewhere to be repaired and brought back to their former glory.
- anc-su-namun likes this
- winstonperkins likes this
- ahalfpintprod reblogged this from brokeandbespoke
- ahalfpintprod likes this
- freemug likes this
- ezerojas likes this
- tangodancingphdcandidate likes this
- nowtheyarethroughwithme likes this
- simonscloset likes this
- funkypresident likes this
- thetroupeimperial likes this
- abasedprep reblogged this from brokeandbespoke
- sigsauer-ist likes this
- ex-frat-man likes this
- acuteobtuse likes this
- brokeandbespoke posted this