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Entries in tailor (5)

Wednesday
Sep032014

DIY Tailoring tips.

Found this article on fashion beans and it's pretty helpful. I had already taken to replacing buttons, but this guide gives you step-by-step instructions on how to tailor multiple aspects of your clothing in your own home.

 

Introduction

As most us know, when it comes to dressing with style, rule #1 is making sure that your clothes fit you. It may sound like an obvious concept, but it’s one that still gets passed over again and again. It’s also the one rule that can TRULY make or break a look – transforming inexpensive items into expensive-looking pieces or turning designer duds into what look like high street bargain bin finds.

Unfortunately, focusing on fit is easier said than done. These days, it seems that every new emerging brand has a whole new block, cut and take on the size and shape of small, medium and large. An extra-slim cut shirt in Charles Tyrwitt is not the same as a slim cut in H&M or Gant. The chance of you picking up something off the rack that fits exactly how you like it to is going to be pretty small.

This is where a tailor enters the picture and saves the day. The pieces you buy that fit you well in certain areas but not in others can, nine times out of ten, be altered by a tailor to suit your specific body shape and preferences. They also happen to have a wealth of knowledge and experience of how individual items of clothing can be nipped and tucked in order to flatter various body shapes.

So, whether it’s breathing new life into the old pieces you currently have stored in your wardrobe or taking your brand new purchases to the next level, there’s not much a tailor can’t do in order to make you look – and feel – better.

Luckily, getting your clothes tailored professionally happens to be relatively cost effective, especially when compared to the price of designer clothing. But what happens if you have neglected your personal style for far too long and you want to tailor a large number of pieces? It can start to get pretty pricey, even if you manage to secure a discount. That’s without even considering the fact that a large percentage of our readership may not be able to afford a tailor AND new clothes at the same time.

With all this in mind, for those times that a tailor just doesn’t fit into the fiscal picture, why not try doing it yourself?

 

Beginners DIY Tailoring

Altering my clothing has become a bit of a passion project of mine. All you need is a sewing machine, some cotton thread and a handful of fabrics to practise sewing in a straight line on.

Of course, the machine is going to set you back an initial outlay at first, but once you realise the extent of alterations you can do with just a basic understanding, it will more than pay for itself in the long run.

Most instruction manuals are really straight forward and easy to understand when it comes to setting it up, and once you’ve practised a bit you would be surprised how quickly your skill level evolves. I’d recommend picking up some spare needles (you’ll break a couple, trust me), some pins to take the clothing in and a picker to unpick any mistakes that you make.

Here are just a few of the alterations that I’ve started doing myself after owning a sewing machine for only a couple of weeks…

 

Change The Buttons

One of the easiest alterations to make, and it doesn’t even involve a sewing machine!

About.com have produced an excellent guide for beginners, entitled ‘how to sew on a flat button’, whilst you should also remember that the existing holes left from the old button provide guidance as to where your needle should be going.

So, read up on the above and then try it out on some of the old pieces you don’t wear any more (shirts, jackets, chinos, polos – the list is endless). You will be pleasantly surprised at how that old work shirt can be instantly transformed with something as simple as contrasting coloured or higher quality buttons.

I personally like swapping the buttons on my jackets for lighter shades in the summer – just another step in developing a truly seasonal wardrobe. However, many of you will want to alter the often cheap, bright white plastic buttons you find on many high street pieces (we are looking at you, Topman chinos), which will instantly make them appear more expensive and subtly separate yours from the mass-produced crowd.

 

Taking In A Shirt

Here you have two options: putting in darts or taking it in at the side seams. Personally, I like both methods but feel that a dart works better with a shirt made from a lighter material such as broadcloth or linen, not an Oxford cloth or flannel.

My preferred method is to turn the shirt inside out, put it on and then have a friend – that you trust – pin two darts into the back of the shirt. You then use your sewing machine to sew along the line the pins form. When you are happy with your work, simple steam the darts closed with an iron.

For an even easier way of taking in a shirt look no further than this threadbanger video:

Hemming Trousers

Again, this is super easy to do and there are plenty of videos online that will take you through the process, step by step.

Why not breathe new life into old jeans, trousers or chinos by taking them up to ankle height and treating them as your new go-to spring/summer trousers? Wear them sockless with loafers, of course.

 

Trousers To Shorts

Got some trousers that you don’t wear anymore? I owned a few pairs like this, yet heading into summer I didn’t have any shorts that I particularly liked either. That was until I realised I could just turn these old trousers into the shorts that I really wanted, without spending any money at all.

The main problem I have with both trousers and shorts is that it’s hard to find a pair that fit my massive rugby thighs well. So even when I replace the trousers with an updated version in a different material or design, I turn the old pair into shorts so that I don’t have to hunt for the perfect fit again later on in the season.

Again, it’s an easy alteration. If you’re not fussy all you’ll need is a pair of scissors and dedication to trimming the fraying edges every couple of weeks. Alternatively, for those looking for smarter, cleaner lines, cut them to the desired length and then hem them like you would a pair of trousers.

For more information on this, read our dedicated guide we produced a few years ago.

 

Fabrics For Pocket Squares

The great thing about creating your own pocket square is that you can pick the EXACT fabric, colour and pattern you want, usually for a pretty low cost, from any fabric shop. Then simply follow this great guide by Eight-In-Hand for putting it together.

I tend to make mine from old shirts that have started to fray or wear in awkward places.

Final Word

So there you have it, a few alteration tips that you can start doing yourself for a lot cheaper than a tailor. Like I said, the sewing machine will set you back initially but once you look at it as an investment and see the amount of money that you’re saving, you’ll reap the rewards.

If you become passionate about it then it could potentially lead to you making your own clothing; I’m currently toying with the idea of making a waistcoat. Aside from the savings, it also gives your clothing an individual stamp – a stamp that you’ve done yourself. Which is sort of what style is all about.

 

- james

Wednesday
Jul232014

levi's flagship.

You may or may not know that I recently moved to San Francisco for a new job (you probably have no idea since I haven't mentioned it before). First of all, don't worry your pretty little head because I'm certainly not leaving the cult. Secondly, I'm excited to tell you about all the amazing things I find here. 

That being said, allow me to present the first in a long list of cool stores in SF: The Levis Flagship Store on Market Street.

This 8000 square-foot store has a ridicuously large selection of levi's apparel, accessories, bags, stylish employees, and unique interior design using reclaimed wood from old san francisco piers. But I haven't even told you the coolest part yet...

Not only do they sell jeans here, but this flagship store houses several in-store tailors dedicated to creating limited numbered runs of unique designs sold in-store, repairing your busted levi's, tailoring your new jeans, or creating items custom made to it your body. Cool, right?!

If you're in the area, you need to check this place out.

 

- james

 

 

Tuesday
Jun172014

5 steps to build a wardrobe on a budget.

yes, we all want to have the freshest wardrobe. yes, we all want to look like we're dressed to the nines whenever we leave the house. and yes, doing so can be extremely pricey and unrealistic at times. so here are some tips for building your wadrobe on a budget.

 

1. 

Thrift Hard. Know the good thrift shops in your area, and visit them with some regularity. You won't always find a gem every single time you go, so it's important to go often.

2. 

Fit it Well. Find a solid tailor in your area and build a relationship. Returning to the same tailor will help them get a feel for the way you like your clothes to fit, and will help them deliver consistently high qulity work. Combining thrift store clothes with a tailored fit will make the clothes look like they were made for your body, creating a quality look at a bargain price. For those of you in utah, I recommend Hollady Furs in Provo.


3. 

Learn the basics. Some common knowledge on sewing buttons, fixing tears and holes can help your clothes last longer. You can also customize your clothing a little with new buttons, new thread colors, and other small changes. The difference is in the details.


4. 

Maintain. It's one thing to get the right pieces of clothing, but it's another thing to make sure it lasts. Dry clean the clothes that need to be dry cleaned. Hang dry those things that you don't want to shrink. Polish your shoes. condition your leather goods. brush your suits and suedes. the list goes on. Keep it nice and i'll stay looking nice.


5. 

stay connected. find clothing manufacturers you like, and stay connected to their promotion schedules. This enables you to find quality clothing brand new for better prices. Most retailers have a some pretty regularly scheduled sales events that can be found with a simple google search (Nordstrom for example), knowing when these occur will help you plan your purchases. 

- james

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Apr122014

best tailor in town.

When it comes to menswear, you can buy the nicest, most stylish, most expensive clothing around, but if it doesn't fit well, you're gonna look like a complete chump. Nothing worse than looking like a little kid trying on daddy's clothes. Or like a guy that thinks he's a medium but really is a XXL. Buy nice clothes, and make them fit well.

It can be hard to find the right tailor--someone who understands current trends and knows how your clothing should fit, and can share your vision. Well, if you're in Utah, look no further. Well if you're more than an hour away maybe look a little more because it's a bit impractical to drive that far repeatedly for a tailor. 

For those of you that meet that criteria, the only tailor you'll need is the owner of Holladay Furs on Center Street in Provo. She's the best. She's got tons of experience, plenty of knowledge and skill to spare. I highly recommend you stop by and turn some of those threads look like they were made specifically for you.

Don't just take my word for it, their yelp reviews speak for themselves. But also take my word for it.

Stop by here for more information. 

Sunday
Oct072012

abc's of Men's Fashion 30.

tailor.

From a Latin word meaning 'to cut'. This shows how important to the tailor is skill in cutting: although nowadays the word means maker of men's (and of course sometimes women's) outer garments. 

This is prosaic. He is much more. He is the interpreter of your desires: your guide through the maze of modern fashions. He must stop you form making mistakes and if they occur, give the impression that they are his. if there are successes they must be the result of your good taste and intelligence. Taper can broadly describe as the line of a suit that starts broad at the top and finishes narrow. Most men are that shape underneath, which is a very good reason why most suits should be tapered.

- James