20 August 2009

A Quick Fix

If you've read this blog before, you probably know by now that I often stress the importance of proper tailoring for most men's clothes, be they purchased on thrift or at full whack. It's a shame more men don't consider the fact that clothes don't have to fit perfectly when you get them, so long as they can be made to fit you later. You may also know that I'm a big fan of being resourceful and learning to do things for yourself. Does this mean I'm planning to alter a sports coat any time soon? Probably not. But a simple thing like cuffing pants is something any guy can do in ten minutes with a needle and thread and an iron. I've bought a lot of pants that were about an inch too long, and since I prefer a cuff anyway, it's a good skill to have. The quickest of sartorial fixes:

Here we have s pair of navy cotton pants, flat front, in a fabric that's woven almost like hopsack from boutique Italian maker Etro. I paid $4.99 for them. While I couldn't find a price for these exact pants, Bergdorf Goodman is selling their jeans and polos for a lot more than that. But alas, they are a little long...well not really, but I like my Summer pants on the slightly high-water side.

A look at the hems reveals a good two inches of cloth inside. Perfect. This means home made cuffs will be quick and easy. Take a look at a pair of professionally cuffed pants. You'll notice that the cuffs are just pressed in place and tack stitched on each side at the seam. Nothing to it, really.

Just flip up the bottoms, making sure to keep a straight line, and press with plenty of steam. Take time to ensure that both legs are the same length, then throw in a few stitches at the sides.

Voila! The finished product is perfectly incorrect, a full inch too short at least, just how I like 'em for bare feet and dress shoes.

add a muted madras jacket (also slightly tweaked), white tennis shirt...

and of course, a surcingle belt with fishing paraphernalia embroidered on it (Brooks Brothers, $0.99) , and you've got a polished but laid back look that demands a fresh gin & tonic. Can it really be true that there was a time when such an outfit was not considered "dressed up"? I wish.

Remember, thrift clothes can be altered and tweaked the same as new ones. In fact, its almost better if they are, because by changing them in even the slightest ways you transform them from somebody else's clothes to your clothes.

p.s. where the hell is HTJ?


David V said...

That worked out perfect for you.
If one is not so lucky to find pants that only require a "fold up" to add cuffs a good rule of thumb is to look for at least 3 inches of extra length.

Toad said...

Fabulous jacket my friend.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I'm stupidly audacious and go so far as to get button down shirts that are a large (and I'm a small) and get them tailored. I just found a new tailor who knows me as the guy who has an unforgiving Ralph Lauren exactness to the fit of my stuff. I suppose I could give 'em a break by learning to cuff my own pants...your post just might be the catalyst for this.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Where IS HTJ? Is it too early to rally a search party with lanterns and hound dogs?

The People's Business said...

If anyone asks about your pants leg, just mention "Thom Browne" and everyone will assume you paid $750 for them.

Young Fogey said...

A great casual summer look. Enjoy it while you can! But remember, we have the beautiful colors and textures of autumn to look forward to, then the layers and colors of winter, then the refreshing colors of spring, and then--back to seersucker, madras, and other joys of summer!

Charles said...

Best keep that jacket away from me.

Hipshot said...

What would you call this style. Slovenly cool? Tired an' Tailored?
The jacket however is very nice.