The most important thing about any garment, without a doubt, is how well it fits your body.
A man looks much better in a cheaply-made garment that is properly tailored, than an expensive garment that doesn’t fit correctly. In many cases, in fact, the TSB crew and I spend more on alterations than on the garment itself (especially when vintage/thrift shopping).
To illustrate this point, we took some ill-fitting pieces to our highly recommended friends at The Tailoring Room and documented their transformations.
As you can see here, a good tailor can make a dramatic difference. Special thanks to Franklin (above) for always taking care of us.
1. Wes: Vintage Shirt & Jeans
As you may already know, Wes is an expert in the art of thrifting.
His secret? His relationship with our tailor Franklin, who was able to completely re-engineer the fit of this vintage flannel shirt and these old boot-cut Levis.
Some useful tailoring advice:
- It’s easier, and safer, to slim-down a garment that is a little too big. Letting-out a garment that is too small or tight is much more difficult.
- As a general rule, garments can only be taken-in (made smaller) on seams. Similarly, garments can only be let-out (made bigger) on seams as well, but only if there is additional fabric (known as “seam allowance”) left under the seams during manufacturing. Shirts, jeans and the majority of mass-produced “tailored” garments are made with very little, or no, seam allowance (because the cost of this “extra fabric” adds up and is seen as a “waste” for a company pumping out thousands of units).
- Denim jeans are usually made with a chain stitch machine, not a regular sewing machine. Therefore, in order to properly match the original stitching, the shop needs one of these machines. Not all tailors have them. Luckily for us, Franklin does.
- A good tailor, like Franklin, can also do wonders repairing old denim. They won’t look brand new, but they’ll have minimal scarring (which looks pretty awesome).
- Plaid flannel shirt (Vintage – tailored)
- Jersey scarf Handmade
- Jeans Levis Vintage (tailored – originally boot cut)
- Beige henley by Ralph Lauren Polo
- Brown suede chukka boots by Massimo Dutti
- Brown leather duffle by Frank Clegg Leatherworks