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Various questions - help!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi. I've been lurking for a few weeks and just registered. This is a great site! I have learned a lot here. I have a few questions and was hoping you could help me out. Rather than making them all separate posts, I combined them all here. I'm sure these probably seem dumb for you pros, but I'm also sure that other people here have probably thought of these and haven't had the courage to ask. So, here goes:

1. Pants: I am a young guy and only own two really high-quality suits. There is nothing wrong with them but they have pleated pants and I'd much prefer flat-fronted as they are more stylish and I am thin. Is there any way a tailor could change them? I was told that it is not possible, but wanted to double-check here.

2. Collar stays: How important is it to have good collar stays/stiffners? I bought a bunch of brass ones on eBay and have put them in my best shirts, but haven't really examined the effect. Are the plastic ones generally ok or is it really worth putting in metal ones?

3. Pants lengthening: I have two new pair of summer pants but they are too short. I need to get them lengthened. Problem is, they are not cuffed. Last time I had non-cuffed pants lengthened, the part that was now exposed was a different colour, and the old line from where they pants used to end was still visible. I was told that a good tailor with good pressing ability should be able to make that line dissappear, but others have said it is touch-and-go. Can anyone shed light on this?

4. Cufflinks: I bought a pair of cufflinks that are supposedly silver. After a week of storing them they developped a sort of dark grey tarnish, like it oxydized. Does anyone know how to get it off? And is this a sign that these are cheap links, or is this normal and to be expected?

5. Neck size: Is it possible to have the neck of a dress shirt made smaller? I used to be a 15.5 and am now 15 so some of my shirts are too big.

(Now that I think of it, regarding questions 1 and 5, it would be helpful if someone could post here or refer us to a list of "tailoring cans and cants". Somone must have created one someplace.)

Thanks in advance and Happy Easter!
post #2 of 2
Welcome, fatherseanfan! Always good to have new folks aboard.

Some quick answers to your questions:

1. Pleats can't be removed easily, and pants rarely look right when this is done. Better to not worry about it -- the pleats are covered by your jacket anyway.

2. Plastic stays are fine. You can get stays in all sorts of materials, but they all serve the same purpose.

3. Wool pants usually can be lengthened with little trouble, as long as the bottoms aren't worn and there is sufficient fabric. Cotton pants will have the line you mention.

4. Have you tried silver polish? Are they silverplate or sterling?

5. If your shirts aren't terribly expensive, you're probably better off getting new ones.

By the way, none of your questions was dumb. We're all here to learn, and such questions are par for the course. If you've got any others, keep 'em coming.
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