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Bespoke Single Button Peak Lapel - Questions on Belly and Button point - Page 3

post #31 of 51
Again, don't mistake me for not being engaged with my tailor. There is a lot of give and take, but it is mostly to perk his interest and judgment. "Hmm, what do you think about the buttoning point?" "Ah. Hmm. Maybe one centimeter lower if you like, but certainly not more." But I've discovered, the window is usually quite small. Also, other tailors who I respect and have shared frank criticism are quite specific about how something should have been done.

Yes, you may see lots of variation from Huntsman or any other tailor, but you don't necessarily know how it was achieved or was by accident. Variations occur between order for me. Not for any good reason, but because tailors are human and it's a handmade product.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post

Mafoo - I understand your points, and appreciate your effort in writing. I understand your point about the fundamental structural components and the balance between them and don't disagree. I also agree with you about asking an Italian tailor to emulate an English style or vice versa. You seem to be advocating an approach that involves placing oneself entirely in the hands of the tailor.

However...I work with Field because he's an English tailor, and the level of variation I'm thinking about is well within the bounds of that aesthetic lexicon. For example, I can see a number of differences between the two Huntsman coats I posted that, while subtle, add up to quite a big difference in overall impression, IMO. These include the width of the lapels, the button point in relation to the narrowest point of the waist, the position of the pockets, and the degree to which the lapels conform to a consistent curve to the button point (top) or curve in more sharply at an inflection point (bottom) (although this may be an artifact of buttoned vs unbuttoned).

I don't intend to be doctrinaire or overly dictatorial with Field, as I have every confidence in his ability to deliver a great suit (and evidence to that fact hanging in my closet). But I do want to be able to articulate the aesthetic concept I'm after in a way that is accurate and meaningful. Perhaps belly is not the right metric - perhaps it's the overall shape of the lapel. 

In any case, thanks.

Bear in mind you are looking at a coat on a mannequin. So its harder to gain a sense of how it looks on a client. Huntsman are also at the more 'dramatic' end of the tailoring spectrum which some can find a bit much. Poole sit somewhere in the middle.

Another suggestion would be to just let your tailor do his thing. Wear the suit a little, get used to it and on your next order wear the suit and let the tailor see it on you again. With the benefit of time he may see things a little differently and you may grow to like things that you didn't think you would. Adopt an iterative approach if you like. Safer but potentially more expensive.

Sometimes we need a reference point to work from.
Edited by Lovelace - 2/3/13 at 3:10pm
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I respect where Chris is coming from, as he's as excellent a tailor as any, but disagree very strongly with him on his advice--coming from a client point-of-view. Your tailor may be willing to study a million photos with you, but what will he walk away with exactly? You were looking at X, he thought he was looking at X, but he was really looking at Y. You may spend a million hours on Styleforum learning to better articulate what you want, but how will he interpret it and then execute it? What if he's never done the thing you're asking for? What if it looks easier than it really is? Everything can go badly very quickly. Then, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

Show your tailor a picture of lapels you like and lapels you don't like and then step back. Be specific about what you like and don't like. Don't expect him to see the same thing you see without explaining it to him.

Foo, your reading skills are poor and comprehension level low.

After a client shows a picture to me I ask them to draw a picture as well. Have found that the vocabulary clients use mean something different to them than it may mean to me.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post


Foo, your reading skills are poor and comprehension level low.

After a client shows a picture to me I ask them to draw a picture as well. Have found that the vocabulary clients use mean something different to them than it may mean to me.

Wtf.

I read you correctly. But I disagree about your advice and I was very clear about why. Maybe you should check your own reading and comprehension.
post #35 of 51
Did you say that your tailor may not see what you see in pictures and this could cause a disparity of understanding?
post #36 of 51

The buttoning point should be your natural waist, unless you want a fashionable garment that will look dated and become costume in the next 18 months. Today's buttoning point fashion is hideously high and looks ill fitted, not fashionable or stylish to my eye.

 

The width of peak lapels should be determined by first the distance between edge of the should and the neck of the wearer and secondly by the height of the gorge, which itself is aesthetic and determined by the current fashion, your tailor, your tastes, or a combination of all three. Typically the lower the gorge, the narrower the peak lapel. The peak lapel cuts from most of what was popular in the 30's and 40's, are still aesthetically pleasing today. Even some of the 1980's to mid-1990's cuts look great if they avoided such anachronisms as overly padded shoulders, etc. In fact some of the best 1990's cuts look like they came right out of a 1940's pattern book, and hence timeless.

 

The curve is aesthetic and will be determined last as it is a function of both the buttoning point and gorge height, such that a double breasted cut will look best with a different curve than a SB cut. Spoo's lapels, as pictured above, might look better on a DB cut for instance.

 

All of the Paul Stuart and Phineas Cole jackets pictured above are already looking a bit dated for what it's worth.

post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

Did you say that your tailor may not see what you see in pictures and this could cause a disparity of understanding?

Not just, no. I was quite explicit that, no matter how hard you try to convey (through whatever means--pictures, words, etc.) and no matter how hard your tailor is willing to listen, at the end of the day, the message sent plus the resulting execution are unlikely to be what you hoped for when asking your tailor to do something different from what is ingrained in his practice or taste. You are a world-class tailor and one of the best in this country, yet you could not replicate exactly what another tailor does. Neither could another perfectly duplicate your work. It's not that you don't possess the technical know-how, but because of everything from the air you breathe, to the stylistic sensibilities embedded in you, to the tastes of your clientele, which you have naturally acclimated to in time and which reinforce your own taste. You admirably point out that you are always learning. Well, that couldn't be true if certain things didn't remain foreign to you. That must be true of all tailors. And learning has a curve.

In this case, we are talking about a stylistic feature (lapel belly) that connects to yet other aesthetic properties, and also structural, functional considerations. Hence, it is a very involved adjustment--certainly more that most clients are aware of. So, even if your tailor is able to give you exactly the belly you want, the connecting components (which you never thought to specify) may turn it into a different animal. My framed patch pockets are a good example. They are not what I expected, yet certainly what I asked for. The difference is that I knew that was the case and didn't fool myself into believing I was going to get a specific thing. Lapel belly is a much more nuanced, connected detail.

Other more experienced bespoke clients have shared the same approach and attitude here: you need to let go of the fantasy that you can design via your tailor. To the extent you try, like with my coat, you accept increasingly greater risk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by recondite View Post

The buttoning point should be your natural waist, unless you want a fashionable garment that will look dated and become costume in the next 18 months. Today's buttoning point fashion is hideously high and looks ill fitted, not fashionable or stylish to my eye.

The width of peak lapels should be determined by first the distance between edge of the should and the neck of the wearer and secondly by the height of the gorge, which itself is aesthetic and determined by the current fashion, your tailor, your tastes, or a combination of all three. Typically the lower the gorge, the narrower the peak lapel. The peak lapel cuts from most of what was popular in the 30's and 40's, are still aesthetically pleasing today. Even some of the 1980's to mid-1990's cuts look great if they avoided such anachronisms as overly padded shoulders, etc. In fact some of the best 1990's cuts look like they came right out of a 1940's pattern book, and hence timeless.

The curve is aesthetic and will be determined last as it is a function of both the buttoning point and gorge height, such that a double breasted cut will look best with a different curve than a SB cut. Spoo's lapels, as pictured above, might look better on a DB cut for instance.

All of the Paul Stuart and Phineas Cole jackets pictured above are already looking a bit dated for what it's worth.

Exactly.
post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post


Other more experienced bespoke clients have shared the same approach and attitude here: you need to let go of the fantasy that you can design via your tailor. To the extent you try, like with my coat, you accept increasingly greater risk.
 

 

There has been some very helpful advice in this thread, and some interesting discussion of how the proportions and shape of the lapel should link to other aspects of the cut and construction of the coat. I really wish we could stick to that.

 

However, you (and to a lesser extent others) seem to be insistent on cautioning me against something I would never do - that is, instruct Field as to precisely how the coat should be constructed. I don't think anything in my initial post implied that this is my approach, and I've clarified that I'm looking to educate myself for a dialogue with my tailor about the overall vision for the coat, not micromanagement of a professional (him) by an amateur (me). You seem borderline opposed to that sort of dialogue, which is fine if odd IMO. But don't presume that I am trying to 'design via [my] tailor' as this is simply not the case. 

post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

Did you say that your tailor may not see what you see in pictures and this could cause a disparity of understanding?

Not just, no. I was quite explicit that, no matter how hard you try to convey (through whatever means--pictures, words, etc.) and no matter how hard your tailor is willing to listen, at the end of the day, the message sent plus the resulting execution are unlikely to be what you hoped for when asking your tailor to do something different from what is ingrained in his practice or taste. You are a world-class tailor and one of the best in this country, yet you could not replicate exactly what another tailor does. Neither could another perfectly duplicate your work. It's not that you don't possess the technical know-how, but because of everything from the air you breathe, to the stylistic sensibilities embedded in you, to the tastes of your clientele, which you have naturally acclimated to in time and which reinforce your own taste. You admirably point out that you are always learning. Well, that couldn't be true if certain things didn't remain foreign to you. That must be true of all tailors. And learning has a curve.

In this case, we are talking about a stylistic feature (lapel belly) that connects to yet other aesthetic properties, and also structural, functional considerations. Hence, it is a very involved adjustment--certainly more that most clients are aware of. So, even if your tailor is able to give you exactly the belly you want, the connecting components (which you never thought to specify) may turn it into a different animal. My framed patch pockets are a good example. They are not what I expected, yet certainly what I asked for. The difference is that I knew that was the case and didn't fool myself into believing I was going to get a specific thing. Lapel belly is a much more nuanced, connected detail.

Other more experienced bespoke clients have shared the same approach and attitude here: you need to let go of the fantasy that you can design via your tailor. To the extent you try, like with my coat, you accept increasingly greater risk.

The flaw in your response is you think the OP wants field to duplicate a certain look. You read something into his question that isn't there and his response here verifies the point. He is asking for direction on the effects of lapel shapes and button stance so he can discuss it with his tailor. He wants some insight to gain understanding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by recondite View Post

The buttoning point should be your natural waist, unless you want a fashionable garment that will look dated and become costume in the next 18 months. Today's buttoning point fashion is hideously high and looks ill fitted, not fashionable or stylish to my eye.

The width of peak lapels should be determined by first the distance between edge of the should and the neck of the wearer and secondly by the height of the gorge, which itself is aesthetic and determined by the current fashion, your tailor, your tastes, or a combination of all three. Typically the lower the gorge, the narrower the peak lapel. The peak lapel cuts from most of what was popular in the 30's and 40's, are still aesthetically pleasing today. Even some of the 1980's to mid-1990's cuts look great if they avoided such anachronisms as overly padded shoulders, etc. In fact some of the best 1990's cuts look like they came right out of a 1940's pattern book, and hence timeless.

The curve is aesthetic and will be determined last as it is a function of both the buttoning point and gorge height, such that a double breasted cut will look best with a different curve than a SB cut. Spoo's lapels, as pictured above, might look better on a DB cut for instance.

All of the Paul Stuart and Phineas Cole jackets pictured above are already looking a bit dated for what it's worth.

Exactly.

Not exactly. The chest shape and size, shoulder and lapel should all look balanced. The width of the lapel and angle of the peak would guide the height of the gorge not the gorge determining the width and angle. The overall body shape influences the lapel too. A man with wide hips or a big belly takes a wider lapel to offset his lower girth. The degree of belly curve is as much stylistic as a means to balance a lapel.
Some men are not easy to find a natural waist when the torso/leg proportion isn'r optimal or a man with a very large waist. Where you place the button and waist line is more critical with these types.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Other more experienced bespoke clients have shared the same approach and attitude here: you need to let go of the fantasy that you can design via your tailor. To the extent you try, like with my coat, you accept increasingly greater risk.

 

There has been some very helpful advice in this thread, and some interesting discussion of how the proportions and shape of the lapel should link to other aspects of the cut and construction of the coat. I really wish we could stick to that.

However, you (and to a lesser extent others) seem to be insistent on cautioning me against something I would never do - that is, instruct Field as to precisely how the coat should be constructed. I don't think anything in my initial post implied that this is my approach, and I've clarified that I'm looking to educate myself for a dialogue with my tailor about the overall vision for the coat, not micromanagement of a professional (him) by an amateur (me). You seem borderline opposed to that sort of dialogue, which is fine if odd IMO. But don't presume that I am trying to 'design via [my] tailor' as this is simply not the case. 

I didn't think you were trying to design your suit. Nothing you wrote indicated otherwise. If you have access to a good mens store you might try on SB jackets that have peaks and see the how the variations of shape and size work with your body type and personality. May help to discover what you like.
Fields is the best person to get advice from. He knows you, just explain what you want to know and see what his ideas are.
post #40 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

I didn't think you were trying to design your suit. Nothing you wrote indicated otherwise. If you have access to a good mens store you might try on SB jackets that have peaks and see the how the variations of shape and size work with your body type and personality. May help to discover what you like.
Fields is the best person to get advice from. He knows you, just explain what you want to know and see what his ideas are.

 

Thanks Chris - once again good points. As much as I've appreciated the detailed information from some quarters, it's puzzling how posts on SF can become Rorschach tests. A few of the responses in this thread remind me of this:

post #41 of 51
Longmorn,

Suggest trying jackets because getting ideas from pictures or seeing styles on others sometimes doesn't look the same in real life or look the same on you as you think they will.
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 

Agree and I will try - other than RL Black Label (whose anemic peak lapel does not appeal to me) they can be hard to find OTR in my neck of the woods. I'll poke around and see what I can find. Once again, thanks!

post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post

Advice and examples would be greatly appreciated (especially from RSS, who based on reading previous threads seems to have a stable full of bespoke SB peak lapel suits).

My input will probably disappoint you. While I like clothing I prefer to live in it rather than become obsessed with it as we so often tend to be here at Style Forum. I don't want my clothing to rule me ... I don't want to worry about it. I just can't afford the time and toll that takes. And ... I'm NEVER going to stand and pose in it. When I try on a suit -- any clothing -- I twist and turn, put my hands in pocket, slouch, walk about, etc. ... and try to get a general feel for it. I pay less attention to specific details. Ultimately it's not about the clothing, it's about how good I look in it. This is they way I've been doing it for more than 40 years ... long before there was an Internet.

No, I'll never be a dandy ... I'll never write a book about men's clothing ... I'll never really know as much about clothing as some here do .... but that's not my objective.

BTW, I do listen to my tailor when he expresses an opinion. I may or may not take his advice ... but probably do more often than not. I certainly have learned a lot from the various tailors who've clothed me over the years.
  • Ticket Pocket: If I can wear the coat with a pair of odd trousers, I usually opt for a ticket pocket. I just like them. If it's a more formal suit, I MIGHT not opt for it.
  • Button Point: I do tend to prefer a longer lapel.
  • Belly to Lapel: I like a bit of curve ... but other than that ... I leave it in the hands of the cutter/tailor.
post #44 of 51
I concurred with Mafoofan, but I will add that it is very important for your tailor to know about your style, the best is to let them know about your clothing personality. Focus on the tailor's suggestion, their words on fabric and shape are often much better than customers. To a certain extend, trust your tailor, if you don't feel comfortable to work with them, don't waste your time and money.

Also have a look on other people's item in the shop, you can get a good image of what the tailor is good at, you don't want your tailor to do what he is not familiar with. And never try to push the tailor to do something he or she is not sure, rarely end up well.

From my personal experience, I have a good amount of suits and blazers made with this one tailor, yet we are still progressing on the 'prefect' shoulder width and sleeve cleanness.

It will be very lucky to get your prefect bespoke first time.
post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

It will be very lucky to get your prefect bespoke first time.
What is perfect today is unlikely to be perfect tomorrow.
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