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Darts and Cuff Knots?

Sartorially Challenged

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A couple of questions about shirts:

1. What are "darts"? Is this sewing the sides of shirts to trim the fit?

2. Where does one find silk knots for French cuffs? Do men's section of department store usually carry them?
 

The False Prophet

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Darts are the seams running up the back of your shirt (usually not the whole way to the top of bottom) that help "shape" them. Likewise, a suit jacket will usually have front darts running upward from the side pockets to the chest.

Silk knots can be had in some department stores, and many specialist shirt stores, for as little as $5. There's no particular variation in quality, so avoid those charging $20 for them.
 

Sartorially Challenged

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So darts are not some sort of hems or clips design to trim the fit of a shirt?

Are there such things?
 

Edward Appleby

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1. Yes, that's one form of darting. A dart is a seam with fabric tucked underneath, used to trim the garment.

2. Neiman's, Saks, and other better department stores should carry them. I know for a fact that Brooks Brothers and Thomas Pink, both of which are easy to find, carry them.
 

Steve B.

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2. Where does one find silk knots for French cuffs? Do men's section of department store usually carry them?
Try the James & Longbourne link on the Support The Forum page.
 

mbc

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Originally Posted by Sartorially Challenged
2. Where does one find silk knots for French cuffs? Do men's section of department store usually carry them?
Jantzen has a decent selection of them for about $2.50/pair.
 

Manton

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One thing to note: most men's shirts neither have nor need darts. Decent shirtmakers can fit a shirt very close to the body without darts. Also, a dart is separate from the side seams. All shirts have side seams.
 

Tomasso

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There can be a substantial difference in the quality of silk knots. Charvet and T&A, even Pink are made better than others. I bought a set from the Chinese vendor on eBay and was disappointed by their puny size and lack of suppleness.
 

imageWIS

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Originally Posted by Manton
One thing to note: most men's shirts neither have nor need darts. Decent shirtmakers can fit a shirt very close to the body without darts. Also, a dart is separate from the side seams. All shirts have side seams.

Thank You, Manton!

About time someone said it. Darts are just the cheap way out of actually correctly tailoring a shirt. There really is no need for darts. In case you don't believe me, see the uniforms used in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (I'm serious) and you can see how close they are to the body, while not utilizing darts.

Jon.
 

mbc

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My personal experience with darts is that they seem to make more of a difference with untucked shirts than shirts which are tucked in. I have two dress shirts with almost identical measurements, except that one achieves a slim waist via darts and the other without (only tailored at the side seams basically). Tucked in, they look identical, but untucked the shape is much different. The darted shirt conforms to the shape of my body quite well. The plain one curves in a lot at the waist if viewed from the front, and billows out in the lower back if viewed from the side. It is as if the darting causes the shirt's fabric to distribute evenly around my waist, and the lack of darts with a slim waist causes the fabric to gather unevenly in the lower back. I don't know enough about shirt construction to speculate as to the cause, but among all the shirts I've got, this behavior remains consistent.
 

Sartorially Challenged

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If shirts can be altered at reasonable prices, what is the point of darts?
 

Hanseat

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8 Euros at my local tailor for taking in a shirt... That's quite reasonable to me.
More if I need the sleeve to be taken in as well.
 

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