Giving a Creased Jacket Lapel "Roll"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kimchijajonshim, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. kimchijajonshim

    kimchijajonshim Active Member

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    Edit: Apparently using "belly" and "roll" completely wrong in the below post, please ignore.

    I haven't seen any kind of thorough breakdown on lapel "belly" outside of a few mentions of 3/2 rolls and a few offhand comments that lapels should never be creased. I have several 2-button suits I recently bought and all are creased along the lapel roll.

    Few questions:

    Is there a rule of thumb with respect to flat versus belly? Where one is appropriate and the other is not? Is it a matter of preference? I have seen it said that it is easier to create a flat lapel roll, which makes sense.

    Is it possible to create a belly on a jacket lapel that was not designed to curve? I'm not too fond of one of my suit jackets and wouldn't mind experimenting on this kind of thing. The jackets are fully canvased and not fused, if that matters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011


  2. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    :confused:

    I thought that "belly" refers to the cut of the line of the lapel, not the roll. In other words, instead of the outer edge of the lapel (below the notch) being cut on a straight line, it's cut so that it has a slight outward curve.
     


  3. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    I think you're confusing two terms.

    Lapel 'roll' - if the lapel is pressed hard flat down to the body or has a curved/curl towards the button.
    Belly - the actual shape of the lapel, usually cut straight but at some point (70's?) they used to have a bit of curve outwards to them, making the line rounder


    as for the question you meant, I believe that even if a suit has been pressed quite hard, a good tailor with steamer that knows what they're doing can breath a bit of life (ie a roll) back into the lapel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011


  4. kimchijajonshim

    kimchijajonshim Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. MC, I've seen a lot of threads saying that you can put "roll" BACK into a lapel, but what about lapels that have always been pressed flat?
     


  5. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    I don't know the technical side, like if all chest pieces are made the same so something flat can be rolled, or if the lapel and chest are separate or whatever. I would imagine that with the right technique, almost anything can be done...

    any tailors in the house?
     


  6. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They don't start out pressed flat but some get that way. Fused garments are more limp and won't have much roll-it's the animal hair in the canvas that gives a lot of bloom to the roll. Different grades of canvas means some lapels will have more bloom to the roll than others.

    These are three types of canvas, the black stuff on the right is fusible.

    [​IMG]
     


  7. BlueHorseShoe

    BlueHorseShoe Senior member

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    Amazing what I learn here.

    Photographic evidence of how much fusing is limp and lifeless.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011


  8. kimchijajonshim

    kimchijajonshim Active Member

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    Thanks Jeffrey. Do you think it's worth trying to iron over w/ damp cloth myself and see what happens? Or would you recommend taking it to an actual tailor? The suits I have are fully canvased so I ASSUME they at least at some point in time had natural roll to them. At the prices I paid for them I can't imagine the canvas is terribly high grade, but I imagine it has to be better than the fused stuff in that photo.
     


  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My experience only wearing suits is that once the collar is attached there is little to be done to really change the roll of the lapels. A more dramatic roll has a collar that supports a roll slightly higher than the buttoning point to accentuate it more. Even if lapels are not pressed flat it will only roll to where the collar of the jacket allows.

    Does this make sense Jeffery?

    Here is a thread that evolved into a bloodbath very similar in nature: http://www.styleforum.net/t/259640/3-roll-2-5-with-peaked-lapels/0_20
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011


  10. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Use a press cloth and press fairly firmly- there is some fullness in the lapel around the breakpoint which, if you just steam it or not use enough pressure, will likely pucker if it's a worsted suiting. The breakline should be lightly creased about a hand's width from the gorge seam so don't go all the way up to the collar.
    Well, sort of. The lapel will break according to how the collar is cut, but it doesn't have much of an impact on the quality of the roll ("the quality of lapel roll is not strained- it falleth like a gentle rain upon the wearer's chest"- points to whoever can identify the original)
     


  11. SimonC

    SimonC Senior member

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    Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare - "The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven"
     


  12. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^nice to know I'm not the only nerd left, now that Vox is gone.
     


  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    He will always be here in spirit.
     


  14. kimchijajonshim

    kimchijajonshim Active Member

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    I had to google and forum search a bit to decipher this, let me make sure I understand what you're saying: iron over a press cloth. Breakline/breakpoint refers to where the jacket folds over to form the lapel (i.e. where I currently have a crease and would like a "roll"). Go up the lapel, starting from the bottom fold, but stay a hand's width from the gorge seam (i.e. below the notch where lapel meets collar)?
     


  15. MarkSilber

    MarkSilber Member

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    I read this entire string, and the question remains unanswered. I don't know the answer, so I'm repeating the question, hoping someone who KNOWS the answer will respond.

    QUESTION: If I buy a canvassed suit with creased flat lapels, can I take it to a real tailor or professional cleaner who will successfully turn flat lapels into rolled lapels? Can it be done? (And, if you really know the answer, is a special steam buck required or can anyone do it?) Thank you.
     


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