Sartorial mythbusting

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by apropos, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I find Sator to be even handed

    You have got to be kidding.

    jeffrey, does anyone really claim that an angled shoulder seam increases elasticity? What I have read, and had explained to me by tailors, is that the angle (caused by the small backneck measurement) moves the neckpoint back and down in such a way is to increase the collar's ability to stay on the neck. Also, it allows for extra fullness over the blades, which helps the coat move more freely.

    Both of these observations are true to my experience. Every coat on which I have had problems with the collar not sticking to the neck have been ones with straighter shoulder seams. All of the coats that I have had with angled seams (and small backnecks) -- whether from London, Italy, or New York -- have stayed glued to the neck at all times.
     
  2. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Ultimately, as I suspected, for those who have taken the leap of faith, A&S are beyond criticism. Anyone who does is automatically villainised. Even if you can show that A&S are making correctable mistakes catalogued in classic 1930s tailoring literature on how to troubleshoot problems that arise in cutting with drape, there is virtually no point. It's just regarded as a form of swearing even if not a single four letter word is uttered, though you can be sure that you will get a flood of them coming back at you.
     
  3. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    I thought that I would post now just so that my words were adjacent to the previous two posts.

    It's a social technique that really works.


    - B
     
  4. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Ultimately, as I suspected, for those who have taken the leap of faith, A&S are beyond criticism. Anyone who does is automatically villainised. Even if you can show that A&S are making correctable mistakes catalogued in classic 1930s tailoring literature on how to troubleshoot problems that arise in cutting with drape, there is virtually no point. It's just regarded as a form of swearing even if not a single four letter word is uttered, though you can be sure that you will get a flood of them coming back at you.

    My question above was not rhetorical, although I'm on the hook whether A&S = [​IMG] or A&S = [​IMG].

    My fitting seemed to go well, anyway.

    Sorry about the snark, it's become automatic. If you like, you can call me RJmoran or whatever the going epithet for me is over at the advanced forum.
     
  5. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You have got to be kidding. jeffrey, does anyone really claim that an angled shoulder seam increases elasticity? What I have read, and had explained to me by tailors, is that the angle (caused by the small backneck measurement) moves the neckpoint back and down in such a way is to increase the collar's ability to stay on the neck. Also, it allows for extra fullness over the blades, which helps the coat move more freely. Both of these observations are true to my experience. Every coat on which I have had problems with the collar not sticking to the neck have been ones with straighter shoulder seams. All of the coats that I have had with angled seams (and small backnecks) -- whether from London, Italy, or New York -- have stayed glued to the neck at all times.
    I think it was in one of Alden's videos that JH made the claim. Anyway, it wasn't the first time. I have my own opinions about the story about extra fullness and that neck measure, which I will get to in time; tailors say silly things sometimes. I should know. I don't rule out the possibility that I am wrong so I intend to do more testing (I already have done some) but I intend to address one thing at a time. My knee-jerk reaction to these stories is that it is rot and my mind shuts down there. I now think there are other elements of the A&S coat which might let the collar sit without moving which would make a lot more sense. I finally got my hands on an A&S (thank you, Simon) and it's been a fantastic learning experience.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Ultimately, as I suspected, for those who have taken the leap of faith, A&S are beyond criticism. Anyone who does is automatically villainised. Even if you can show that A&S are making correctable mistakes catalogued in classic 1930s tailoring literature on how to troubleshoot problems that arise in cutting with drape, there is virtually no point. It's just regarded as a form of swearing even if not a single four letter word is uttered, though you can be sure that you will get a flood of them coming back at you.

    Sator, the thread under discussion at your forum is embarassing. Even jeffreyd -- who is not a fan of A&S and who is never shy about saying something is incorrect -- has said so, in direct language.

    It is a shame that you all (and you especially) are behaving this way. You have a lot to offer. I think many people -- me included -- would listen to you more if you weren't so shrill and dogmatic. You didn't used to be like this. You used to have a sense of humor. It's plainly gone. I hope you find a way to get it back.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I think it was in one of Alden's videos that JH made the claim. Anyway, it wasn't the first time.

    I have my own opinions about the story about extra fullness and that neck measure, which I will get to in time. I don't rule out the possibility that I am wrong so I intend to do more testing (I already have done some) but I intend to address one thing at a time. My knee-jerk reaction to these stories is that it is rot and my mind shuts down there. I now think there are other elements of the A&S coat which might let the collar sit without moving which would make a lot more sense. I finally got my hands on an A&S (thank you, Simon) and it's been a fantastic learning experience.


    I first heard this long before Alden made a video, or even before there was Style Forum. And it is not unique to A&S. Like I said, I have coats from various sources that have this feature, and a small number that do not. The ones that do stay on my neck better and allow my arms to move better. Now, that could be simply that my particular posture requires a small backneck, but other people don't. Or it could be that the good effects have another cause, unrelated to the backneck.

    But I know what I have been told by those who cut this way, and it fits my experience exactly. So, I tend to believe it.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    John Hitchcock showed me the stretchiness of the A&S jackets. It looked real to me. My Rubinacci jackets do not stretch like that. Maybe the lapped seams are to blame?
     
  9. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I first heard this long before Alden made a video, or even before there was Style Forum. And it is not unique to A&S. Like I said, I have coats from various sources that have this feature, and a small number that do not. The ones that do stay on my neck better and allow my arms to move better. Now, that could be simply that my particular posture requires a small backneck, but other people don't. Or it could be that the good effects have another cause, unrelated to the backneck.

    But I know what I have been told by those who cut this way, and it fits my experience exactly. So, I tend to believe it.


    People who cut this way are usually cutting on an old system. CPG comes to mind. Part and parcel are the small neck, the backward seam,but also a particular cut of sleeve. This kind of sleeve (as well as back drape) would allow a great deal more movement but they are not as clean as modern sleeves. I don't know if you will ever see a sleeve come out of A&S whose pitch could be deemed "correct" by your standards (nor mine) but I have made my peace with the fact that you could flap your arms around in them and the collar won't budge.

    I'll get to the mechanics of the backward seam in another post. I know Chris tested it out and came to the conclusion that a small back neck was a bad thing.
     
  10. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    John Hitchcock showed me the stretchiness of the A&S jackets. It looked real to me. My Rubinacci jackets do not stretch like that. Maybe the lapped seams are to blame?

    Were they tacked in yet or just basted? It makes a big difference.
     
  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    To me, correct pitch simply means that the sleeve follows the natural curve of the arm when the arms are at rest at the wearers sides. The sleeve does not buckle or crumple anywhere. Width and fullness has nothing to do with it. Is that wrong?

    Anyway, A&S sleeves are wide (as are Solito's and Rubinacci's) but the pitch is correct insofar as they follow the arm in smooth, unbroken curves.

    Frank Shattuck used to rave about "piped" sleeves, by which he meant very, very narrow. He cajoled me into doing it on one suit, and I relented, provided he leave a lot of inlay in case I didn't like it. Well, they were pitched fine, but I felt straight-jacketed in them. Thanks to the inlay, he was able to widen them.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Were they tacked in yet or just basted? It makes a big difference.

    Not basted.

    I was there with foof when Hitchcock was showing off this special thread he uses to do the shoulder seam and to set the sleeves. I think it was silk. It was almost wiry and sort of kinky, yet also stretchy. You could tug and tug at it, and it would not break. Cotton thread, on the other hand, breaks just like that.

    He was definitely able to manipulate the two panels of cloth on either side of the shoulder seam back and forth like tectonic plates, and they always snapped back to normal without any sign of wear or damage.
     
  13. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To me, correct pitch simply means that the sleeve follows the natural curve of the arm when the arms are at rest at the wearers sides. The sleeve does not buckle or crumple anywhere. Width and fullness has nothing to do with it. Is that wrong?

    Anyway, A&S sleeves are wide (as are Solito's and Rubinacci's) but the pitch is correct insofar as they follow the arm in smooth, unbroken curves.

    Frank Shattuck used to rave about "piped" sleeves, by which he meant very, very narrow. He cajoled me into doing it on one suit, and I relented, provided he leave a lot of inlay in case I didn't like it. Well, they were pitched fine, but I felt straight-jacketed in them. Thanks to the inlay, he was able to widen them.


    I have never seen an A&S sleeve that I liked, all but the meatiest cloth buckle and distort in ways that I don't like, some obvious and others more subtle. But I am beginning to see a consistency in the buckling, mostly due to an overly long underarm. Nothing to due with the pitch or the width but the shape of the run of the undersleeve. To me, it looks like crap, but it would allow TONS of movement. Again, another blog posting. I have spoken with Frank about his sleeves and how he drafts them. I happen to like that kind of sleeve but am the first to admit that it's not something to conduct a symphony in.
     
  14. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    Jefferyd,

    It would help [me] to define "shoulder seam stretch" in terms of anatomical planes . . .

    [​IMG]

    Your video shows stretching along the coronal plane.

    Unless one is a crab, I have always thought that the planes involved in shoulder movements were the sagittal and transverse [a.k.a. axial] planes, and not along the coronal plane.

    That is, the shoulders move in and out of the coronal plane. Would it not be more valid to stretch those shoulders in such a way? Even then, how much "movement" is clinically significant?

    It is telling that the symbolic story for the tailoring field is "The Emperor's New Clothes." Even then, it is fascinating what you do, applying science to art [yap, yap, yap]. I am thankful.

    - M
     
  15. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Rougly speaking, an A&S/Napoli sleeve looks like this: l )

    That is, shorter, straighter front, longer curvier back. The curve is not quite shaped like the above, either. There is more fullness at the top rather than it being evenly distributed in the middle.

    I personally like the way it looks. It wears great.

    I think Solito sleeves are even fuller than A&S.
     

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