Tailcoat options and considerations

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by poorsod, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    I have been considering making a tailcoat and am pondering some decisions.

    Maker- WW Chan vs NSM?
    WW Chan made my tuxedo and I believe that Patrick will be able to guide me to make all the appropriate decisions and details. If I make it through Patrick, I am sure it will stylistically correct. OTOH, Chan's shoulder line is not quite as clean as NSM's. I have never seen an Italian tailcoat. Does anyone know if they are stylistically different from the British?

    Material - Midnight blue or black; mohair blend or wool?
    The balls I would be going to are pretty much all in the winter, so I am leaning towards a middle weight cloth. My tux is made from a black Scabal barathea. I don't mind using the Scabal book again but I was wondering if people have tried other options. Lesser has a formal book starting at 12oz and above. I have a made a suit from Dormeiul's Tonik, but are there other mohair formal options I should consider?

    Thanks.
     


  2. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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  3. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Would discuss this with each of them to know their approach of making this. They first need the knowledge of how to cut one, but I don't think either of them are cutters so they need to know how to fit one. These are tricky to fit. The fronts should hug your torso and fit close like a vest almost. This is important because you do not overlap or button the fronts and you want the jacket to sit very still. Should be about 2 or 3 fingers width apart at the front.
    Due to the length/weight of the tails, the back tends to pull the jacket backwards as the fronts are short and do not button so you fit this differently than a conventional jacket. Then you want to cut higher trousers than you might regularly wear and fit the front length according to the trouser height and you want the vest not to show under the jacket. I like 4 or 5 fittings for these and even more can be helpful.
    Watch some old movies and see how beautifully they fit. The fronts never move. Probably the most elegant garment a man can wear.
     


  4. Butler

    Butler Senior member

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    Rubinacci has a completly different one piece front, that is quite different from Savile Row! :bigstar:
     


  5. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    So the best tails I have ever seen are actually tails made for ballroom dance competition. There are tailors who make these costumes and the arms are cut to look elegant when they are up in dance position. The right sleeve is also cut longer than the left so the cuff looks good in dance position (the right arms is more bent than the left). However, it is difficult to put your arms down.
     


  6. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There are many ways to cut tails, many styles too


    Making those sleeves now on a suit jacket. This client will use this suit for dancing the Tango.
     


  7. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Rubinacci's does look pretty good. :drool:

    Am I the only one who thinks that the Rubinacci shoulder looks convex in this picture?


    Which style of Tango? International Standard Tango competitions are typically danced in tails and American Smooth Tango are often danced in suit-like costumes. I find that I can dance Argentine Tango well enough in coats made with the convex shoulder that NSM (and you) like to make. The Argentine Tango hold is not as high as the other Tango styles and the convex shoulder makes a pretty clean line. The convex shoulder still makes relatively clean likes even with the high arms of the other Tango styles. One of the reasons I am considering NSM is for the relatively good performance of the shoulder style with formal dancing.

    The ballroom dance tails still make the cleanest shoulder lines though. Look at man's fantastically straight topline though out the dance (Jonathan was the best in the US before he retired) . The formal dance hold starts at 1:40.



    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     


  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You mean concave shoulder.
    I don't know what tango he prefers. He is a member at a club and wants this suit to use while dancing. I am cutting two styles of sleeves and basting one each on the jacket to see what will work best.

    On summer trips to New York, we would frequently try to visit Tango in The Park at Central Park. It was fascinating to watch, almost mesmerizing.

    Do you dance Tango?

    Just watched some of this video. You want your tails to fit this well. That coat didn't budge off the neck. Beautiful. I think the tail was too long. 3" below the knee is better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012


  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Ah yes concave. I keep mixing the terms.

    I used to do a lot of ballroom dancing and quite seriously. Joint problems and time commitments put and end to it. I have been doing Argentine style tango lately and it is quite a bit more social and less taxing. I have been to Tango in the Park, but it is often in the height of summer - humid and hot. IIRC the ground is uneven (perhaps brick?) which is difficult for followers wearing heels. You might also enjoy Midsummer Nights Swing at Lincoln Center if you happen to be in town during the festival (not just swing but also other dances as well depending on the night). They have a live band and you can see many good dancers.

    Also, I believe competition tails are made longer than regular tails. I don't know why.
     


  10. Butler

    Butler Senior member

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    Yes competition tails are always cut longer - the idea being that it will add to the elongated elegant line, every dancer strives for.
    These days a normal tailcoat, should end at the back of the knee. :bigstar:
     


  11. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Do you ballroom dance too?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012


  12. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So, if I am ever asked to make competition tails, how much longer are they or is this arbitrary?

    For cloth, I prefer a matte finish. A bit of luster but not shiny.
     


  13. Butler

    Butler Senior member

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    HA ha, No in spite having been married to a ballerina fromThe Royal Ballet for 8 years, I'm a terrible dancer!:lol:



    This is how I do it (with some help from Steven Hitchcock:) - the ballroom dancers will be 10-15 cm longer :bigstar:

    Photo: Journal of Style

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     


  14. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Any photos of the front? Thanks.
     


  15. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    A frac? Abito cermonia aren't exactly unusual or rare in Italy.
     


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