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Tailor "would not" implement functional buttons

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Suitcase Living, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Suitcase Living

    Suitcase Living Member

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    Is this common? I had a tailor take a new suit (Benjamin from eHaberdasher) and hem it to me. When it came time to implement the functional buttons he looked at me like i was crazy, said in 30 years he'd never been asked to do that, and said that the machine that it would take to create the button holes alone was not something tailors usually had on site.

    So...is this common? Does anyone know a tailor in SoCal who would be up to the task?
     


  2. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    Functional buttons must be built into the suit - you can't sew them in. They're not made that way. Most off-the-rack suits (the vast majority) are made with non-functional buttons that cannot be altered.

    It's nothing to worry about. Frankly you never, ever need to undo the buttons. (Unless you're a surgeon??) Selling off-the-rack suits with functional buttons is a pain in the ass, because it makes it much harder to adjust the sleeve length when the customer buys a suit that fits an inch long or short in the sleeves. Bespoke suits are different- they're made to fit one wearer, so they don't need to be altered.

    But who needs to unbutton them, ever? Not you. Don't worry.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012


  3. facet

    facet Senior member

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    I had that happen to me with my Benjamin. He didn't act like I was crazy or anything; he just didn't have the machine to do it and referred me to another (the only) tailer in the city that could do that sort of thing.
     


  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Are there allowance at the sleeve cuffs for functional buttons? Shouldn't be hard to find someone that can do it.
     


  5. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    My guy does great hand sewn button holes for a very low price. He's a full spoke tailor in San Diego. Felice custom tailoring in La Jolla
     


  6. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    If you really them - it is an affectation to have them in an RTW garment then try another tailor.
     


  7. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    That's the question. Most of the time a finished suit doesn't have enough spare material to properly do functional buttons on the cuffs.
     


  8. Mike Ross

    Mike Ross Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure Benjamin suits come with sufficient allowance for functional cuffs, hence the OP's question.
     


  9. Marc Voorhees

    Marc Voorhees Senior member

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    It is an affectation in ANY garment. As a number of people have mentioned, they aren't undone anyways,then wy have them at all? I have had them added to RTW BB jackets and they come out very nice and BB will do it for a not terrible cost of 12$ a button hole a will redo the lining properly
     


  10. jamesphw

    jamesphw Member

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    Is it just the fact that you need to have enough overlap of material near the cuff? Buttonholes themselves don't need any extra material...
     


  11. Zauberer

    Zauberer Member

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    Why wear a tie then? It's not what's keeping your shirt collar closed. If no one is going to see your underwear, why not go commando (like I am now). However, it is easy to spot the difference between a jacket with working buttons and one that's without. I don't spend a great deal of time scrutiinizing other men's suits, but plenty of details are going to jump out without me ticking through a mental check list like I would when (and this is the important distinction) dating a new girl.

    All I really care about is whether or not the guy I'm dealing with is competent and cool, or an idiot and a prick. I'm still going to know if he picked out a quality fabric and had his suit made for him or if he pulled if off a rack. Either way, 95% of the time he's an incompetent prick.
     


  12. Marc Voorhees

    Marc Voorhees Senior member

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    the majority of fashion is an affectation. My point, is that there is nothing wrong with adding an affectation to a RTW jacket, especially if it is what will make the owner happy.
     


  13. Zauberer

    Zauberer Member

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    Oh I agree with that. A person can also glue and sew a rubber chicken to the shoulder of their jacket and call themselves 'Pirate Boy of the Water Cooler Despot Regime.' People will notice this quickly. Certain people will notice the alteration to the OTR jacket as well. But do they care? Does the wearer care? Does anyone care what anyone cares? The answer is a not so surprising 'yes' whether we like it or not and despite the American love of putting up a facade of individualism and bravado. So for the person who does care in his private heart, he must decide who he is trying to affect and how he intends to do that. This is a vast grey area and must be custom tailored to his own individual set of circumstances.

    As to noticing, and that may have been my main point in my post above, I saw James Bond Skyfall over the weekend with a friend of mine. In the opening scene and only a few moments into the live action, Bond enters an apartment, gun drawn and you can clearly see he has a sleeve button undone. I didn't cringe at the affectation, I cringed that the Bond franchise will sell the 'honor' of dressing Bond to the highest bidder. In this case it was Tom Ford. Then I wondered if Ford did this to piss off the people who would notice? Did he do it in a seriously lame atttempt to get the "unbuttoned thing" going? Or was it a wink and a private joke to those who notice and get the joke? I don't know. My friend didn't catch it at all, but I think he had more drinks than me prior to the show. Speaking of which, I would have a beer with a guy who glued a rubber chicken to his jacket and called himself 'Pirate Boy' but if he expected to be first in line for the next big promotion, we'd both be in for a surprise.
     


  14. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Heard good words on Caruso Enzo @ Santa Monica.

    Or maybe you should message Jesse Thorns @ PTO; he's local at SoCal.
     


  15. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    What a warm, outgoing, "hail fellow, well met" outlook on life you must have!
     


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