Suits

I decided to buy my Husband a proper grown man’s suit in inky black tropical weight wool.  I haven’t bought clothing (let alone nice clothing) for quite some time and the price shocked me a little.  Of course, I paid it, but it did give me a bigger head a greater appreciation for my skill.  (Not that I would bother with a suit jacket for him, but I do fuss with my own wardrobe quite a bit.)  Shopping is so different from sewing, I believe I’d rather toil away in my quiet sewing room than fight crowds and only *maybe* find what I’m looking for.

Husband is slim, so a slim cut flatters him.  No, that’s not my husband.  Judging from the young professional men I see on the street, I believe suits are cut in a more European style here.  I bought him a beautiful aqua and white pinstriped shirt to wear underneath with a slim black 1960’s tie.

How revolting- it fit right off the rack.  He didn’t even come shopping with me.  Perhaps the sleeves are a shade too long, but otherwise a very good fit.  Sick.

Flat piping joining the facing to the lining, two pockets on the inside left.

An extra swish pocket on the right side.  I like the completely unnecessary triangle of lining fabric.

Nice little lapel, beautiful single welt.  The exterior also sports two welt pockets as per normal; six pockets total.  I would have preferred to find a jacket with a ticket pocket, but I suspect it’s a very British/European flourish:

The front obviously has the proper chest shields (pinch test) for a nice man’s suit, and I was told the interfacing was hand pad-stitched.  I’m not bothered, the English Cut or another tailor blog did an exhaustive write-up on the subject some time ago, concluding machine pad-stitching is fine.

So with all that pretty work and nice fabric, you’d think they could throw in an undercollar:

Apparently, suit jackets don’t need undercollars any more, the very idea is rather Edwardian.  I never ran across anything in my tailoring books or readings about this.   This is not the world’s most expensive suit by a long shot, but for the price you think they could kick in the under collar, something other than what looks like dark medium weight fusible interfacing.

Is this done to reduce bulk?  To cut out the roll line?  I could see how it might speed up construction to omit the troublesome piece of fabric.  The edges are clean.  I’m happy with the suit otherwise.   I couldn’t find any other RTW suits made with an under collar.

Please advise.


10 comments

  1. If – a big if? – you have the time to peruse it at your leisure – I'd suggest you browse through "Made by hand – the great sartorial debate" aka http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/ – I recall Jeffery to have commented on undercollars on occasion. If not, then at the very least you'll see what to look for in the next suit you'll acquire for your hubs.

  2. Hmmmm…sounds like your DH is the same size-ish as Mr D. I checked his suits, and all the undercollars are that felted interfacing (the heavier, non-fusible kind), but they are finished much nicer than the one you show: just like a regular piece of fabric (no zig-zag stitches).

  3. It's a lovely suit!! I ran and checked DH's last remaining suit, it too has a heavy felt undercollar, but finished very nicely. It's British (his suit), not American though. I seem to remember a previous suit being the same way. I'll be turning collars over in shops for ages now to see how they're all done!

  4. The undercollar on your lucky hubby's suit is a traditional melton one, they used to use wool melton, but I'm not sure what they use these days! And you're right – it is less bulky for a nice flat collar, and is a stable base for the top collar to do all that stretching and shaping onto like they do in men's tailoring. I wouldn't consider it an inferior technique, unless you're after traditional bespoke with a price to match!

  5. My husband has to wear a suit to work everyday. So I ran and checked the closet. All four jackets have under-collars out of the same material as the suit. Not sure what is sandwiched in between though. I suspect that your husband's suit is a little more fashion forward than my DH's. All my husband's suits are bespoke (sounds extravagant, but he is very tall with narrow shoulders and therefore hard to fit, and he does wear them into the ground. I reckon the cost per use is less than some of my t-shirts!) Anyway, I am often surprised by sloppy finishing work (and I am no hand stitching master myself!) But I don't chip in with these comments because I would be hard pressed to produce a suit myself, and in the end, he leaves the house looking very presentable.

  6. Trying to learn more about tailoring for me I flipped through the men's jackets at my local thrift. Jackets at all levels had that felt like stuff on the undercollar, called melton I later learned. Some of my sewing manuals show melton undercollars so I don't know when it came into usage. About the jacket fitting near perfect without even a try-on – yes, that so annoys me too! Not that my husband can help it but a trip to a thrift store and my husband can collect an entire wardrobe. He fits the standard men's sizing. He keeps asking me why don't I do the same, take a few bucks and outfit myself for cheap at Goodwill. I keep telling him that it is trickier for me. I can't walk into any store be it thrift or RTW and expect a good fit in the majority of the clothes. Like you I'd rather sew. Less hassle. Easier on the ole'ego.

  7. Heh, my ego is so highly evolved that I see anything that doesn't fit me perfectly to be inherently flawed.Such interesting comments about flipping collars! Very annoying about perfect sized husbands. I console myself with the thought that men don't have interesting curves to fit.

  8. Pingback: Finished Object: Seersucker Negroni Shirt « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World


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