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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Let me Upgrade You

"Partner let me upgrade you/Audemars Piguet you/Switch your neck ties to purple labels/Upgrade you/I can/Can I/ Upgrade you/ Partner let me upgrade you/Partner let me upgrade you/ Flip a new page/Introduce you to some new things and/Upgrade you/I can/Can I/Upgrade you."--Beyonce feat Jay-Z "Upgrade You."

So I've been talking to lots of fashion experts and wardrobe consultants lately, who have all stressed the importance of clothes fitting correctly. If you think about it, sizes are totally arbitrary...there's really no way that every piece of clothing in a store fits your unique body perfectly (i.e. nips in at the waist, fits over your bust, etc). All experts suggested investing in alterations and tailoring.

I have two J.Crew tweed 'jackets' that I have different issues with.

I bought this hot herringbone coat from J.Crew about 3 months ago:

I bought it when it was a little warmer, so when I wore it unbottoned with t-shirts it fit just fine. But as the fall chills set in, the bulky sweaters I wore under the closed jacket made the buttons pucker up like so:

It didn't fit the way it should ( You see how the buttons close nicely on the model)? I probably should have bought the size up and tailored it, but I liked how this one fit across the waist.

I decided I needed to get a hook and eye to close the gaps.
I went to a corporate tailor around my job...

...who said it would only cost $6 to add a few snaps. Cool.

When I went in to actually get the jacket tailored, she said that the hook and eyes would close the gap, but that the jacket would still be too tight. In order for the jacket to fit properly, I'd need to have the shoulders and arms let out...a process that would cost $40.
This is how the tailor tailored my jacket:

It definitely fits better across the bust. My sister said that it was, "Definitely an improvement." And with her validation, all is right in the world. I went to Splendid Tailors in the Rockefeller Center Concourse (tel: 212-218-2947), but they have locations throughout the city. Google them for a store near you.

I also bought this herringbone J.Crew coat last year (I clearly have a problem buying wool jackets from J.Crew but I promise I'll stop!):

This one fits across the bust, but doesn't fit in the waist. To take it in, I think I might try a tailor with a reputation.

I found an old article of New York Magazine that sang the praises of this guy Guillermo Molina located at 237 West 37th Street bet 7th and 8th (his website is I plan on going to his shop to see about his prices. If he's too expensive, I might try my tailor in Brooklyn who does a great job fixing straps and hemming pants. Name: Golden Touch Cleaners located at 326 Flatbush Avenue (right next to the B,Q to 7th Avenue) Tel: (718) 638-9182.
I'll let you know how it goes.

For those of you outside of New York, know that a tailor can totally upgrade your look. Clinton Kelly once said in an interview that the people who look like they have effortless style usually put in a lot of effort--meaning they take the time to get alterations. He also stressed the importance of clothes simply fitting correctly. Try your neighbordhood tailor or ask some impeccably dressed person if they use a tailor. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Photo Credit


Erica B. said...

Your jacket looks beautiful on you after the alterations. Please spread the word, a tailor or seamstress is a must for well-fitting clothes! BTW, love your site!

Lovette said...

Thanks for the tip. Now that I'm getting grown, I'm definitely seeing that alterations are where it's at. And the 2nd herringbone jacket you showed was HOT!

Anonymous said...

The jacket is so lovely on you. Alterations always make a huge difference. On a different note check out . They have some really nice vintage dresses and accessories but you have to visit the site often as the best things sell out really quickly.

Love Love your blog.

:) Yewie

Anonymous said...

WOW what a difference a tailor makes! love it! xoxo

Anonymous said...

The jacket looks perfect after alterations. Well worth the $40. Nice upgrade!