Warning!1. Lot's of photos; an insane amount of photos.
2. Crass talk about money. This suit will strike some people as expensive and others as cheap. If I am coy, and I don't give you the objective facts, I don't know how you are supposed to judge whether you consider it's construction fair value for money or not.
Actually, both sets of trousers had worn out, and the jacket was looking a little threadbare too, so it's not quite as decadent as my title suggests. My husband works in a conservative environment and has a quirky body shape. He is 6'2" tall, athletic, but with narrow shoulders as a matter of bone structure. His shoulder points are high, like a swimmer's. Off the peg suits make him look like a scarecrow. So, he buys his suits custom made. The set up is this, order takers come to London, measure up the clients, take notes on fabric choices, and then have the suits made in the Far East. This means that a suit out of good, Italian milled wool is about £650, or $1000 USD. An extra pair of trousers is about another £150. A sensible buy since trousers wear out before jackets, always.
Then again, it's not so bad when you consider that my husband only owns three suits at a time, sometimes only two. He keeps a suit for about 6 years. Imagine if a female work wardrobe consisted of three suits, eight shirts, ten ties, and two pairs of brogues! And you literally wore all this stuff until it fell apart! You could then buy clothes that were twice as expensive without batting an eyelash.
Maybe you actually could do that. Maybe no one else would really notice. I doubt the men in the office would notice; women might, though. Would they judge? I would. I'd think you were clever!
But, I digress. Let's have a look at it. Remember, this is a decent suit, but certainly not top quality. A Saville Row suit would start at £2000. Alas, I don't have access to one of those.
|It looks horrible on my dress form. My dress form is a chubby pear, like me. Luckily, my dear husband is not a chubby pear! Sorry about the shadow. You get the basic idea though.|
|You get three double welt pockets in the front. Two with flaps. Note how the edge of the pocket flap has been hand picked-stitched down very carefully. This is not meant to stand out at all.|
|The button holes are all done by hand. Also, notice that the edge is hand picked-stitched all the way down the front.|
|Two out of four button holes on the sleeve vent actually work. The top two are fakes. Sneaky!|
|You get a breast pocket for your silk hanky. My husband would be mortified to sport around with a silk hanky. Wrong generation. You can see the pick-stitching on the edge of the lapel.|
|Single vent in the back.|
|The back of the collar is felt/flannel fabric and there is machine stitching in concentric circles and triangles. The edge of the collar is hand-stitched down too.|
|One more view of the same thing. The top collar piece is one piece. The bottom collar piece is one piece. (The line down the middle is a line of stitching, not a join of two pieces of fabric.) The bottom collar piece is NOT cut on the bias.|
Now for the lining.
|You get three inside pockets. All double welts. Two with little tab button closures.|
|I don't know what these little things under the arm holes are. I am totally ignorant. They are sewn down firmly. Maybe to add strength? Absorb sweat?|
|There are little buttons on the inside opposite from the main buttons to add strength. You can see that, where the lining meets the facing, it has been machine sewn.|
|But there is a load of hand-stitching on this lining. This is the sleeve cap and where the shoulders meet.|
|More hand sewing where the bottom of the lining meets the hem turn up. There is about a centimetre of folded lining fabric at the bottom for ease. There was no ease pleat in the centre back of the lining, though.|
|Hand stitching was also used to "make stuff work." Like here, where the back corner of the collar slots into the lapel.|
|No back stay.|
|It's a two piece sleeve with no canvas. Just a bit of fusible interfacing around the sleeve vent and sleeve hem.|
|The lining was tacked down to seam allowances where possible. In this case the centre back seam allowance.|
|The shoulder pads are made out of three layers. Two thin, graduated layers of wadding type material, with a thin layer of foam glued in the middle.|
|Close up of the machine "pad stitching."|
|This is what the sleeve heads consist of: two layers of canvas. That's it. They come well down the sides of the arm hole.|
|There are two thin strips of soft canvas hand-stitched where the lapel roll line is. This same soft canvas in strips, lines the outer edges of the the lapel.|
|There is canvas inside the collar. It is machine stitched to the flannel, under-collar. There is also a soft canvas strip, machine sewn to where the collar roll line would be.|
|Just another angle of the collar.|
My thoughts? Well, Sherri's RTW sew along had more bells and whistles in some ways than this jacket. Though I must say that this jacket looked fine on my dear husband and was worn for years. The magic of it is the fit. He looked tall, strong and elegant in it. There may be better constructed RTW, but the fit wouldn't flatter.
Anybody have a decent RTW suit they are willing to pull apart?
Anybody have a Saville Row suit that they want to dissect, he-he?