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Q: Selvedge: What’s the big deal?
With more and more brands making inexpensive selvedge jeans, I was wondering what your thoughts were on turning up the bottom/cuffing denim. Should doing that be limited to only selvedge? Is it weird do to that with non selvedge? I guess what I’m really wondering is, with the non stiff/raw selvedge, what does one get from it if you DON’T turn up the cuffs?
What’s the point of selvedge if you’re not turning up the cuffs to show off the finished edge? Beats me. Frankly, I personally don’t “get” the point of selvedge, even if one DOES turn up the cuffs. It’s just a detail. Flipping up the bottom of a pair of non-selvedge jeans might look a little sloppy (due to the stitching) but frankly, I doubt anyone will truly notice. And in terms of the super heavy, stiff denim, I’m not a fan of my clothes fighting back. If going through the tug-of-war that is breaking in a pair of stiff denim appeals to you, more power to ya. But I don’t get it myself. Further proof that this site isn’t, and shouldn’t ever be, about me (or anyone else writing on this side of the screen.) But I do know some of you guys like selvedge. So, there you go.
Q: Tuxedo Shopping
I plan on getting married in a few months and that means…tuxedo shopping! My budget is ~$1200 and I was thinking of exploring suitsupply, jcrew, and some online, custom places as a first round of possibilities. With an eye towards a classic and stylish high-quality investment tuxedo, what company (+ collar style) would you recommend?
– Alan P
Whoa. $1200 for a tux setup? You sure you’re reading the right website? I kid. That’s plenty of cash to work with. Like, you don’t need to spend nearly that to look super sharp in a black-tie outfit. Take the above options. Peak lapel, Super 110s wool Tux from Suitsupply ($569). Black Silk Bow Tie, also from Suitsupply ($45). Semi-Spread Collar, covered placket shirt (means you can save on not buying studs!) from BOSS ($135). Wear your favorite black oxford shoes (well polished of course) and skip the patent leather stuff. Cufflinks? You can go as spendy or as cheap as you want. Skip the cummerbund. And there you go. You’re set, with some really high quality stuff, for $750. And for those on a much tighter budget, you don’t need to spend nearly as much on a tux. You may have to wait for sales, but just do your best to find a peak lapel (which is timeless) black wool number with covered buttons. J. Crew tends to make theirs with regular buttons, which might stand out to some as looking a little too casual.
Q: In search of the perfect garment bag for storing suits
I’m having a terrible time finding the right kind of garment bag. Not one for travel, one for storing my suits and sportcoats. Most brands these days ship a garment bag with their suits, but it’s usually some cheap, plastic thing. And storing my suits inside of what amounts to an over-blown garbage bag doesn’t seem ideal. Yet, all of the canvas bags I find, don’t have any sort of transparent window on them to allow me to see, at a glance, which suit or blazer I’m grabbing. HELP!
Good, fair points by Kevin. Hang a suit you’ve sweated a bit in inside a plastic garment bag, and you risk breeding funk. Yet stick with all canvas bags and it’s a bit of a mystery as to which one you’re grabbing. The solution? Target’s Half and Half, plastic front / canvas backed bag. Lets you see what’s what, all while allowing air flow. It’s the mullet of clothing storage! Only… good. Unlike mullets. Only sold online though.
Q: How often should I shine my shoes?
I’m just starting to get into dressing better, and I recently purchased my first pair of really nice dress shoes. The thing is, I don’t know how often I’m supposed to polish them. How often do you shine your shoes?
How often do I shine my shoes? Not often. Short answer: shine them when you think they’re starting to look a little rough. And that’ll depend on how often they’re seeing use. It’s also not a bad idea to shine them before a big event, just as a matter of course.
Q. Suit jackets & Sportcoats for Shorter Guys
I wear a 36S and find that most of the sporcoats I buy/own (Uniqlo, JCF) are a little long in the tail. Any suggestions for ones that might work? I’ve heard brands like ASOS and H&M are cut short but that the quality is less than ideal on those.
Hang on, UNIQLO is too short on you? I only ask because UNIQLO, normally, really chops their tails. I’d try the curled fingers test, just to see if your jacket really is too long. A jacket is supposed to cover your butt, or, at least come close to doing so. Super chopped jackets can make a guy look unfairly square/bulky. If the tail hits just below theb elt or even mid crotch, it can make for a sorta sponge-bob squarepants silhouette. Now that said, maybe Tone has longer legs compared to his torso. If that’s the case, he’s gonna wanna go custom. That’s what Brock from TheModestMan (a site dedicated to dressing well when you’re 5’8″ or under.) suggests. From Black Lapel to Oliver Wicks to Indochino, there are plenty of online, custom outfits out there. Just make sure you know their return policies in case it doesn’t work out.
Q. Jacket bubble/ripples after dry cleaning?
I took a half-canvassed suit jacket to the dry cleaner, and it came back with some really bad bubbles/ripples under the fabric. I thought only fused jackets were at risk for that? – Rob.
Oof. That stinks. It’s not unheard of. The thing with half-canvas jackets, is that they do have some fusing in there. And depending on how aggressive your dry cleaner is, they can end up melting that fusing during cleaning, only to have it then recollect in those “bubbles” once it cools. Two things to keep in mind: 1. Dry clean as little as possible. Get a steamer to release wrinkles in your suits in between those infrequent cleanings. Only dry clean your suits after you’ve sweated moderately to heavily in them. And 2. Find a new dry cleaner. Some places are flat out better than others, and more gentle on suits. For example, I took a suit to a big-named, national chain dry cleaner the other day because it was close to my house. I usually go to the local folks, but, I was in a hurry. The suit came back mangled. Not a lost cause, but they pressed one of the sleeve cuffs all out of whack (the lining was almost sticking out of the cuff on one bit) and they somehow added a random crease to the edge of one of the lapels. The person had to have been drunk at the press. I won’t be going back there any time soon. (image credit.)
Q: That code didn’t work (or did it?)
The J Crew 25% / 30% sale code you mentioned in the Labor Day Sales round up doesn’t work on their summer weight jackets, despite you saying it does. I tried adding two jackets to my cart and the discount did not work. I wanted to buy them before the weekend was up. Per J Crew, following are the terms. The jackets are not marked with these notes. “Only full-price items marked “30% off $200+ or 25% off $125+ with code SHOPMORE” and sale items marked “Extra 30% off $200+ or extra 25% off $125+ with code SHOPMORE” are counted toward the thresholds. “
See attached. Working for me? What am I missing sir?
Sorry. I have ad blockers on. I disabled them and now the code works. Thanks!
So, you’re saying you usually block ads on websites. And you emailed me, firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know the code wasn’t working. But now it is, because you turned off ad block?
Yep. Got it to work! Just had to turn off ad block for a second.
Great to hear.
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