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Please critique and suggest alterations for my new suit


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#19 tailleuse

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:54 AM

 

Hi taileuse,

 

Yes, I sent the measurements in to the tailor. I had them from the London tailor who made jackets for me before. We did not discuss whether I could send in well-fitting clothes as a reference from the outset, but they did ask if I could send in a jacket that fits me when we were discussing the alterations, but mentioned it is completely optional. Would you suggest I do that?

 

I am actually really reluctant to send the jackets in, because I don't have that many jackets, and need to use the one I have.

 

 

 

I was curious because when I was younger and couldn't find clothes people would always say that I should have my clothes custom-made.  But there never seemed to be any affordable options. I had a friend whose mother was Chinese and very elegant and fashionable (perhaps giving her some contacts in China) who had some clothing copied in Hong Kong, but I've never been to Asia.  This was also in the pre-Internet era. You couldn't easily look up people.

 

Were you tailor's measurement's current? The body changes. Moreover, people use different measuring systems, so there easily can be discrepancies.  I understand your reluctance to part with one of your few well fitting jackets, but probably submitting one would ensure something closer to an ideal fit.

 

Do not take any notice of negative comments. 

 

Tailleuse is giving you constructive advice and being as helpful as she can. (I notice she is based in New York and you mention you yourself may be from New York, why not get in touch she may be the tailor you are looking for!)

 

One other small comment, it would have made a big difference to your photos if you had pressed the suit, it looks as if you unpacked the outfit and put it straight on. A nice press would have made a world of difference, especially the creases down the front of the sleeves. ( looking at your slim figure also, I don't see how you cannot get nice clothes off the peg!)

 

All comments meant to be

 

good luck in your future quest.

 

Bless you, I'm just an amateur.   :twitch:   I agree with you and others who say that getting a professional press would help.  For a supposedly custom-made garment, the fit's not great, but by ordinary standards it really doesn't look bad (one of the benefits of having a young, trim figure).  I also agree that you should be able to buy clothes off-the-rack, although they will require a little altering.  Find a line you like, like J.Crew or Theory.  Tahari used to have nice, not-too-dull corporate suits that weren't too expensive, but I stopped following them after they cut back on their petite line.

 

There's a website called www.corporette.com, which features business clothes for women.  It might give you some ideas.

 

Your suit resembles a J.Crew Super 120 suit I bought last year.  The jacket fit well, but I got lousy advice from their customer service person on the skirt size and even altering didn't help.  I was working with a sewing teacher yesterday on a skirt sloper and one of my projects will be to try to find a wool that matches my jacket because I hate the fit of the skirt.

 

Throughout my life I have found that major alterations aren't successful on my clothing; it never hangs right.  I once had a suit that fit very well, but I wanted it tweaked.  I took it to a very nice custom dressmaking place, which did a beautiful job, but I paid for it -- $100 over 20 years ago.  Thank God the suit was on sale.


Edited by tailleuse, 10 August 2013 - 12:55 AM.

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#20 jcsprowls

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:57 AM

I think this is pretty good for a first attempt. I concur with Terri's observations for fit, though. I would not, however, suppress the waist as much as you demonstrate. I don't think that much suppression flatters your overall style, nor would it be comfortable to wear. That's my design opinion, feel free to disagree.

 

I think I should provide some context to set your expectations. I work in ready-to-wear (mostly). While my company makes the samples and fits the garments on live fitting models for most of my clients. Several send some work offshore (like what you did) and I get the pleasure of reconciling the samples to the designer's expectations.

 

Making garments from spec is a long process. Some people think it's efficient or cost-effective to go this route. I have yet to see that.

 

In real life, when companies outsource like this, we receive an initial sample based on the specs that were supplied. We fit it and then mark it up with with fitting changes, then review/modify all the spec sheets accordingly. We send the whole garment back with the revised spec sheets for changes. And, we receive another sample back. We continue to iterate like this until the designer (or, in your case, you) agrees with the fit and style. It rarely happens the first try. In fact, depending the calibre of the factory making the pattern and sample, it takes at least two iterations to get something wearable.

 

Conversely, if you work directly with the patternmaker (i.e. cutter) and samplemaker (i.e. tailor/seamstress) the process is  hands-on and feedback is immediate. You should still expect the first garment to be "not quite right" because you're learning how to work with each other. But, in time, the relationship gets much more efficient and productive.


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#21 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 05:56 AM

 

Hi, I have been looking for a bespoke tailor for women for a long time now. It's difficult to find one within my price range in the US, so I found a tailor that was willing to do long distance tailoring. I received the suits for my first fitting last night.

 

I commissioned two suits to be made. One with one button, and the other with two buttons. For some reason, the two button suit fits much better than the one button one, so I am showing photos below of the two button suit.

 

2myqas7.jpg

 

1zd7ot2.jpg

 

w0icqw.jpg

 

2uijd6b.jpg

 

j9q2w9.jpg

 

It is about 4.5 inches (11cm) too big on the waist, and I am trying to have it altered down a bit. I cinched in the waist in the back to get an idea of how it would look like slimmer: 

 

23wwp7b.jpg

 

 

The armpit holes felt a little too low/big, and I was planning to request it to be altered higher.

 

I prefer a more fitted suit, but not to the point of being tight/unprofessional. Could you please suggest any other alterations I should make?

 

I know it's difficult to tell from the photos I took, but I would also appreciate feedback on the quality of the workmanship. The suit is fully canvased and hand made, made from Super 120s. I would be curious to know what you think the appropriate price should be.

 

I am clueless about tailoring, and don't have much knowledge, other than having had a few bespoke coats and jackets made in London a few years ago, so please pardon any ignorance.

 

Thank you so much for your help!

 

 

Hello Catherine,

 

    I see a few valid issues that have already been addressed.  

 

I would suggest that you have the garment professionally dry cleaned and pressed first instead of attempting it yourself.  I think that would be a mistake on your part to do it yourself in this case.

 

Afterwards, try it on again, you will see a difference in the way it looks and presents itself while you are wearing it, then decide on if  pursuing major alterations is worth the effort.

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey2117

Hello again Catherine!

 

I have been keeping up with the comments on the thread, and its nice to see the advice and comments from others ( I bet you feel a little bit important when you log on the forum now!)

 

I would like add a few more suggestions for you to consider. As mentioned by one or two others, the suit is not too bad a fit and my look even better once it is pressed, and with your figure you will carry it well.

 

One thought I have had after reading the comments. You state that people say you have square shoulders. From your photos your shoulders do not seem that square.

One way of telling if they are square is that on the back, just below the neckline, you will see a horizontal ridge or fold of material forming across from shoulder to shoulder. If your shoulders are square, this ridge will be quite pronounced, if it is only slight, then I wouldn't worry.

 

If it is a problem, a good alteration tailor could remove this through the shoulder seams.

 

Another thing I have noticed is that you appear to have a long torso, this needs to be reflected in any measuring for any more suits. (bringing the waistline to the correct position will improve the overall

look of the garment, (does your skirt sit all right on the hips or does it appear to rise up when sitting? This is due to the distance between your waist and hips being too short,)

 

Don't be alarmed over what I am saying, I am just making observations and suggestions for the next time you think of a suit.

 

In the final analysis, I still think with your slim figure you should be able to buy off the peg and have less worry and expense.

 

I also think you should still get in touch with Tailleuse, (if she is agreeable) maybe you could go shopping and try some suits on (two heads are better than one) maybe a friendship could develop also. ( I mean you are nearly pen pals already!)

 


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#22 catherineM

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

Catherine, was this made to a straight finish or did you have any fittings. It is very hard to get clothes made at a distance for valid reasons. As stated above, to put this right will require a remake. Unless you have been to the same tailor for years it is virtually impossible to get it right without at least two fittings (your figure does not look too complicated from your photo,s)

 

Hi Jukes,

 

This is my first "fitting". I did imagine it would be difficult to get it right the first time, but I also did not expect it would require a total remake. I was hoping to become more familiar with this tailor so that I can go to him/her for years to come, but I guess like you said, the relationship takes time to perfect. I know it is difficult to tell (and please let me know if this would be impossible to tell), but from this piece, would you think the tailor is a skilled one, so that after he/she becomes more familiar with my shape, I can have well made garments? 

 

Thank you! 



#23 catherineM

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:28 PM

 

Hello Catherine,

 

    I see a few valid issues that have already been addressed.  

 

I would suggest that you have the garment professionally dry cleaned and pressed first instead of attempting it yourself.  I think that would be a mistake on your part to do it yourself in this case.

 

Afterwards, try it on again, you will see a difference in the way it looks and presents itself while you are wearing it, then decide on if  pursuing major alterations is worth the effort.

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey2117

 

 

Thank you for your kind suggestion, Jeffrey2117. I was also planning on sending it in to be pressed. However, would it need a dry cleaning this soon? I was under the assumption (very likely mistaken) that frequent dry cleanings should be avoided because they damage the wool. 



#24 catherineM

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

 

 

 

I was curious because when I was younger and couldn't find clothes people would always say that I should have my clothes custom-made.  But there never seemed to be any affordable options. I had a friend whose mother was Chinese and very elegant and fashionable (perhaps giving her some contacts in China) who had some clothing copied in Hong Kong, but I've never been to Asia.  This was also in the pre-Internet era. You couldn't easily look up people.

 

Were you tailor's measurement's current? The body changes. Moreover, people use different measuring systems, so there easily can be discrepancies.  I understand your reluctance to part with one of your few well fitting jackets, but probably submitting one would ensure something closer to an ideal fit.

 

 

Bless you, I'm just an amateur.   :twitch:   I agree with you and others who say that getting a professional press would help.  For a supposedly custom-made garment, the fit's not great, but by ordinary standards it really doesn't look bad (one of the benefits of having a young, trim figure).  I also agree that you should be able to buy clothes off-the-rack, although they will require a little altering.  Find a line you like, like J.Crew or Theory.  Tahari used to have nice, not-too-dull corporate suits that weren't too expensive, but I stopped following them after they cut back on their petite line.

 

There's a website called www.corporette.com, which features business clothes for women.  It might give you some ideas.

 

Your suit resembles a J.Crew Super 120 suit I bought last year.  The jacket fit well, but I got lousy advice from their customer service person on the skirt size and even altering didn't help.  I was working with a sewing teacher yesterday on a skirt sloper and one of my projects will be to try to find a wool that matches my jacket because I hate the fit of the skirt.

 

Throughout my life I have found that major alterations aren't successful on my clothing; it never hangs right.  I once had a suit that fit very well, but I wanted it tweaked.  I took it to a very nice custom dressmaking place, which did a beautiful job, but I paid for it -- $100 over 20 years ago.  Thank God the suit was on sale.

 

Thank you for the tips, tailleuse! I love corporette.com as well! I had tried J.Crew, Ann Taylor, and Theory before. Theory looked especially weird on me. The others did not look that well, but then again, I never tried to get them tailored. I have a relative who is from Asia, and said, if you were going to spend that much on having them altered, you might as well get them custom made, which I did. What do you think of the fabric quality of the J.Crew suits? I've been curious, actually, but was wary since I hear some of their other stuff is not good quality for the price. Wow, $100 over 20 years ago must have been a lot! But thank goodness it turned out well. :) 



#25 catherineM

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:46 PM

 

Hello again Catherine!

 

I have been keeping up with the comments on the thread, and its nice to see the advice and comments from others ( I bet you feel a little bit important when you log on the forum now!)

 

I would like add a few more suggestions for you to consider. As mentioned by one or two others, the suit is not too bad a fit and my look even better once it is pressed, and with your figure you will carry it well.

 

One thought I have had after reading the comments. You state that people say you have square shoulders. From your photos your shoulders do not seem that square.

One way of telling if they are square is that on the back, just below the neckline, you will see a horizontal ridge or fold of material forming across from shoulder to shoulder. If your shoulders are square, this ridge will be quite pronounced, if it is only slight, then I wouldn't worry.

 

If it is a problem, a good alteration tailor could remove this through the shoulder seams.

 

Another thing I have noticed is that you appear to have a long torso, this needs to be reflected in any measuring for any more suits. (bringing the waistline to the correct position will improve the overall

look of the garment, (does your skirt sit all right on the hips or does it appear to rise up when sitting? This is due to the distance between your waist and hips being too short,)

 

Don't be alarmed over what I am saying, I am just making observations and suggestions for the next time you think of a suit.

 

In the final analysis, I still think with your slim figure you should be able to buy off the peg and have less worry and expense.

 

I also think you should still get in touch with Tailleuse, (if she is agreeable) maybe you could go shopping and try some suits on (two heads are better than one) maybe a friendship could develop also. ( I mean you are nearly pen pals already!)

 

 

 

Hi Mansie Wauch (sorry I called you "journeyman" last time, I was still in the learning phase of how the forum works :)),

 

Haha, I was so happily surprised by the quantity and quality of comments I received. The people on this forum has been so nice and helpful, and I am glad I found this wonderful community! :) 

 

Thank you for informing me about the shoulder. It is very nice to learn that my shoulders are not that square, and that the issue can be easily resolved if it ever comes up. :)

 

You are definitely correct in noting that I have a long torso. I thought this would have been reflected in the measurements I gave to the tailor, of the length of the back, the distance from the nape of the neck to the waist, etc. However, I also made a special note of it to the tailor. Do you think the waist of this suit is in the proper place? Or should I ask it to be lowered? Thankfully, the skirt fits really well, both standing and sitting. 

 

I really appreciate your observations and suggestions, and I assure you I would never take it the wrong way. :)



#26 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:57 PM

Hello again

 

The fit and hang of your suit is quite OK and if you already mentioned to your tailor your long waist measure, I am sure he has adjusted it in the cutting, as it gives a nice shape at the waist. I feel that more thought could be given to the placement of the buttons because of your longer body shape. The two buttons shown do not appeal to my eye and seem to be too far apart.

 I know nothing can be done to the suit shown. Maybe a sketch of the style you want when having another suit made might help. Draw a style yourself or use a picture from a magazine, marking your own ideas on to it.

 

Once again, there is nothing wrong with the basic fit and shape of the suit, it is just me being too observant  to the finer details.



#27 jcsprowls

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:01 AM

from this piece, would you think the tailor is a skilled one, so that after he/she becomes more familiar with my shape, I can have well made garments? 

 

link provided to previous post


Edited by jcsprowls, 11 August 2013 - 05:01 AM.

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#28 tailleuse

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:13 AM

 

I have a relative who is from Asia, and said, if you were going to spend that much on having them altered, you might as well get them custom made, which I did. What do you think of the fabric quality of the J.Crew suits? I've been curious, actually, but was wary since I hear some of their other stuff is not good quality for the price. Wow, $100 over 20 years ago must have been a lot! But thank goodness it turned out well. :)

 

It depends on the piece, but I was very impressed by the wool suit jackets I bought.  The fabric was of decent quality, but most impressive was the details for the price -- I think the jackets were a little over $200.  They had surgeon's cuffs (real buttonholes on the sleeves that you can unbutton), four buttons on the sleeves, contrast lining on the sleeves and a piped inside pocket, details that I don't routinely see in women's suits.

 

I usually have to buy the petite version and sometimes I'll go to the store to see what an item looks like before ordering it. They are inconsistent.  About six years ago, I spent a lot of money on a cashmere sweater.I had to take it back two weeks later because it had started to pill.  Banana Republic, although not as nice, can be the same way.  Sometimes the clothes are attractive, at others you observe the concept and think of what it would have been like if they'd been able to make it in good fabric and with somewhat construction techniques.  About 12 years ago, they offered great cashmere cardigans at a fairly reasonable price.  But that was one season.

 

If you can afford it, and are willing to develop a relationship with a company overseas I think it would be worth it, especially if you intend to keep ordering the same suit in different fabrics. But as you can tell from what the professional tailors have said, you have to expect to go through at least a couple of iterations.

 

I found the place where I got my suit altered through a New York Magazine article that ran in 90s.  I don't see it online and can't find a listing.  It was on the Upper West Side and was called Rosette or Colette but I think the woman who had inherited the business was named Brenda.  She may have retired.  Once a year, New York  has a "Best" issue that features tailors and dressmakers but they're probably all quite expensive.

 

There's a place called Saint Laurie that makes custom suits.  http://www.saintlaurie.com/   I have no idea what they cost.


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#29 hutch48

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:06 PM

Something that I should have added before, from the 120s grading and general appearance of the fabric AND depending on how the canvassing was done you may be able to expect some accommodation in how it fits once you have worn it for some time. This simply means that the fabric will stretch a little to accommodate your shape and become a better fit. One you have it pressed and here probably best by someone who knows what they are doing with a woolen suits, it may just fit better over time as long as you don't change much in shape over that same time period.



#30 jeffrey2117

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:21 AM

 

Thank you for your kind suggestion, Jeffrey2117. I was also planning on sending it in to be pressed. However, would it need a dry cleaning this soon? I was under the assumption (very likely mistaken) that frequent dry cleanings should be avoided because they damage the wool. 

 

Hello CatherineM,

 

    Having the garment pressed only may not remove the all folds and creases from shipping. 

 

Having the garment go through a cleaning and pressing process, will help relax the garment fibers throughout and give it a much better appearance that you will be sure to notice when you try it on again. 

 

Please find a reputable company for your suits cleaning needs. 

 

We look forwards to seeing more photo's of your garment afterwards!

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey2117


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#31 gramountoto

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:49 AM

 I feel that more thought could be given to the placement of the buttons because of your longer body shape. The two buttons shown do not appeal to my eye and seem to be too far apart.

 

I wouldn't have noticed this by myself but now that I've given a thought about it it seems to me you're very right.

 

Catherine, I personally like the cut away shape of the jacket: it really flatters your figure. Is it your choice?

 

Could it be cut a tad shorter next time maybe? And pockets put higher? But pros may have a complete opposite opinion...

Maybe there is something to improve with the skirt (see how the back behaves).



#32 catherineM

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:29 PM

Hello again

 

The fit and hang of your suit is quite OK and if you already mentioned to your tailor your long waist measure, I am sure he has adjusted it in the cutting, as it gives a nice shape at the waist. I feel that more thought could be given to the placement of the buttons because of your longer body shape. The two buttons shown do not appeal to my eye and seem to be too far apart.

 I know nothing can be done to the suit shown. Maybe a sketch of the style you want when having another suit made might help. Draw a style yourself or use a picture from a magazine, marking your own ideas on to it.

 

Once again, there is nothing wrong with the basic fit and shape of the suit, it is just me being too observant  to the finer details.

 

Hello again Mansie Wauch,

 

I really appreciate your comments. I plan on having more suits made up in the future. I have been trying to browse magazines, and see many photos of suits that look nice on the models, but I am not sure would fit me well.

 

Do you have any suggestions for suit styles that would be flattering on me, especially given my longer torso? Thank you so much for your insight! :)



#33 catherineM

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:34 PM

 

It depends on the piece, but I was very impressed by the wool suit jackets I bought.  The fabric was of decent quality, but most impressive was the details for the price -- I think the jackets were a little over $200.  They had surgeon's cuffs (real buttonholes on the sleeves that you can unbutton), four buttons on the sleeves, contrast lining on the sleeves and a piped inside pocket, details that I don't routinely see in women's suits.

 

I usually have to buy the petite version and sometimes I'll go to the store to see what an item looks like before ordering it. They are inconsistent.  About six years ago, I spent a lot of money on a cashmere sweater.I had to take it back two weeks later because it had started to pill.  Banana Republic, although not as nice, can be the same way.  Sometimes the clothes are attractive, at others you observe the concept and think of what it would have been like if they'd been able to make it in good fabric and with somewhat construction techniques.  About 12 years ago, they offered great cashmere cardigans at a fairly reasonable price.  But that was one season.

 

If you can afford it, and are willing to develop a relationship with a company overseas I think it would be worth it, especially if you intend to keep ordering the same suit in different fabrics. But as you can tell from what the professional tailors have said, you have to expect to go through at least a couple of iterations.

 

I found the place where I got my suit altered through a New York Magazine article that ran in 90s.  I don't see it online and can't find a listing.  It was on the Upper West Side and was called Rosette or Colette but I think the woman who had inherited the business was named Brenda.  She may have retired.  Once a year, New York  has a "Best" issue that features tailors and dressmakers but they're probably all quite expensive.

 

There's a place called Saint Laurie that makes custom suits.  http://www.saintlaurie.com/   I have no idea what they cost.

 

I agree with you that long distance tailoring is definitely difficult. However, I am still hoping to develop a longer term relationship so that it gets easier. :) I have checked out Saint Laurie, but it is so expensive, and have read not so satisfactory reviews about it, so I was reluctant to try. Thank you for the information you shared regarding J. Crew and the alterations places. I will check them out. :) 



#34 catherineM

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:35 PM

Something that I should have added before, from the 120s grading and general appearance of the fabric AND depending on how the canvassing was done you may be able to expect some accommodation in how it fits once you have worn it for some time. This simply means that the fabric will stretch a little to accommodate your shape and become a better fit. One you have it pressed and here probably best by someone who knows what they are doing with a woolen suits, it may just fit better over time as long as you don't change much in shape over that same time period.

That's good to know! Thank you, hutch48 :) 



#35 catherineM

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

 

 

Thank you for your kind suggestion, Jeffrey2117. I was also planning on sending it in to be pressed. However, would it need a dry cleaning this soon? I was under the assumption (very likely mistaken) that frequent dry cleanings should be avoided because they damage the wool. 

 

Hello CatherineM,

 

    Having the garment pressed only may not remove the all folds and creases from shipping. 

 

Having the garment go through a cleaning and pressing process, will help relax the garment fibers throughout and give it a much better appearance that you will be sure to notice when you try it on again. 

 

Please find a reputable company for your suits cleaning needs. 

 

We look forwards to seeing more photo's of your garment afterwards!

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey2117

 

 

Ah I see! Thank you for explaining it to me, Jeffrey2117. The tailor asked me to send the suits back so that he/she could make some alterations (the photos were only a "first fitting"). I will have it cleaned and pressed once it gets back, and definitely will post photos. :)



#36 catherineM

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:41 PM

 

I wouldn't have noticed this by myself but now that I've given a thought about it it seems to me you're very right.

 

Catherine, I personally like the cut away shape of the jacket: it really flatters your figure. Is it your choice?

 

Could it be cut a tad shorter next time maybe? And pockets put higher? But pros may have a complete opposite opinion...

Maybe there is something to improve with the skirt (see how the back behaves).

Thank you for pointing out the skirt. I almost didn't notice it, but now that you have pointed it out, the back does look wrong. I brought it up with the tailor, and he/she said that it was because the bottom part was too small. 

 

Yes, I did choose the cut away shape, but I actually also did not expect it to be that long either. I would really appreciate any other stylistic suggestions that you or the others may have. :) 






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