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Cut-On Lapels on Full Dress


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#1 0815newbie

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:31 AM

Hi all!

What do you think about this style of dress coat?

http://i201.photobuc...on_Thornton.jpg

I am mainly interested in discussing the style of the lapels. Furthermore I would like to know your opinion on the cut of the coat's front below the waist seam (I do not know how it is called in english. In german it would be "Scharniere".)

At last: Do you think this could be used today and still look great?

#2 Sator

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:19 AM

Personally, I hate the look. I have tried making up trial garments like this and compared to the modern version with well concealed darts, it looks like the seams holding together Frankenstein's monster.

Posted Image

I call the older style coat "ein Frankenfrack".

The real problem is that I see absolutely no point in leaving all those unsightly seams all over the place. You get as much shape, if not more, from the coat without them.

#3 Noble Savage

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 04:46 PM

I like this older style: it appears that more work has gone into the coat attaching the pieces together. And the seams provide visual interest of an orderly nature.

The simplified construction of modern tail coats seems to me to be a result not so much of improved tailoring technique, but of imparting a sack-like quality to the coat when it is out of necessity sold as RTW.

#4 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 04:59 PM

AMEN! +1000
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#5 Nishijin

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:18 PM

I do like the cut-on lapel. That's something tailors completely forgot (well, tailors who do not research history).


I've listen very experienced and high-level tailors talking about dress coat, they clearly choose to cut and make them like a lounge coat. There is a valid reason for this : their customers are not used to wear "classical" dress coat, and the feel would be strange for them. So they would be self-conscious at a time when they must not be. So the tailor choose to cut like a lounge, so the customer fell more at ease, more in "known territory", and the event goes better.

I think in this context, the tailor is right to make a "dress-lounge".


But for my own taste, I like the fact that dress coat is not a lounge coat. And I do like some historical hints. The cut-on lapel used to be called an "anglaise" in French (books talk about coats with "anglaise rapportée"). Today, when you say "anglaise" to a tailor, he thinks of the seam at the top of the lapel, joining with the collar. When you say "anglaise rapportée", they don't understand. And when you make a coat (or a waistcoat) with this center front seam, they say it's a strange idea. Well, I like it.

The skirt, under the waist seam, having this shape unto the front, used to be called a "marteau" in French (a "hammer"). It is a very old-fashioned cut, even in books from 1920's they say it's old-fashioned. I think it may be interesting to cut and make (I've not tried it yet), but I agree it makes too much criss-crossing seams on the front. So I would not do it.



If you want to get a similar result, but with hidden seams, you can cut a lapel dart in place of the whole cut-on lapel (you make a dart that is the same as the top-half of the seam), and turn the bottom-part of the seam to transform it into a dart along the buttons, like it's usually done of modern coats. This way, you keep all the shape, but hide the "scars" that Sator does not like.



The way to put the silk on the lapel is the functionnal origin of something that is called in French "bordure trottoir" ("pavement side"). It is something that is back in fashion now, but people make it by ending the silk at a small distance from the side of the lapel. Because they don't know about this old cut, they don't understand why the silk has to end at the angle of the notch.
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#6 Sator

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

I must say I am aghast that Jason would support anything so ugly. It was a brilliant insight of precisely the generation of cutters he admires such as Vincent to dump those hideous cuts. The problem is that the localisation of the chest 'darts' is suboptimal. Worse still, the strap seam provides little more than a seam. The modern dress coat actually fits better as well being more stylish.

#7 Nishijin

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:33 PM

What do you call the strap seam ? Is it the center front one ?

I agree this seam is very sub-optimal. The top part of it gives the lapel a very nice shape on the chest, but the bottom part is a dart in the wrong direction.

All I can think about it is that it was aimed a a global shape that would look very strange today, with a chest like an egg, maybe even "pigeon-breast". We can see this shape on old fashion plates. It requires a lot of padding in the chest, a very different garment than what we are used today. I think it would be unconfortable too, being too hot because of the padding.
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#8 Sator

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:52 PM

The problem isn't that it gives too much so much as too little chest, or other effect. The 'darts' aren't adequately pointed towards the centre of chest, & are too far from the neckpoint. They do make the lapel foldline a bit convex. The strap is formed by the front waist seam. It is too narrow to exert any real effect, unlike on a morning coat. You end up with all of these eyesore seams that are there only for historic reasons.

#9 Sator

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:04 PM

I also forgot to mention that the front hem on a modern coat is both shorter and can be styled to form rakishly angled points. The strapped coat has a longer front hem length that is cut boringly square. The longer fronts make the legs look shorter and the overall cut looks frumpier. The older style would too much like costume and the costly mistake would live in the farthest depths of the back of the wardrobe.

#10 0815newbie

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:17 AM

Seems like I have stirred up a hornet's nest. Brilliant ;)

Personaly I do not like the look of rakishly angled points but I have to agree that the modern lapel style is more flattering (but I do not think that the older style is realy that ugly, you are exaggerating ;) ).

Edited by 0815newbie, 01 February 2011 - 04:18 AM.


#11 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:34 AM

As a lover of anything related to Charles Dickins and with Nicholas Nickelby in mind, all I will say is 'Ba Humbug'. (Yes I do know the phrase is from 'A Christmas Carol'.)

#12 greger

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:47 AM

All it is is a style that was popular in the past. I'm sure there are still tailors who can do it very elegantly. You can see it in old movies once in awhile where it truely is a work of fine art. When it was popular there were many tailors doing it competing against each other, each doing the craftsmanship they thought would make better than there tailor peers to bring the business in. There is something called chewing the seams.

#13 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 06:46 AM

This cut will give a lovely roll and a nice full chest, that is all I have to say. Also, if this coat is made up in superfine broadcloth you can stoat the lapel and scratch out the seams you find so hideous. I like the seams, it gives some horizontal lines to made my fat botty look thinner, not to mention, you wear this in the evening, with evening lights and the odds of someone walking up and saying, my gawd what disgusting seams you have. No they are going to notice the fit and then look around to all the other dress coats that were made with a lounge draft and know your coat is superior in both fit and execution!

p.s.
Vincent Era Dress lapels :D
Posted Image
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#14 Sator

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:22 AM

^ That looks wearable only on stage.

I can guarantee that the OP will end up with something that looks like a Dracula costume and bizarre curiosity that people will point at. Full dress is at risk of looking like costume anyway and anything weird will only exacerbate matters. If a client needs to teach his tailor how to ranter seams to conceal them, then they will rightly be directed towards a period costume tailor. There are other technical details to how to make up cut on lapels that I think are too costumey for me to post here, and which a modern tailor (mercifully) won't know to do.

I have tried to experiment extensively with these sorts of period cuts. I went through an unfortunate period where I was obsessed with this sort of thing, but I can assure you they look very much like hideous Nosferatu costumes. I am glad to say I am over it. I hope nobody else has to make the same mistakes I did. It would be much more painful if the mistake spawned thousands of euros worth of costumes to be donated to the local theatre company.

It really made me appreciate the absolute genius of the Edwardian era cutter who asked himself what on earth the point was of having all of those unnecessary scars on the outside of the coat. The result is cleaner, simpler and just so much more stylish. When you try to be clever by reintroducing those ill conceived scars, you find yourself trying to reinvent a prototype wheel that wasn't yet round. Sometimes you have to respect the deep wisdom of your predecessors.

#15 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:59 AM

While I disagree with Sator on style, I have to agree that the number of tailor's, even theatrical, with the necessary skills to make this coat up properly are few and far between and the costs would be higher for the extra work. I think if you want more classic lines and a better fit than the lounge pattern dress coats look into the style Jukes made here, then again Jukes is a man with rare talents today.

Posted Image
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#16 Noble Savage

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:14 AM

I went through an unfortunate period where I was obsessed with this sort of thing, but I can assure you they look very much like hideous Nosferatu costumes. I am glad to say I am over it.


The whole point of serious evening dress is to have an archaic element which connects the wearer to the past in a dignified way.

The lack of seams on the tailcoat comes from the same vein as the lack of center seam on the morning coats peddled by "RTW wedding dress" vendors at low cost.

I assure you, that wearing a tailcoat of the cut above, has not drawn any particular attention in my experience.

Other elements found missing on modern tailcoats: formed cuffs, formed cuffs with ribbon edge, off-edge revers trim, tail pockets, button holes on revers, fancy patterned covered buttons, optional velvet collar, working button holes, lack of external pockets, waist pockets, link closure, working button holes, and most importantly: body fitting shape.

Edited by Noble Savage, 01 February 2011 - 09:14 AM.


#17 0815newbie

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:03 AM

Would you be so kind and explain what "formed cuffs" and "off-edge revers trim" are?

Btw. I have never seen external pockets on a dress coat, where were they meant to be placed?


Moreover I have got an additional question. What is the reason for having that pair of button on the back of the coat?

#18 Noble Savage

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:56 AM

Posted Image

A modern Royal Navy Dress tailcoat. Pockets in the traditional place, as seen on older coats.

An older full dress version can be seen here: http://www.nmm.ac.uk...cture=2#content

Edited by Noble Savage, 01 February 2011 - 10:59 AM.





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