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Cut-On Lapels on Full Dress


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#19 Sator

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:59 AM

So how many of you guys that are egging on the OP to wear the Nosferatu's Big Night Out costume actually wear these things themselves? And I don't mean to the costume ball or on stage.

Hooray - a modern strapless dress coat with grown on lapels! :yahoo:

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#20 Sator

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:05 PM

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


I suggest you try to find any guide to evening dress published in the last 200 years that says this. On the contrary, every one of them will talk about being fashionable, stylish, and current.

BTW can we have pictures of you wearing your strapped dress coat with cuffs, half silk facings, functional buttonholes running down the lapel edge, side pockets, able to be buttoned up fully, with cut-on lapels and worn with silk breeches for a real world evening out? (And not in fancy dress for the Toy Soldier's ball :Big Grin: )

#21 voxsartoria

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:49 PM

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Jukes: that number is swell.

Well done.

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#22 Noble Savage

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:56 PM

I suggest you try to find any guide to evening dress published in the last 200 years that says this. On the contrary, every one of them will talk about being fashionable, stylish, and current.


I saw RTW designer tailcoat made (without trousers) out of a heavy denim material, with a price-tag of several thousand dollars recently. This sort of thing gets promoted by the fashion industry today, but is rarely actually worn, except by those who are fashion designers themselves, or of allied style industries.

Among people who do wear the tailcoat to social events today, no such deviations from the standard are 'current'. In fact, a good deal of vintage tailcoats are refurbished for current wear and go out on the town. It is no secret that slightly (but not overly) retrograde construction is what makes formal clothing classic and desired.

Edited by Noble Savage, 01 February 2011 - 03:00 PM.


#23 Sator

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:06 PM

I don't mean stuff from the last couple of decades, I mean right through the 1800s, and early 20th century into the 1950/60s. It's all about being stylish and fashionable. This attitude of encrusting evening dress into a rigidly fixed oddity is unknown.

Nobody in the Victorian or Edwardian era would have turned up to anything other than a Jane Austen themed costume ball dressed like this:

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Fashion is wonderful thing. It is because of her that evening dress has survived. Any attempt to divorce fashion from evening dress will kill evening dress stone dead.

So bring on the denim dress suit. Denim doesn't make up well into a coat, but if that is what keeps evening dress alive - bring it on!!!

#24 Noble Savage

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:15 PM

I don't mean stuff from the last couple of decades, I mean right through the 1800s, and early 20th century into the 1950/60s. It's all about being stylish and fashionable. This attitude of encrusting evening dress into a rigidly fixed oddity is unknown.

Nobody in the Victorian or Edwardian era would have turned up to anything other than a Jane Austen themed costume ball dressed like this:


The details you dislike don't make the coat differ to such a degree that it would be out of place today (and wouldn't be noticed by those without specialized clothing knowledge), whereas the coat pictured above is clearly from another "mode" and "era".

Edited by Noble Savage, 01 February 2011 - 03:17 PM.


#25 Sator

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:21 PM

I can assure you that the older strapless coat looks very archaic to even the most untrained eye, because it looks so different to the sort of thing that Astaire wore or what Hugh Jackman more recently wore at the Oscars. Add to that odd details like cuffs, extra buttonholes down the lapels, half silk facings (cut on lapels usually take half silk facings), gilt buttons (as in Brummell's age, with a brief attempt at a Victorian revival) and it will look like complete costume.

However, if what is being said is that because full dress is costume anyway, anything bizarre goes, since nobody will know any different - then it is time to consign the dress coat to the costume museum.

p.s. I am still waiting on photos of anyone pulling off wearing a strapless dress coat with cut on lapels and half silk facings in a modern setting. Or is what is being recommended to the OP just wild sartorial fantasy? Or worse, a practical joke to convince him to spend thousands of euros on something that will look ridiculous?

#26 jukes

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:13 AM

As long as a body coat has a nice shape to the chest , the fore parts and tails wrap around the body snugly, the vent sits perfectly in line, also a nice high armhole, it does not matter what era its from.
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#27 Kerry

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:28 AM

Well said Jukes.

#28 Noble Savage

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:29 AM

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This is a cut-on lapel, back pocketed, cuffed, unbuttoned tailcoat worn with a white waistcoat. What stands out most is the dress of the lady. The tailcoat itself could be worn today: without the chain, with covered or regular buttons, modern shoes, and tie.

Add the gold chain, vintage looking shoes, and lawn cravat, and only then are you in New Old Fogie territory.

This is a fine distinction, and whether one looks dignified or theatrical depends on the wearer, occasion, and purpose.

Edited by Noble Savage, 02 February 2011 - 04:39 AM.


#29 Nishijin

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:44 AM

I don't wear white tie in real life, and the probability that I may have some to make is much higher for a musician than for a white-tie party-goer (which are very, very different garments, or at least should be). So I confess my opinion on this subject is quite theoretical.

That said, I think it is quite possible to design a contemporary, fashionable dress coat that could include some reminiscences of old fashions. Cut-on lapels could be one. Of course, if you cut everything according to old fashions, and trim accordingly, you are making costume.

Cuffs are something very unusual today. I see no reason not to put some on a fashionable dress coat. But in this case, I would put only the cuffs.

And I agree that the waist seam going unto the center front is useless and not very nice.
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#30 0815newbie

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:24 AM

.... The tailcoat itself could be worn today: without the chain,.....


Please do not kill me but I must state that I love pocketwatches. I even posess one and like to wear it in the office etc.
There is no reason for doing not. My generation uses their mobile phones to look up the time and of course you have to pull your mobile out of your pocket before doing so. What I am trying to express is: mobile phones are a first class modern pocketwatch ;)

Last but not least, nobody laughed at me for wearing them yet.

Edited by 0815newbie, 02 February 2011 - 08:25 AM.


#31 Sator

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

BTW, I have a confession. :blush:

I was once enamoured enough of these old costume styles that I went as far as a skeleton baste on a dress coat for myself with cut-on lapels and strap. I used up a decent bolt of black barathea for the purpose, after innumerable trial garments. Mercifully, it dawned on me that it looked so hideously Nosferatuesque that I abandoned it, and although I have kept it as a curiosity, eventually it will go into the bin where it belongs. This is how I got over the morbid fascination with this style of body coat out of my system.

Next, I tried making a trial garment of a Rundschau dress coat (with a modification taken from Thornton). It was profoundly moving just how much better it was, how much simpler and more logical the solution was. One of these days, I hope to finish making up the garment.

So I speak from much experience for I have spent many, many hours experimenting with the old style. I do not merely speak hypothetically.

p.s. I am still waiting on pictures of people pulling off wearing the older style dress coat in a modern setting.

#32 greger

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:39 PM

Sator, there are tailors who can make some of these garments quite fine. Usually with a modern twist. Plenty good to fit in. There are plenty of tailors who really do not know how to make these garments, and it it shows. Even back then there were tailors who did hideous work. When I was a boy one of my uncles went to a bunch of tailors and I never considered any of them good enough to be called tailors (his coats were so bland, and some people think that makes a good tailor). Plus, some people want a break from the norm. On top of that, what is the norm? There are general rules, but probably over 50% of the people don't follow the rules- they know the rules. There is a picture of a white tie where the vest sticks out underneath the front bottom, but it is done right because it is following a higher rule of art instead of the general rule. There are always people who want to do something different to make it their coat instead of a uniform. Customers come up with their own ideas and that is what they want to do. Otherwise, tailoring would just be a higher standard of rtw as is mtm, except higher than mtm. Who knows where customers come up with ideas and sometimes it is Back To The Future. The Hippies wiped out the rules of clothes and the youngsters are inventing new rules, since they don't know the old. But, the old rules were ever changing anyway, so not entirely reliable. After all, when do you see a black vest with a white tie anymore? I did see a modern picture of one recently, and it looked fine. Change is important, and through out history some have been very nice.

There is another part of tailoring that every tailor should know about. That is, how people emotionally fit into clothes. Over time peoples attitudes change as a group and individually. Sometimes tailors see the beginnings of change before the rest of the population, because they see it in the clothes they are making. New cloth comes out and certain cuts look better with it. Smart tailors pay attention to the cultural changes, and not lecture against it. Some tailors push for change, because it brings the customers back leaving money sooner. The tailors job isn't to fight change or the customers desires, but to make it better than any other tailor.

#33 Noble Savage

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:13 PM

BTW can we have pictures of you wearing your strapped dress coat with cuffs, half silk facings, functional buttonholes running down the lapel edge, side pockets, able to be buttoned up fully, with cut-on lapels and worn with silk breeches for a real world evening out?


I will not post a photo of myself, but here is the King of Greece in a dress coat and breeches in London in 1963.

Posted Image

Edited by Noble Savage, 02 February 2011 - 06:29 PM.


#34 Sator

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:02 PM

Sorry, but that's full dress worn in the presence of royalty. I don't see cut on lapels, or a strap either. Nor have I ever seen Prince Philip wear such a dress coat.

I doubt that anyone here goes out for the evening in an old fashioned dress coat with cut-on lapels and strap. Why? Because nobody here owns such a thing for personal wear.

However, sitting at a computer and advising others to dress that way is very easy.

#35 Noble Savage

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:06 PM

Because nobody here owns such a thing for personal wear.


Well, I do, and should I appear in the tabloids in it, I'll send you a link. I really don't see what the fuss is about. If one were looking for exotic things to wear, one certainly wouldn't choose this.

Edited by Noble Savage, 02 February 2011 - 07:10 PM.


#36 Noble Savage

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:07 PM

Sorry, but that's court dress for a state event.


White tie worn as court dress, not court dress itself.

Edited by Noble Savage, 02 February 2011 - 07:09 PM.





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