Balance + Shoulder fit
We at B&TAILOR spend most of our time getting the fit of the shoulder and the balance of the jacket right, during fittings (especially at baste and forward fittings).
What I mean by the shoulder fit? The shoulder of the jacket being laid at an angle perpendicular to the ‘overall’ angle of the wearer’s shoulder, and this angle is not 2 dimensional. It also has to account for the wearer’s clavicle shapes and positions but also adjoining flesh and its position and angles in respect to the rest of the upper body. Any bumps or hollows will have to be also accounted for and smoothed out the best they can be.
The balance of the jacket does not simply mean that either end is too short or too long (that is only one of the consequences of the incorrectly balanced jacket). The correct balance is achieved, in a simplistic sense, when a jacket is in perfect balance with the wearer’s stance, perfectly accounting for his or her posture (forward, back or neutral) and the body contours- so that the jacket sits squarely and firmly on the wearer from the collar to the shoulders to the rest, and all the panels of the jacket is in the right angle/position to the body.
The main reason that we do fittings is to achieve the above plus the sleeve pitch (will be discussed on a separate post) right, every time and all the time - one of the main differences to MTM garments that are pre-made.
I have described the both shoulder fit and the balance in a way that I personally think that it would make sense to a lot of people however there are many more aspects of the fit and balance that warrant further discussions (for people who are more interested in such topics).
I am planning to illustrate the above in more depth with actual baste fitting examples in future.
Great thoughts about suit balance for all the nerds out there
B&TAILOR Shoulder - the Seamline
Many Bespeakers opt for padless shoulders nowadays in preference to padded ones.
However this construction (many also refer to it as ‘deconstructed’) requires, for most people, a shoulder seam line to not extend along the natural shoulder line but end further back from the top of the sleeve head as depicted in the above. The reason for that being is that the canvass needs to extend further back covering the entire shoulder over to the back, mimicking the effect of a shoulder pad in order to hide/lesson the effects of imperfections on the shoulder line that are quite prevalent in the modern-day society. Another technique is to extend the chest canvass passed the shoulder seam (normal shoulder seamline) that runs straight from the collar to the top of the sleevehead to achieve the similar effect.
The functional side of the above shoulder seamline aside, I quite like the look of it, especially the curve.
Got to pay more attention to this
How Pants Should Fit
We’ve written about how tailored trousers should fit before, but our friend Ed over at Panta Clothing just posted some images of a pair trousers he made for a customer, and nothing beats a great example.
When trying on pants, most people first look to see if the waist fits comfortably, but the waist is actually one of the easiest things to alter. If they’re a little loose, you can take them in, and if there’s enough material inside, you can let them out. The only exception is maybe cotton, where letting out the waist can leave visible holes where the stitching used to be (this doesn’t happen on wool because of the fuzzy nap).
Instead of focusing on the waist, look for three things:
- First, make sure the thighs fit comfortably. The legs can be tapered pretty easily from the knee down, but the thighs should fit fairly perfectly off-the-rack. (You can alter the thighs, but it comes with a bit more risk).
- Second, look at the seat. On the Panta trousers above, the seat is perfectly clean, with no rumples or folds. This is the hardest part to get right, not just because everyone is shaped differently, but also because we all stand differently as well. For example, if you stand with your hips forward, you’ll need a pair of trousers with a slightly shorter “rise” at the back (“rise” being the measurement from the crotch seam to the waistband). Note, to see whether the seat fits you, you’ll have to look at yourself in a three way mirror, as twisting your torso around will affect how the pants fit. And don’t get too hung up with whether there are a few folds here and there. It’s better to aim for a cleaner fit than not, but you are moving around in these things, obviously.
- Third, see if the pants catch on the back of your calves. This is more of an issue with really slim trousers, particularly if you wear over-the-calf socks. If they do catch, you’ll see a bunch of rippling around your calves.
Overall, the idea for how pants should fit is very much like the idea for how shirts, sport coats, or suits should fit: there shouldn’t be any puckering or pulling anywhere, and you should have clean lines all around. The ones by Panta above are particularly nice, and unless you’ve having something custom made, it might be hard to achieve something as good. Still, the example above is a great way to show what you should aim for.
(Photos via pantaclothing)
Still haven’t gotten pants fit totally down.