Anyone thought of getting their Vintage Gear altered offshore ?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by 1on1, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    Like many folks..I've collected vintage clothing over the years but all are too big, I'm a size 36 (or even a 34) and most of the vintage gear is atleast a 42 or bigger..I'm strictly a "vintage guy" and don't do repro's or contempo's. YES they can be "shrunk" to smaller sizes if you know what you are doing..but it would mean dissecting the entire garment (arm holes, lapels, sometimes pockets need to be re-positioned, sleeves, liners etc.etc.) I know you can shrink a 42 to 36 because I used to have someone do it for me..its obviously labour intensive and nowadays one can only think of cheap labour options like south east asia, or mexico...but again most of these tailors are going to be run-of-the-mill so I don't know. All I know is if I go with a couple of suitcases full it may be worth my while to hit a third world country.

    Has anyone embarked on such an expedition lately ?
    till soon
    1on1
     
  2. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Nah.

    You and me, we wear the same sizes. I just suck it up and wait for clothing of my size. It does suck seeing items that you desire, but can't fit into. For me, it's almost always the length of a jacket or the shoulders. What you're doing sounds very strenuous, and frankly, not worth the effort. At that point, I would just buy accurate and high-quality repro. As much as I would love access to all vintage in my size, it just doesn't happen.
     
  3. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    Nah..cant do repro, I'm one of those guys that likes wearing "historically accurate" clothing, albeit with a few alterations here and there. Its definitely a very uphill climb but as I suggested, I am hardcore when it comes to vintage gear. BTW years ago I did make a trip to Thailand for an unrelated reason and did end up getting a couple things altered...but I wasn't a serious vintage-head in those days so I didn't take a boat load of gear with me....in anycase, if you see it as taking a vacation somewhere, and getting your vintage addiction treated, it may be a win-win..now if we could only find SOMEBODY that has already executed such a mission..as of late.
     
  4. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,461
    Location:
    New Forest
    You are very lucky on two counts, compliments to you on your 34/36 size. Most of us would love to know where to get size 42 plus vintage.
    Folks back then were shorter, lighter and slimmer. The great depression and the second world war, which caused widespread rationing, had much to do with that. It's only towards the end of the 50's, and onwards that sizes started increasing. There were very few Oliver Hardy's.
     
  5. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Well, people must have loved wearing three sizes too big, because it seems like most golden era jackets are roughly 40R. I only wish I could find a wide variety of 34/36R coats! And I'm kinda in the OP's boat where I'd rather not settle for repro just yet.
     
  6. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I am a 36, as well, and all I see are 42s! EVERYWHERE. LA, Portland. They are ALL here. It's a 42 man's world.
     
    MondoFW likes this.
  7. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    There is a point where having a tailor explode a suit to make it fit ends up making it a modern suit using vintage cloth. Taking a 43 to a 36 means you will end up with armholes that are misshaped and pockets that our out of place for where a person was meant to wear them. I think heading overseas of down to Mexico or lower parts o South America is a pretty swell idea for doing reweaving... it's way too costly to do that in the States... but when it comes to exploading a suit alterations... taking a suit down that far in size I've seen, and it's never a comfortable normal look... If you do have pics of that from the past show me... I'll hunt down the ones I have.
     
  8. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    It can be done, and be done well..if its a labour of love for the person doing it. See, it will depend on if lets say a blazer has patch pockets or wether there is a center vent/twin vent/no vent in the back etc. cuffs will need generous allowance because when you minimize the arm hole, the sleeve length will shrink..i know all the details necessesary in order to achieve most of the projects I embarked on..for example i would always open the cuff of a blazer/jacket to see how much extra fabric etc and the same with pants etc.
    I should also point out, the person who used to do it for me was a couture trained designer/pattern maker, not your run-of the-mill corner drycleaner/alterations joint.

    I'm the first to submit, IT REALLY IS LABOUR INTENSIVE, and not everything I bought years ago would look good (on me) altered, so when I started I just bought everything (regardless of original size) that had the bells and whistles and basically looked good but later on my tailor would train me in what is a "good alterations project" and what is not so over time I focused on buying as small a size as possible (usually a size 40 or 38) or items that we deemed a "good project" piece especially light shirts or jackets..ofcourse everyone knows, suits are the most labour-intensive.

    At the end of the day, if you would do what I did, in the States, i would suspect it would have to be your wife or mother..the sewing/fitting/refitting can be a nightmare so who else would be willing to go through this unless its someone you are very close to?? I think in todays world, you would need to find a tailor Offshore, the cost to do this in the west is simply prohibitive IMO. If one's lucky, and you establish a good relationship with an offshore tailor, then taking 2-3 suitcases of alaterable gear is well worth the expense of flying overseas (cheap season obviously), accomodations for a couple weeks etc.

    BTW I do regret not having done a "before and after" on most of my altered gear...at the time I never thought about it but now I realize it would have been good even to illustrate it to a future tailor I come across BEFORE they tell me..." no no no, it can't be done". I think the only place you can do this IS south east asia or similar, where folks are still hungry for the work and where you can stretch your USD much further than stateside.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  9. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    Re: Small Vs Large size vintage supply, I'll second what others have said..flip through ebay and see how many size 34/36 size vintage (by vintage I am talking about pre-1960's) suits/jackets or size 28 X32 vintage pants are available Vs the larger sizes and you'll quickly realize that the Japs have cleaned out MOST of the quality gear in smaller sizes a while ago LOL!!
     
  10. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    So that's where it all went..
     
  11. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    re: my size..well if I am to be honest then i would say I workout and diet very rigorously BUT, what motivates me the most is not just good health, but the fear of not fitting in my custom wardrobe anymore- and believe it or not, thats whats kept me on my toes for years.
     
  12. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    the Japs and the Brits..
     
  13. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    Re: Brits/Japs..I can tell you that in the 80's they used to ship the vintage gear in industrial containers..and they bought the bales for next to nothing back in the day..so they could afford the trans-atlantic shipping. You could find deadstock (NWT) 1940's, 1930's suits in the 80's, for peanuts. The rockabilly revival especially across Europe in the 80's had a lot to do with demise of good quality stock at very agreeable prices.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  14. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Guess I really was born in the wrong generation ;)
    I'm planning on vacationing to japan before i graduate high school. Time to take back what's rightfully ours... I bet they're charging out the ass for vintage though
     
  15. 1on1

    1on1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    USA
    indeed you are (nah just kiddin)..people were individuals back then..they worked hard at thrashing out their own look/identity..image was everything back then. I too have been thinking about heading to Japan..somehow I think its the last place still left standing - with any type of excitement i.e.nightlife/individuality/subculture/dance culture all rolled into one . I want to go somewhere where people's weekends or friday nights out does not involve food for a change. I know a vintage dealer that's been there a few times and he says the original US military tour jackets are much less there than they are on ebay or any U.S. B&M shops for example..
     
    MondoFW likes this.
  16. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    I always thought Asian collectors to be more protective of their collectibles. I'm sure the highly sought after stuff like 1930s sports suits are still going for a King's ransom over there. Those collectors know what they have.

    Dinerman on here finds quite a bit of cool vintage in rural communities across the Midwest. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it was concentrated there. Where else to look for grandpa's 1940s suit than a run-down mining community that peaked in the 20s?

    I will be visiting NY this summer, and can only hope the hunt brings some good.
     
  17. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I'm strongly skeptical about the possibility of having a coat completely dissected and recut 4 sizes smaller. It is not going to look good, at any rate. And I don't think it would ever be possible for such a thing to fit again decently. The fronts are cut and the presence of the dart makes impossible to raise the panels in order to obtain a right armhole. And this is only the front view, then one needs to narrow down the neckline and completely reshape the collar, which now does not fit anymore in the gorge line...
    The lapels have a well defined break point (which also relates to the collar) which of course needs to be raised. You can do that only via the shoulder seam, but this will raise up the whole front, including the gorge line, pockets and darts.
    And how one deals with the side seams and pockets? The side seams must be in line with the armscye and the front side seam brings the pocket with it; if you move it, you move the pocket as well. Also, buttonholes on the front edge are cut, so there they stay.
    Unless you want a jacket which looks obviously recut, you are sure to fail. It doesn't matter who's the tailor.

    It may be possible with other garments, but surely not worth with tailored garments.

    Instead, having suits tailored in South Asia is a common practice for many people. Prices can be very competitive and if you provide the cloth you can get good results. Of course you need to be very specific on what you want and extremely pedantic about fit in critical areas.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.