Pics MTM Action Back Jacket: please give your opinion

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Torpedo, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Torpedo

    Torpedo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Hello,

    I have had a suit, with an action-back jacket, made through one of those Far East based industries. I supplied a set of measurements (taken by a local tailor), plenty of reference pics, some additional measurements taken from garments I have, and descriptions.

    I have just received the package. I see some issues. I would like to show some preliminary pics for you to give your opinion. I understand some may be due to the system of having measurements taken and sent, which is no substitute for real bespoke, and surely the guilt is to be shared.

    I would like to hear from the connoiseurs here before I get in touch with the tailors to discuss the issues.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is one thing I am specially worried with: is the half belt too high? I said them to place it at the natural waist, but it is higher than that, placed just over the middle button line. I have seen some pics of vintage jackets which seem to have a higher-placed belt, but I am not sure. Would the jacket as it is be admissible?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I asked for high armholes, and provided measurements from actual vintage items. This is what they came with:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I would be glad to hear some assessment, for me to discuss with the tailors and settle for arrangements. This I take as a learning experience, and would like to be able to make it better next time.

    Regards!
     
  2. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    There's a lot I like about this jacket. I think you've done very well, defining a style and giving your Tailor the right idea.

    It has a really great silhouette and I like the buttoning height (height of the top button, the size and shape of the "V" and the lapel shape)and the button stance is also good- the distance from top to bottom button, proportion of the distance between them, as a visual proportion of the jacket and the bottom of the jacket looks nice, with the relatively high last button, somewhere around the waist. This button placement definitely adds a vintage proportion to the jacket. Too much space between the buttons, no matter how many there are, always looks "modern". With high waisted trousers, you really can have a higher bottom jacket button. Imagine if you have your hands in your pockets and the last jacket button undone,
    there will still be trouser visible, rather than shirt.

    As you said, there are probably a few issues-
    Sleeve length, of course, jacket length, are you happy with it?

    Half belt height does seem a tad high, reminds me of 1920s clothing illustrations and actual '20s suit jackets. If it were slightly lower but also slightly deeper/taller, then it might work better, visually.

    If the apparent looseness in the jacket chest bothers you, perhaps it could be darted in, down the chest but it could probably also be addressed by contouring of the side panels, more sculpting to get "that hourglass shape" through the torso.

    I think that with a pleated back jacket, cloth weight is very important- there should be enough weight, so that the pleats close properly. A heavier weight cloth, with top-stitching at the edges of the pleats, allows the pleats to hold their shape better. But I can't really tell by looking at your jacket.

    The arm hole size and position could be a bit better, it doesn't look like you're getting full forward and upward arm articulation, as the 4th photo illustrates- the pleated back can only offer so much flexibility and not in all directions, due to the restriction at the arm hole.

    The bias in normal arm articulation, or that which we require, is to upward and forward movement- quite often, the armhole is "generically" positioned, centred through the chest/body, when in many cases it can give better movement if "centred" further forward. So, maybe the armhole needs to be slightly more "o", than "0", more round than a vertical oval, shorter in height, perhaps more forward and closer in to the chest. On my jackets that fit and allow good movement, the "armpit" of the jacket, (the joining of the undersleeve and side of the jacket's body, if you get me) fits neatly into my own armpit- that fold of cloth, as you close your arm, folds into my armpit. It need not cut into your armpit but should mimic the articulation and be "close enough" to your armpit- then there is no tension created. That's what I mean by closer in to the chest. There is not so much need for expansion in the chest of the jacket but as you can see, forward, "folding-your-arms" type movement is allowed by virtue of the back pleating.

    But having gone on for too long about that- the shoulder construction must also be correct to allow a perfect fit and movement, in conjunction with the arm hole size and placement. The (top of the) shoulder also needs to be able to accommodate the upward arm movement- it's like upper arm muscles, the lower one extends, the upper one must contract. Too much cloth in the shoulder creates a problem, as does to little.


    Sorry, I've gone on far too long with my layman's descriptions.
    I hope it makes some sense, I haven't read it.

    I think, if you're not completely happy with it, at least its a brilliant benchmark- something concrete with which to make improvements on.
    Now, you can send the Tailor photos of the fit and he will be better able to give you a more custom fit.

    "Distance Tailoring" Is so hard to get perfect, or even close.

    Well done, anyway!


    B
    T
     
  3. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    The belt looks too high.

    Most tailors flub the armholes.
    Look at these pictures of James Cagney. This is how your jacket should behave as you move your arms.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v120/feraud/G Men/G_MEN-8.jpg

    The body of Cagney's jacket doesn't move as he waves his arms about and reaches up to put his hat on his head!
     
  4. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Yeh!

    What he said- send the Cagney pictures!


    B
    T
     
  5. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    What BT said about cloth weight is important. Heavier weight cloth helps the folds to fall better and has an all around better look, imho.

    For modern repro stuff, check out Deckard's threads. He is using good looking materials.
     
  6. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,319
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    BellyTank gave a spot-on assessment.

    Feraud, those are the BEST illustrations of correct sleeve construction we've got!
     
  7. WH1

    WH1 Practically Family

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Over hills and far away
    Perhaps they are sticky worthy.
     
  8. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Aren't there enough stickies in this room??
    lol ;)
     
  9. WH1

    WH1 Practically Family

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Over hills and far away
    true too truelol
    But perhaps meld them into one of the other threads as they are really an excellent illustration of the impact of proper armholes on jacket fit.
     
  10. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Just kidding.. I love stickies!
    I am trying to decide if the pics warrant their own stickiy or to merge it into the "suit fit" threads I've seen. A few more reference pictures would be useful too.
     
  11. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Here are two more.
    Does your jacket stay in place when you do this?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Ah, but the plethora of stickies means that there are many great threads here. It's a testament to this section's coolness. ;)


    .
     
  13. We need to put all of this stuff into reference galleries at http://www.thegoldenera.net/apperal.html

    .
     
  14. BellyTank said it all! :eusa_clap


    And yes, the belt is about 1 to 1.5 inches too high, IMO. A good tailor can easily lower it while retaining the pleats.


    .
     
  15. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    You and your bucket of photos Feraud
     
  16. reetpleat

    reetpleat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,681
    Location:
    Seattle
    Nice cut overall. the chest and shoulders are just too big. It seems the arm hope falls a little too low or out on you arm. In other words, it would fit a guy a bit bigger than you better.

    Love the belted back but i agree it is too high. It does not look bad, just too high to one who knows traditional belted back, and also, too high in that it causes the extra fabric to pouch out too much when you extend your shoulders. I think lower would cause it to be longer and not look so dramatically sticking out.

    I like the front, buttons, pockets, etc.
     
  17. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Call Me a Cab

    Before I even saw the belt in the back, I thought the coat's waist was too high. The middle button on a 3-button coat should be at the jacket's waist, and the coat's waist should be very close to your own natural waist. I'd say that middle button is a good 2-3 inches above your natural waist, at least. I have to differ with BellyTank and say that as it is, everything looks too high and awkward.

    Additionally, I think the front/back balance is off--looks like the fronts are too short and the back perhaps too long--it makes the coat fronts pull up and the quarters pull together, and I'm willing to bet that if the coat had a vent it'd be spreading open like crazy.

    There's also something weird going on at the sides of the coat, especially the right side (from the wearer's perspective). Part of that, I think, is due to the balance issue. Part of it may be that the tailor didn't correct properly for a dropped shoulder.

    Finally, something is bugging me about the fit of the chest. I think the upper part of the chest is too small, but I'm not a hundred percent sure of that.

    I do like the overall style of the jacket, and if you can get the fit issues worked out, I think you'll have a great jacket. It may be too late for this one, but you have definite possibilities with future coats!
     
  18. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Messages:
    13,719
    Location:
    USA
    Yep.
     
  19. Torpedo

    Torpedo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Hello,

    Many, many thanks to all of you for your assessment and advice. :)

    As mentioned, some of the problems may be due to misinterpretations or errors in my measurement work, and in the inherent problems related to the tailor having to work on a set of measurements, and not on the person.

    I imagine these are to be expected in a first order, which, as has been said, is much like a bench mark on which to improve.

    This said, part of the errors are objectively attributable to them, like the too long sleeves, because they are longer than the measure I gave. Same for the misplaced halfbelt.

    I have sent an email with a résumé of the issues, in order to arrange the repairs. I have included pics, for them to see themselves.

    There are some points I would ask for further clarification/explanation, if you are so kind (in no particular order, I have just copypasted in reverse of the intervention order):

    Orgetorix: Additionally, I think the front/back balance is off--looks like the fronts are too short and the back perhaps too long--it makes the coat fronts pull up and the quarters pull together (...//...)

    There's also something weird going on at the sides of the coat, especially the right side (from the wearer's perspective). Part of that, I think, is due to the balance issue. Part of it may be that the tailor didn't correct properly for a dropped shoulder.

    Finally, something is bugging me about the fit of the chest. I think the upper part of the chest is too small, but I'm not a hundred percent sure of that.


    Reetpleat: ...the chest and shoulders are just too big. It seems the arm hole falls a little too low or out on you arm.

    (The chest shoulder issue I think Bellytank has already explained: If the apparent looseness in the jacket chest bothers you, perhaps it could be darted in, down the chest but it could probably also be addressed by contouring of the side panels, more sculpting to get "that hourglass shape" through the torso.


    Bellytank: The arm hole size and position could be a bit better, it doesn't look like you're getting full forward and upward arm articulation, as the 4th photo illustrates (...//...)The bias in normal arm articulation, or that which we require, is to upward and forward movement- quite often, the armhole is "generically" positioned, centred through the chest/body, when in many cases it can give better movement if "centred" further forward. So, maybe the armhole needs to be slightly more "o", than "0", more round than a vertical oval, shorter in height, perhaps more forward and closer in to the chest. On my jackets that fit and allow good movement, the "armpit" of the jacket, (the joining of the undersleeve and side of the jacket's body, if you get me) fits neatly into my own armpit- that fold of cloth, as you close your arm, folds into my armpit. It need not cut into your armpit but should mimic the articulation and be "close enough" to your armpit- then there is no tension created. That's what I mean by closer in to the chest. There is not so much need for expansion in the chest of the jacket but as you can see, forward, "folding-your-arms" type movement is allowed by virtue of the back pleating.

    (In this case, I understand Bellytank excellent explanation, but I want to make sure how to explain to a tailor what needs to be done: I guess this is the key sentence "the armhole needs to be slightly more "o", than "0", more round than a vertical oval, shorter in height, perhaps more forward and closer in to the chest.").

    So, if any of you is so well-disposed to dedicate some time to throw some additional light on the above, I would be most obliged.

    Regards!
     
  20. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    ...and therein lies the second biggest problem of distance-tailoring.
    The first being that you are not there. We have been critiquing the jacket but
    explaining what you need done will be difficult- some of the issues require, you the jacket and the Tailor to be present, in order for them to be eyed, touched, inspected, pulled on, etc.

    The armhole needs to be cut tighter, the jacket armpit sitting closer to your own, closer in and not so deep-cut into the side- which also takes into consideration, the shoulder and chest, which will affect everything- you are 3-dimensional. You can't really just spot-fix fit issues like this on an existing jacket- these are fixes for No.2. The shoulder is too wide to just fix the armhole- I don't know if you can't fix this area but maybe.
    An arm hole which is too far away from your armpit and too deep causes the "batwing" phenomenon, "connecting" your arm to your side, rather than mimicking your movement- in extreme cases of this phenomenon, which are all too frequent, I would refer to the jacket in question as a "non-garment". You simply cannot function.

    Have a good look at the Cagney photos- the jacket fits him- there is no surplus of cloth. It fits on the shoulder, armpit, chest and back.
    It may look tight but more important for a fitted jacket is that it follows your shape and has enough cloth weight to sit correctly.
    Making a very fitted jacket in an extremely light cloth, I imagine, would be more challenging.

    The buttoning issue that Orgetorix observes, is not something that bothers me- maybe the camera angle is not helping. I really can't see how the middle button could sit at your waist and you could maintain proportion- the bottom button would then be too low and the proportion, gone. But then button position is NOT just an aesthetic issue, it also affects fit and function- spreading the load and tension across the jacket.
    I have the impression (maybe incorrectly)that vintage, say '30s jackets had higher/closer-set buttoning, a higher closure, closer buttons and a longer stretch between last button and jacket's end. This is actually a feature that I find very pleasing, I hope it's not just my imagination... My favourite vintage jacket's middle button is 2 inches above my navel, just above the waist of the matching trousers- I guess, then, with a high closure, you do need a longer spread of buttons.

    Have a look at some vintage suits (pictures) and take into consideration what Orgetorix has said.


    B
    T
     

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.