Without fail, any time I decide to publish a look with one of my Brooks Brothers Black Fleece blazers, there are some people who love it, and some who hate it. Recently, one of my most ardent and prolific critics on Instagram left the following comment on this photo: “Jacket and sleeves too short, button stance too high, making everything look unbalanced.” I pointed out that other than his final critique, he’d just described the Thom Browne aesthetic to a T. There will always be a gap between a designer’s vision and our own personal tailoring ideal. When is it okay to let go of tailored “perfection” in place of a designer’s aesthetic? Let’s talk about it.
I’ll be the first to tell you that one of the most important things you need to do once you make a commitment to dressing well and developing your personal style is to find a great tailor. Unless you’re extremely lucky, OTR clothing is going to require some minor alterations to give you a perfect fit. Most of these alterations, like a hem or dart, for example, are very inexpensive but can make you look like a million bucks rather than some dude with pants that are too long or a shirt that’s too baggy around the middle. Any money you spend on your tailor is money well spent, to include buying him a nice bottle of scotch once in a while to show your appreciation.
However, there are some designers whose aesthetic doesn’t match up with personal ideas of a perfect fit, and subjecting one of their garments to alterations would be a fundamentally alter their vision. Things like sleeve and jacket length or cut can be a designer’s calling card. Personally, I have a particular affinity for some of Thom Browne’s clothing, especially the Black Fleece collection, and especially his blazers. Are the sleeves a little short? Yes. Is the jacket a little short? Yes, again. Does it bother me? Not at all. I’m comfortable with it, and confident with it. That’s the biggest thing.
The internet is full of “experts” and people who love to tell you, “I would have done this. I would have done that.” Great! Do it! Listen, when it comes to style, nobody is an expert. If we all dressed alike, how boring would the world be? There are some general rules to follow and understand, but as I’ve said before, rules are guidelines, not gospel. But I digress.
So tell me: where do you stand?
When, if ever, will you let go of your idea of tailored perfection for a designer’s aesthetic?
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style