Suits are their own language, and sometimes it’s easy to say the wrong thing.
I generally believe that rules are there to make unadventurous people comfortable, but knowing what the rules are does make it easier to navigate the world of suits without looking like a luddite.
BASTING & TACKING
Basting stitches are used during construction in most tailored clothing. In truth there’s no real reason for this stitching to be left in the finished suit at all, other than a mark of bespoke authenticity.
The technology of off-the-peg suits has no need of this method at all, but many manufacturers mimic bespoke suits by introducing these stitches. There are four main places you’ll see this on a new suit, and ALL of it it should be removed!
1. CLOSED POCKETS
Closing the pocket is part of a very old construction process for bespoke suits, and in retail suits prevents the pockets from sagging. Some guys prefer to leave their pockets like this to keep them from sagging with wear.
There’s no harm in leaving the pockets sewn closed since most suits do this beneath the pocket flap so it’s unseen. But the pockets are supposed to be opened, and the stitching is loosely done intentionally to be easily removed.
2. VENT TACKS
Bespoke suits will have a running stitch along the length of the vent, used as a guide and stabilizer during construction. While off-the-peg suits usually have an ‘X’ tacked at the bottom of the vent.
Again this stitching is intentionally easy to remove, and you should do so unless you want to signal your lack of tact.
3. SHOULDER BASTING
No this is not a trend, it’s a securing stitch used to ensure various layers of structure don’t shift during construction. So if your suit is fused there’s ABSOLUTELY no reason for this stitch, other than to mimic bespoke.
4. CUFF LABELS
Why these labels are attached in the first place is a bit beyond me, other than making it easier to spot the brand without looking inside the jacket. Leaving this attached signals that you’re buying the label, not the suit.
La Sapeur have different rules
Really clothes are all about personal expression, and if you think it’s cool then who I am to tell you otherwise. The authenticity of an expensive suit can be stated by leaving all original tacks and tags in place, you’re entitled to make your own rules.
– More on Suits –
—Intro, 10 things you should know– Brief History of Suits – Suit Fit, The Trousers – Suit Fit, the Jacket – Suit Fit, the Waistcoat – Suit Fit, the Shirt — Off the Peg Suits – Made to Measure Suits – Bespoke Suits – Some Suit Mistakes –