Suit Jacket Ripped? Some Thoughts on Repair…

What do you do if the elbow of your suit jacket ripped? Reader K has a great question…

I just had the elbow of a blazer (mid-price point Club Monaco suit) tear. What do you suggest I do? Can I put elbow patches on it and turn it into a casual piece for Fridays? It is about a year and a half old, so it is unlikely I will be able to return it.

Hmmmn. Hmmn. This one has me stumped.  I have never had an elbow rip in all my years of wearing blazers — so this may be a problem with that specific garment you bought.  A few ideas:

First, contact the company. They may offer to put on the elbow sleeves for you, offer you a new blazer, or (one hopes) at least offer you a sizeable discount on a new blazer. (Here‘s an interesting blog post from the blogger at The Post-Grad Blog, who — when her J.Crew blazer ripped — had them offer to first put on elbow patches, but who then wrote to the president and got the entire jacket replaced.)  According to the Club Monaco website you can call a customer service representative at 1-888-733-6410.  Some tips before calling: [Read more...]

How To Buy Quality Pieces Without Looking Old

Armani jacketCan younger women buy quality suiting pieces like Armani and St. John’s, without looking old?  Reader J has an excellent question:

I recently bought this Armani Collezioni jacket on an impulse. The price was too good to pass. But after I got home and tried it on a few more times, I start to wonder if this jacket would make me look too old if I pair it with a black skirt or a pair of black pants. I’m in my mid 30s and I thought this jacket could add 10 years if I appear all in black. What do you think? What should I wear with it to show the fine detail of the Armani design without adding 10 years to my age? I’d really appreciate your advice.

What a great question.  I think some pieces — particularly higher-necked, conservative pieces — can tend towards looking a bit “older”.  Here are a few tips off the top of my head for how to look your age, but I’m really curious to see what the readers say: [Read more...]

Sponsored Post: Quincy Apparel’s Tailored Looks (And a Much Smarter Sizing System)

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Quincy Apparel, stylish work pieces with a smart approach to sizing.

“What if there were clothes that were boardroom-appropriate but still allowed the young, on-the-go professional woman to feel as stylish and authentic at work as she did in her downtime? And, what if those clothes actually fit well and didn’t break the bank?” Those were the questions that led two Harvard Business School graduates, Alex Nelson and Christina Wallace, to launch their own line, Quincy Apparel. The online-only brand (which offers free shipping and free returns) gives everyone a quiz to find your perfect size* — and offers a second size for free when you order from them. [Read more...]

Tailoring – What Are Your Top Five Alterations?

The Top Alterations Women Request at the Tailor | Corporette“Tailoring can really make or break an outfit.” We’ve heard it a million times! On blogs like Extra Petite and Alterations Needed, the bloggers talk — a lot — about what alterations they get done to make things fit. (Jean from ExtraPetite even guest posted on which suiting alterations you should consider.)  I always think every body is different — but that said, there is a lot to be learned from which are the most COMMON alterations. So I thought we’d have a poll: which are the top 5 alterations that you get the most often? Do you think tailoring makes a big impact in your wardrobe? For those of you who’ve lost or gained weight, have you had success with altering older clothes to fit your new body? (If relevant, please consider disclosing your height, body type, and maybe even your weight in the comments.) (You can answer up to 5 times in the poll.)  (If I haven’t listed something that you get done frequently, let me know and I’ll try to add it to the poll.) (Pictured: Expert Tailoring Alterations, originally uploaded to Flickr by Jeremy Brooks.)
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The Case Against Cuffed Pants

Which women should wear pants with cuffs? Where can you get them? Reader E wonders…

I had a quick question about cuffed pants. When my boyfriend got a suit, he said that any nice men’s suit pants should be cuffed. I see that it does lay nicely over the foot that way. I don’t see many ladies cuffed pants at all though. Does it tend to go in and out of style? Do women ever have their tailors cuff their pants?

When I first read this, my immediate thought was NO CUFFS FOR ANYONE, EVER! BOO CUFFS!! <drops microphone, walks off stage>

But that may be a bit extreme. [Read more...]

Flared Pants, Hems, and Commutes

What is the proper hem length for heels — and how do you commute in shoes of different heights?  Reader Y wonders about flared pants, but I think she brings up a great point about hems and women who commute in shoes other than their office heels.

I’m a 25 year old working in Boston, usually in nice business casual offices. I don’t need to wear a suit, but I do need to look good. I have a number of flared (not too heavily) in my wardrobe and I don’t know if I can wear them to the office. Do you have any tips on length? What shoes can/should I wear (especially since I put on other shoes for the commute from and two work that are often flat)? Will they drown my height? If they can’t be worn…can I get them hemmed or something? It feels like such a waste to have them sitting there.

flared-pants-at-workWhen I first saw this I honestly thought, oh come on, of course you can wear flared pants! But then I started wondering if perhaps this is just a peculiarity to my age (35), since I grew up seeing lots of flared styles (and still think the bootcut is one of the most flattering pant shapes of all time). By contrast, skinny trousers and capris often look inappropriate to me — too 1950s, too Audrey Hepburn gamine to be taken seriously for the office. But then I thought of some of the extreme flared styles we’re seeing right now and thought, ok, fair question — I dislike those because they’re too 70s. My advice is that if anything is too reminiscent of any particular era other than “right now,” be careful about wearing it to the office. For example, the “Galaxy Groove Trousers,” pictured, seem a bit too, well, galactic and groovy for the office. (They are marked down if you’re interested, though — were $178, now $80 at French Connection.)

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