October 13, 2010

Altered states

This is a vintage Joseph Abboud lambswool jacket from the 1980s. It is unstructured and HAD huge honking shoulder pads.

It is of course inspired by the unstructured jackets of Armani. If you've only read about coats of this vintage, wearing a high-fashion sports coat from this error era (duh) is all about a feral posture. The coats are designed for men with heavy back and forward hunched shoulders. Insouciant swagger.

Another note is the middle button is very low slung. It hits about belt high and not mid-sternum as in contemporary jackets. You will be seeing button dropping down again soon and  I'm beginning to like this style. It creates a longer lapel line. Though as a bowtie wearer it can show too much shirt (I don't mind show three shirt buttons but four is just too awful.).

The last few days I've been slowly altering the jacket to make it meet more contemporary tastes.

First off, the wool is gorgeous. A very loose woven, nearly feels like a knit. To make it fit, I threw it in the wash and machine dried it. Which made the coat tighter. Because it was unstructured, this left very few elements to suffer differential shrinkage. Canvas, linings and the wool all shrink at different rates.

I then tightened the back seam. Removed the shoulder pads - gigantic bales of cotton swab! Now I am narrowing the shoulders. Setting sleeves is hard for me. This will be my third try.

I've started ripping the seams on the shoulder on the left. The right is already done to my satisfaction.

I will be swaggering in this very soon.