Ask Dan: Shortening Suits, Wrinkling Problems, (Wo)men’s Shoes…
Q: Hey Dan. I was wondering what your thoughts were on a groom wearing wingtip shoes for his wedding? I understand that these were not originally designed to be formal shoes, but more for hunting. I do feel, however, that the wingtip really fits my personality and style. I’m thinking of a lower profile black pair like Allen Edmonds Larchmont or McGreggor with a dark navy suit.
A: If they fit with your personality and style, that’s what matters most. You’ll feel good in them, and it’s your big day. If you were wearing a tuxedo I’d recommend cleaning up the lines of the footwear a little, but there’s nothing against wearing a sharp black wingtip with a dark navy suit. Have a great wedding my man!
SHORTENING A SUIT
Q: I have this suit that I love, but the bottom of the jacket hits around my knuckles – a little long for my liking. Is it possible to shorten the jacket 1.5-2 inches from the bottom without compromising the silhouette of the garment? I’ve had bad experiences with MTM and I’m saving up for bespoke, but am I going to have to have to ditch my favorite off-the-rack suit (36 S) because it doesn’t fit properly?
A: An inch and a half is pushing it, two inches is too much – especially for a jacket that’s already a size 36 Short. We’re talking a healthy percentage of the overall length. The issue is once you crop it, the button stance becomes off-balance and the pockets get unaturally close to the bottom hem (unless it has patch pockets, which can actually be moved upward. My opinion, if this is your favorite suit, don’t botch it. If it’s really driving you crazy, you can shorten it a smidge, maybe a half inch, for peace of mind.
Q: No matter what kind of pant I wear, I have very prominent horizontal creases in the crotch and upper thigh region. To me it looks really bad, like the pants have been over-worn. But it can happen (and usually does) the very first time I wear a pant. I realize that the whole world sits for hours a day, but I notice that the majority of men don’t have these creases or only very minimally so. But I don’t have a single pant that doesn’t have them very prominently, regardless of the material or cut. In my opinion the pants fit well…I’ve consulted 5 tailors on the issue of creases and they have been totally useless. What’s the deal?
A: I know what you’re saying, I have a couple pairs of chinos that I don’t wear anymore for this reason. Usually wrinkling issues have more to do with fabric composition and quality rather than garment fit. A good fit can keep the trouser hanging nicely, but the crotch area is going to bunch-up when you sit down no matter what, it’s basic physics. A good natural animal fiber, like wool, alpaca, or cashmere, will have much more bounce-back than a plant based fiber like cotton, hemp or linen. I would take a look at what kind of fabric you’re having issues with and consider upping the quality of the cloth to see if you get better results. I also recommend trying other weaves like a high-twist wool or loose weave hopsack, both of which are designed to be naturally wrinkle-resistant.
JOGGERS FOR SHORT LEGS
Q: I’m 5’8″ and I have a short legs and a long torso. I’d consider my build athletic. I’ve had the desire to try out a new style of pant called joggers (with scrunchy elastic bottom). My wife believes that they’ll attract attention to my short legs and so because of that I’ve avoided them. What is your opinion on these and why would they work or not work for my body? Thanks in advance for your help!
A: Alex is 5’7″ and he rocks the joggers well. His are very slim in the leg, which actually has a lengthening effect. I say give them a shot, but avoid the new popular drop-crotch style. If you (or your wife) hate them, you could always send ‘em back. If you’d like to send us a pic, we’ll give a more in-depth opinion. We’re here to help!
WEARING WOMEN’S SHOES
Q: Is it okay for men with really small feet to wear shoes made for women (that look just like men’s shoes)…my size is very difficult to find in traditional men’s shoe stores.
A: Our friend Dennis Thompson does it and nobody notices. If they look the same, and fit better, why not? The only issue I find is that women’s “menswear inspired” footwear are generally not as durable as men’s shoes, but they’re also cheaper. So maybe you break even in the long run.