Adjusted Denim

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I recently shocked some of my friends in recounting my adjustment of a high-street jacket at a top-notch tailor. They were particularly amazed that I invest so much capital in mass-produced items and that my tailor, a protector of an industry that promotes quality above price, even agrees to provide services; “If I was a tailor” they sniff “I’d refuse to touch anything by that sweat-shop scum.” Sadly, tailors cannot afford to be so principled. Nor is it wise to be; turn down a customer for adjustments and you turn down a future, potentially regular, client.

My friends, baffled by my extensive inventory of adjusted items, asked me if there was anything I hadn’t taken to be adjusted. I had a ready answer; denim. I have never considered having any of my jeans adjusted by a tailor. And until recently, I didn’t see the point. Jeans have always been at the other end of the style spectrum to Savile Row; common and casual. It is this latter quality that has ensured that denim is one of London’s most outlawed materials.

The Ritz Hotel famously denies entry to those in denim, and most London gentlemen’s clubs request that members do not wear jeans. There are even some rather snooty nightspots in the West End that look down on them, particularly if they are rather bedraggled in appearance. The jean is the most casual of trousers and in no century are they more befitting of their position as the pant of the proles than the 21st, for it is my contention that though they are worn on the butts of the billionaires and the board members, jeans have never looked scruffier.

Firstly, they are worn far too long. Jeans should not be worn in the same way as trousers – on the waist – but they should not be worn with such carelessness. Folds and folds get caught under shoes, get chewed and frayed. The honest provenance of denim might not be synonymous with expensive alterations but it’s a mistake to presume that the ill-fitting baggy mess that is the majority of denim has any reference to the working-class origins of the fabric.

Secondly, when was it decided that it is acceptable not to see at least the outline of the denim wearer’s gluteous maximus? The ‘saggy butt’ sin of wearing jeans is that a respectable middle-aged gentleman is suddenly transformed into the male equivalent of lamb-dressed mutton; when trying a pair of jeans on, always make sure you can see the silhouette of your posterior and not the ludicrous likeness of a collapsed stage-curtain.

I saw a gentleman on the telephone outside a chocolate shop recently and when he had ended his call, politely asked him where I could find a pair of jeans similar to those which he was wearing, very well, with a mustard cord jacket, oxblood shoes and a pale blue shirt. He told me they were by Levi but winced awkwardly, and unnecessarily if you ask me, when he added that he had had them ‘adjusted.’ Perfect length, perfect shape; where else could you achieve such eye-catching results than at the tailors?


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.

Comments

  1. David Webber says:

    some corrections about jeans, from a Texan point-of-view:

    1. jeans are worn on the waist; holsters are worn on the hip

    2. jeans need to be adjusted so that
    a. leggings ends at the top of the boot heel, so that the jeans do not get snagged on the spur, stirrup, cinch, chaps, or even underneath the heel when walking
    b. you can show off your boots

    3. finally, only damn fools and/or Yankees have their jeans dragging in the dirt and their ass hanging out

    by the way, I recommend you get a pair of real boots; start with a nice pair of Lucchese (http://www.lucchese.com) 1883 or Classic. do keep in mind that the Classics run a tad snug.

    now, if you are willing to drop a load of cash and willing to wait, I recommend T.O. Stanley (http://www.tostanleyboots.com).

    regardless of which real boot you decide to get, you need to get a width wider than dress shoes. real boots are made to have an extra insole inserted, worn out, and then replaced.

  2. Paul says:

    sp: gluteus maximus

  3. somuchstyle says:

    LOL @ the gluteus maximus paragraph! That looks like one tough beefed up denim crushing sewing machine btw. Any chance part of that is made out of tungsten? Its the hardest metal on the planet and they use it to make tools and things with, and nowadays even tough mens Tungsten Rings!

  4. Adam L says:

    Wow… that was some reaching on the tungsten plug. But then again, I don’t have sufficient entrepreneurial spirit to go out making plugs everywhere, so I should keep quiet.

    Continuing to love your work, Winston. Are you considering going the tailored jeans route? A man who does that certainly leaves no sartorial stone unturned, although personally I think there’s a charm to having some basics in your wardrobe that, through trial and error, you have become loyal to for the relief of knowing they are cut close enough to your measurements to work unaltered. Such was the case with my settling on a particular size and hem length of Levi’s (their cheapest label, in fact, marketed toward Walmart and Target) after years of having ill-fitting jeans from a variety of brands. Their cut just ended up being the one that fits me (and my wallet).

    Erm… and I don’t work for them. Just an example of developing smarter, rather than slavish, brand loyalty.

  5. Tommy says:

    Just a point for the Texan, you look pretty silly riding a horse with jeans that are tailored like your suit pants. They should be stacked when standing so they aren’t around your calves when sitting on a horse. Now walking around town might be a different matter……

  6. desisuit says:

    “There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness and great photo