Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roll With It

I found my old post, word for word, saved on my computer! I've reposted exactly, though I feel it may be totally unnecessary after Heavy Tweed Jacket's amazing write-up about Brooks' collars found here. A true must read. Still, for the beginner I repost this:

Sorry for the long time between posts. School has a way of picking up at the least fortunate times. Plus, with our school gunman, this week was particularly crazy.

A good roll is one of those things that separates good from great. A lapel pressed flat looks cheap; a collar with no roll is nearly useless; and both done properly looks amazing. Fortunately, the roll of a jacket lapel is almost always fixable, unlike the poor, unfortunate collar. A good dry cleaner should be able to fix your jacket right up. The best thing to fix a collar roll I’ve found is Brooks Brothers (as in, their shirts inevitably roll the best, most reliably). I’ve put together some pictures, mostly not my own, to illustrate the differences and the possible perfection!

Much of the credit for the older pictures I’ll post goes to user AldenPyle on AAAC and the always amazing ‘American Trad Men’ thread.

Tell me this lapel doesn’t look great

Particularly when compared to this one (note the lapel roll, not the pose)

This is not to say that a suit automatically looks bad with a flat lapel, it clearly doesn’t, but when striving for the last 10%, look here first.

As for shirts, it’s the collar that matters

Actually one of my shirts (well, it was one of mine; I had to pass it along just this week). An older, Brooks shirt with an unlined collar (as in, the collar has no lining between the 2 layers of fabric that create it). Often, an unlined collar can create the ultimate roll, but they’re depressingly hard to find. Notice the gentle roll that the collar creates at the top, that’s precisely what a collar roll is, and it gets even better when filled with a tie. 

Then look at this shirt. Again, tell me this wouldn’t look better with a proper roll. Not to mention, these smaller, flat collars are almost impossible to wear a tie with, if the mood strikes you.

Unfortunately, many of the new or younger lines, such as LL Bean Signature and Lands End Canvas fall prey to this. I’m not sure who told them that younger people don’t like a real collar, but please, give us a chance and we’ll learn if we don’t love it already! Brooks’ college collection is dangerously close tothis, as well (sadly). 

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