How to prepare your new suit to be worn
By Clare Sheng
When you buy a new suit, there are white stitching on the jacket shoulders, the vents are sewn closed and the pockets are stitched shut. These all need to be removed to prepare the jacket to be worn. I’m here to explain to you how to remove all these stitching, without damaging the fabric of your brand new suit.
The white stitching is a form of tradition, which shows the jacket has been completed with care and by hand. Nowadays, even suits that are made in a factory production line are finished with this type of stitching to keep with tradition. All of these stitching are decorations only, and extra details to shows the manufacturer’s care in the product, and to prove that it is a brand new suit. They need to be unpicked before you are wearing the suit. A lot of guys are a bit nervous about taking scissors to their new suit. They are afraid of making small holes and nips in the suit, which may cost hundreds to repair. Therefore we often have clients ask us to prepare the jacket for them before wearing. Here is a breakdown of how easy it is to remove yourself. When done properly, it shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.
Firstly, the stitching on the shoulder needs to be taken off. It is usually made with white basting stitch which can be easily tugged and broken off. If there are still some threads left in the jacket, just find the end of the knot and pull out the rest of the string. Try to only use blunt ended scissors if needed.
Secondly find the cross stitch that is usually on the vent of the jacket. This Cross stitch is to keep the vents closed after the manufacturing process. The vent of a jacket is to accommodate for the bum, and to allow for movement when you’re walking and sitting. If you don’t remove the stitch, it is very awkward when you walk and sit, also making you look like an amateur who haven’t prepared his jacket before wear. To remove this stitch, simply break one of the large strands with blunt scissors, and then find the two ends on the reverse sides, and pull it out of the jacket. Again trying not to use sharp ended scissors to avoid damaging the fabric.
Now we come to the sleeves. Often there is a small tag on the sleeve with the name the brand printed. Sometimes it is held by plastic tags, and sometimes hand-stitched with cotton threads. This tag needs to be removed before wear. I have seen a sales assistant at a high end watch shop, showing of his new designer suit by keeping this tag on his sleeve. Just by this little rookie mistake, it instantly downgraded his class and authority on all things high end related. The stitching on these tags on the sleeves are usually quite tight, so be very careful when you are taking it off. We can do it for you if you are not sure. It’s better to be careful than sorry. A small hole can cost $100s to repair.
Lastly, you need to unpick the pockets on the jacket, so you can start using them. There is a breast pocket for your pocket squares, and two front pockets where you may like to keep a handkerchief. (Usually valuables like phone and wallet are kept in the inside pockets.) To open the pockets, simply poke your finger into the small gap on the corner of the pocket, and tug gently. The threads should come out easily and the pockets are opened. Try to not go digging with a pair of scissors and risk damaging the jacket.
There you go, now you are equipped with all the knowledge needed when preparing a new suit to be worn for the first time.
Want to know more?
The Suit Book – Everything You Need to Know About Wearing a Suit