Suits

Four things you should do with a new blazer

Four things you should do with a new blazer

Odd as it may seem, a ready-to-wear blazer isn’t actually sold ready to wear. Most actually come with excess thread and display labels that need to be removed before you take the jacket out in public. But these things aren’t designed to trip you up. “In the case of stitching, it’s to help the maker keep the garment in the right shape while they’re constructing it,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “And the labels are there so the buyer can understand the provenance of the fabric.”

Many men understandably assume these are design features, rather than factory leftovers. But failing to deal with them can make you look a little careless. Luckily, getting your blazer or suit jacket real-world-ready only takes three minutes and a pair of scissors.

1. Remove the vent stitches

Vent stiches

What is it? An ‘X’ of thread that seals the vent (that’s the gap in the fabric that sits over your buttocks”.

Why is it there? To stop the hem of your jacket getting folded up – and wrinkled – when it’s in transit and storage. But on your body, they stop it hanging properly

How do I fix it? “Snip the thread and pull it out gently, so as not to damage the fabric,” says Luke. “Single vent jackets have one ‘X’; double vent jackets have two.”

2. Ditch the cuff label

Cuff label

What is it? The maker’s logo, sewn onto the cuff of your jacket in contrasting fabric.

Why is it there? To make a particular jacket easier to locate when it’s in storage. It’s simpler to see a label on the cuff than inside the collar.

How do I fix it? “Cut away the thread that attaches the label at each corner,” says Luke. “Take care none is left in the sleeve.”

3. Snip the pocket stitches

Pockets

What is it? Thread that seals all your jacket pockets.

Why is it there? Open pockets can billow and make the jacket look less sleek. They’re sealed so it stays flat.

How do I fix it? “Use a sharp knife to cut the thread at one end, then gently pull the pocket open,” says Luke. Or, leave them closed. You shouldn’t actually use your outside pockets (apart from the chest pocket, for a handkerchief) as it makes it bulge in odd places. If they’re closed, you won’t be tempted.

4. Take out the shoulder thread

Shoulder thread

What is it? A line of contrasting thread that runs along the shoulder of a jacket.

Why is it there? Bespoke jackets are held together by loose stitches, so tailors can adjust them easily. Some off-the-rack versions add this thread to make the blazer feel more premium. But it does nothing.

How do I fix it? “Cut through the centre of one of the stitches, then gently pull the thread out from each side,” says Luke.

Illustrations: Eric Chow