Upcycling Your Game
If you’ve been reading the magazine for a number of issues now, I want to sincerely thank you. Also, if you have been following our suggestions, especially the work outs and the diets, you must have lost some weight. If you have, congratulations! I too have dropped a few kilos over the course of 6 months, which is definitely a yay. The nay in this is that my old clothes are too big for me now.
If you relate to what I’m talking about and are in the same snare as I am, read on. We are going to upcycle these puppies we used to adore and have grown out of. Or rather, shrunk out of.
The online place is to the brim with articles and tutorials on how to taper clothing. One can follow the instructions easily and DIY it. However, most of us have an absence of a sewing machine and a scarcity of patience. So save yourself the trouble and find a tailor who has the skill to taper clothing.
It took me just two days to get the clothes back from the tailors, which was enough for me to get a haircut and my shoes laundered. Í
I got this shirt from Dockers as a graduation gift for myself, which set me back a good five grands. When I got it, I weighed some odd 88kgs and for me, the shirt fit perfectly. Now, weighing 10kgs lighter, the shirt is just too darn big for me. I can’t wear it without it looking like a parachute when the wind blows, or like Frankenstein’s Igor when I tuck it in.
Shoulders: The first thing you want to check are the shoulders. Fortunately for us humans, shoulders are hard to morph as the skeleton underneath does not change. So if the shoulders are okay, you’re more than okay. If they’re not, it might be a little tricky for the tailor, but it’s up to their skill.
Neck: Like the shoulders, if it’s okay, you’re more than okay, if not, might be a bit of an inconvenience but nothing a skilled tailor can’t do.
Waist: This is of the biggest concern. This is what will make or break your shirt. For me, it was too baggy. So getting it tapered to my new- less-curvaceous waistline did the trick. Now mind you, tapered and tight are two very different things. When you get yours done and it’s hard to button, and when you do, you get some heavy wrinkle action, you probably instructed the tailor wrong.
Length: Length will not be much of an issue because your height will be a constant. If it’s an issue, shorten that motherlover up. Appropriately, it should be an inch or so above you dong.
Arm Hole: When you taper the waistline, the arm hole gets smaller too, and you do want that. Now, shirts are not like suit jackets, you need that mobility. So be mindful not to get it too small. When you put it on and the seams press against your arm pit, you know you got it wrong.
Sleeve: Tapering the sleeves are a must too, else you’ll get sausage arms. Again, tapered, not tight.
Sleeve Length: The cuff should end on your wrist bone, not past it, not before it. Most of the times, the length will correct itself when you get it tapered, but different strokes for different folks. Do shorten if the need comes.
I also inherited a pair of chinos from my dad that are super comfortable. They are a bit washed out and that’s because I used to wear it everywhere.
I love them that much. But the problem is that it’s a bit outdated. The vogue of now is tapered and slim fit and these trousers are straight. I believe that staying relevant to the trends is a hallmark of a cosmopolitan, so straight fits are a no-no.
Waist: I did not used to be heavy all the time. I was slim enough and then got fat. These pants being of the not-heavy era, the waist fits me perfectly. Regardless, if you can’t relate, look at the inner waist band. Often, the band will have a vertical seam, which means it’s alterable. However, if the seem is not there, you’ll have to risk making a snip there. So tell your tailor to be extra careful.
Fit: It might be repetitive, but the key word here is tapered. What you want to think of is a downward isosceles triangle. The pant should gradually narrow down to your ankles.
Crotch: If you make it too tight, you will get a male camel toe, and trust us, it’s not pretty. Besides, it’s highly uncomfortable. Also, you do want to avoid getting self- wedgies, right?
Length: Most pants aren’t really our length. So we just cuff them up or let them bunch up. If they’re the baggy kind, we might have even tripped on them. If you did not care then, now is the time to care. The length should end where the ankles end. Now, since summer’s around the corner, I went above the ankle to show some summery ankle action.
Be patient. Don’t try to end your altering in just one visit. While tapering, you can always run the risk of being too tight. When the tailor cuts the fabric, it can not be made bigger. So do be willing to go in for several trial session to get the fit perfect enough for an Italian guy to kiss his fingers and exclaim “Mamamia!”
Most of us give up on our pair of denims when we get a rip. The rest of us rock those rips as a tribute to the gods of distress, but let’s be honest, nothing like a pair of nice and crisp jeans.
From experience, the biggest woe for heavyweights comes from our big thighs. Big thighs equal friction which brings a catastrophic fraying. End of the world, right? Not necessarily. Jeans were built to last. They were made for miners as a protective garment and I’m pretty sure that Neil Armstrong wore them to the moon to fight off the aliens in style.
Altering: You can alter jeans. Bet you didn’t know that, eh? Anyways, a lot of things can be altered and jeans is just one of them. Just follow the steps we mentions for the pants.
Unwanted Fraying: It is not the end of the world. You can still save it, be it your favorite pair or not so much. You can stitch them up or do a patch job. A patch might look tacky so if you’re not willing the risk, go with stitching. Now, this sort of stitching as it has its own name for it. The people who do it call it “roughing” or “rough work” and ironically, it’s not rough at all. For jeans, this sort of repair will look flawless.
Dying: With wear, jeans tend to lose their color. Most of the times, this sort of distressing is tasteful and unique. But some of us what to have that crispness to the color. If you’re one of them, dying is for you. No, we do not wish death upon you, we mean the dye kind of dying. So just pop into your dry cleaners and ask them to dye it. You can go back to your original color, or lighter, darker and even a different color if you want. It’s your pair and you should only care.
I got this unstructured jacket made to fit my body perfectly… a year ago. Now, it just looks too baggy and wrinkled. This was of an alarm to me because a) the jacket was a huge investment b) I don’t have a lot of jackets c) I don’t have enough of money. A man needs a jacket. If he has a suit, that’s a win, but definitely more expensive. So a jacket with a pair of chinos is more than enough to get by. But when that jacket is taken away from you, it’s a bit of a fit… or unfit.
Waist: Most of the times, the waist is the issue and the solution to fix the other issues. If you have an American cut, there’ll be one seam down the back, two for British. All you have to do is take in the fabric to taper the waist
Buttons: One neat little trick, and more inexpensive, is to take the buttons off and stitch them a bit further so that the fit is more snug.
Armhole: The jacket is like a complex shirt. So much of the construction is similar. Tapering the waist should take away some of the armhole.
Sleeve: Like always, tapered. Not tight.
Sleeve Length: You want to see some cuff action from the shirt underneath. So, the sleeve length needs to end above the wrist bone. A finger or two worth of shirt is flattering and appropriate.