My White Dinner Jacket: Take II

Posted on May 6, 2012

Before and after alterations.

Well it took quite a while but I finally got my Jos. A. Bank white dinner jacket back from the tailors.  As I mentioned in  a previous post, it fitted so poorly that it had to be completely taken apart and reconstructed.  The shoulders are now more natural, the waist is tapered, the sleeves have been taken in, the length has been shortened and the centre vent closed.  I also had the ends of the shawl collar tapered to look more refined, flattering and typical of other shawl collars.  I still have a few more modifications to get done – removing the pocket flaps, shortening the sleeves further, among others – but you can see how much better the jacket looks now.  While I’m happy with the results I’m obviously disappointed that I had to  spend more on alterations that I did on the purchase.

This being my first white dinner jacket I have learned that there are some special considerations unique to jackets made translucent by their light colour and  light weight.  Not only is the tone of dark underlying garments going to be partially visible (thus the need for white suspenders) but so will the inner construction of the jacket.  The primary examples of this are the edges of the shoulder pads and the overlapping fabric at the jacket’s various seams.  Such are the trade-offs for a jacket designed to provide maximum comfort in tropical climes.

I have also discovered the importance of a trim-fit shirt with such jackets.  The folds of excess  fabric from regular shirts that would normally be pressed flat when worn underneath standard-weight jackets instead create corresponding folds in the thinner material of lightweight jackets.  Furthermore, the shadows created by these folds that are practically unnoticeable in dark jackets become highly visible in off-white models.  This is evident in the photos above where  I wore a cheap, baggy formal shirt: you can  see how the jacket sleeves’ ability to hang properly are disrupted by the bulky shirt sleeves bunched up underneath.

After all this time, effort and money I’m anxious for an opportunity to debut the finished jacket.   While my Caribbean cruise next February is a perfect occasion to do so, I hope I can find an excuse much sooner than that!

All dressed up and rarin’ to go.