True Confessions of a Trad: Rigging the Rig

Cuff Cheat

We all keep secrets. Sometimes we keep secrets, because someone has confided in us. Other times we keep secrets, because there are things about ourselves that we would prefer remain unknown. This week I have decided to share one of my own secrets. This secret falls into the latter category. Bear with me as I confess to one of my dirty trad secrets.
Cuff Cheat 2Fit is something that we (clothes horses) are always going on and on about. If it doesn’t fit it the fact that an article of clothing has all the right retail does not matter. This way of thinking leads to either a never ending number of visits to your tailor or hours in front of a sewing machine. This is where my secret begins.

9 out of 10 times the cuff on my shirts are too large. This looks sloppy even when the sleeve is the correct length. Now this is an easy fix. You simply remove the button and re-attach it a little further away. This is what makes my secret so bad. I am not avoiding much work at all. What I do instead of addressing the issue is to double over the cuff so that it is attached to the button from the outside. This makes the sleeve tighter. It also creates a little chaos around the gauntlet button, but it is not easily detected by the untrained tie.

I hope that some of you can relate to my secret. I am sure that I am not alone in taking short cuts to artificially improve the fit of my clothes. I have a few more secrets that I will be sharing in the future. I also want you to know that I have moved the buttons on most of shirts at this time. Please forgive me for my transgressions. What secrets do you have?

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

11 Comments on "True Confessions of a Trad: Rigging the Rig"

  1. jonas says:

    “Improvised quasi-french-cuff OCBD?”

    Nah; I say “Impressive quasi-french-cuff OCBD.”

    Nice work.

  2. Fading Fast says:

    I have no issue with the occasional short-cut, it just looks to me that your short cut would be uncomfortable to wear – does’t the cuff feel funny buttoned that way?

    I am sure I’ll come up with more, but right now, the only one of mine that comes to mind is that I have used safety pins to hold up a drooping lining on a sport coat so that it didn’t fall below the actually jackets bottom hem (i.e., you would see the inside lining falling lower than the outer fabric).

    The real fix is either an easy tailor touch up to the liner if it is just a one-off liner issue or, if the liner is going, one needs to get the liner replaced. The first is a nominal fee, the second isn’t cheap, but if the garment has a lot of life left in it, it is well worth doing – and I’ve done it to several garments over the years.

    But if I’m in a hurry, a couple of safety pins will usually hold the liner up and “solve” the problem in a I’m-not-proud-of-it way.

  3. Lin says:

    My secret is an easy way to shorten the sleeves on a lined jacket ( I often have to do this on thrifted or consignment finds, since I am petite). Turn the jacket inside out & sew a (however large you need it to be) tuck in the lining – which will pull the outside material up into the sleeve. Works like a charm although you may need to remove any buttons on sleeve (this is trickier if there are cuffs). Voila!

  4. Erik says:

    Jerrod, I’ve been known to donate shirts that lost a button rather than learn to sew. Your transgressions are more than forgivable.

  5. Fred Johnson says:

    Just when you think you know a guy…

  6. It is good to hear that I am not alone.

    Jonas – Thanks!

    FF – Buttoning the cuff this way does not feel weird at all. I usually forget until I go to take the shirt off.

    Fred – I know. I think that I posted this just to force myself to mend my ways.

  7. Joe says:

    “Mend” your ways! Pun intended??? 😉

  8. Reuben says:

    I, uh, I don’t own an iron. Or a washing machine. All my khakis and 90% of my buttondowns take a regular trip to the local wash n fold.

  9. oxford cloth button down says:

    Joe – Pun intended!

  10. You can avoid “chaos around the gauntlet button” by sticking with Brooks!

  11. oxford cloth button down says:

    Glengarry Sporting Club – Well played.

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