Monday, March 21, 2011

The Velveteen: Rehab It.

A recent thrift store find was this brown velvet(y) jacket (don't worry, I won't be homing in on the thrift-find territory).  It is a moderate velvet jacket, partially lined, exceedingly soft, but with some very disagreeable buttons depicting a cereal crop of some kind (if anyone wants them, I'll even pay the postage).  Also, the side-vented stern has two rips, and the seam is only the origin of the tears... they go a full inch into open fabric, making any potential repairs tough. At $4 for the whole get-up though, it is worth the try.

Irredeemably ugly buttons
Unforgivably bad

New (more attractive) Frog closures
 I dug around eBay for a bit, and ordered a dozen very small frog closures from China for $5.  A quick stop by Windsor Button in Boston for two larger frog closures, and then I brought the entire thing to the tailor.

Three of the new frog closures, already shedding their (likely toxic) strands.

The tear that inspired (required) the external gusset

2 Weeks Later......

The rips turned out to be difficult to repair, so two sets of opaque triple Flemish flakes were the only interesting way to cover the seams, and they make surprisingly passable external gussets.  They actually fasten together, but there will obviously be no need to undo them ever.

Stern View: The tops of each side-vent now conceal the repairs

I gave the front of this swarthling two new frogs to replace the buttons, and took further license to administer an equally poetic twist to non-functional flourish by giving each cuff its own plague of frogs... in mini-form and triplicate.

Exodus 8:2

Ten closures in all, but only one will ever be used

Combined with spotted silk for the neck and brown velvet slippers, I was was ready to do what I do best: Stand overly upright with drink in hand delivering my cocktail laugh to some pained-over anecdote of falsified social heroism before eventually returning same.

Brown velvet slippers and jacket

When the deck was finally coiled down, this entire senseless exercise in jacketry cost about $55.  So now I have a brown velvet jacket of questionable quality adorned in needlessly-fancied closures which consumed a few hours with hassle and can now be worn only occasionally and specifically, yet will still occupy closet space and annoyingly require regular care.  Perfect!


  1. This is certainly a series that the rest of the menswear sphere should take note of

    All best,


  2. Oh dear, I love it! I really like what you've done. Superb job. I do need a velvet cocktail jacket...

  3. In the running for best post-title pun ever.

  4. What a life you lead, where a brown velvet jacket and matching house shoes look appropriate even once!

  5. The last paragraph is priceless. I believe you have a winner sir

  6. IF you ever think about writing a book on how to revive things, i´ll definitely buy a copy.

    Your posts are always exceptionally insightful and prove to be one of the most useful writings around in the blogosphere.

  7. Well done, both in the jacket and what you paired it with. I have two velvet jackets I would like to put frog buttons on but have been apprehensive about doing so until I saw this, now I think I'll have to run them over to my tailor.

  8. I'm seeing Paul Revere and the Raiders in that jacket.

  9. Very dapper indeed. Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog - have a great weekend.


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