For all the fuss they make over the comfort of drape, I expected the clouds to part, rays of sunshine to burst forth and choirs of angels to sing when I put this on. It's soft, it's light, it's comfortable, but is it really all that much more comfortable than the starch and armor that I normally wear?
In part, because of the sleeve. People have this funny notion about sleeves and their fullness. Despite what most people think, the neapolitan sleeve is not the fullest; in fact, it is one of the smallest. And neither is the A&S sleeve (I hate to burst your bubble, Mr Hitchcock, but EVERYBODY fulls a large sleeve into a smaller armhole, not just you guys). The rope shoulder is the fullest sleeve up top; that's what makes the rope. You have to fill in all the extra room with wadding to make it clean, otherwise you wouldn't have "soft ripples" like the spalla camicia, you would have Niagra Falls. I can then taper from that fullness toward the wrist and have a sleeve that is full up top but trim at the bottom. Much more modern and appealing to my eye. People don't usually have fat elbows, and extra space around the lower bicep or elbow is not actually more comfortable. The key is to have more space ABOVE the breast line. In this, a rope-shouldered sleeve is the fullest and affords the greatest amount of movement. That is why I have more movement in the POW jacket picture below, even though it is lean-cut than I do in this drape coat. Of course, if the armhole were in the wrong position, nothing is going to comfortable.
Does this coat suit me better? Probably. I'm still not thrilled about it, though that may change. Since it is a sport coat it is not bad, but I think a business suit cut like this would not feel right. Not for me, anyway. I'll wear it a bit but I have a feeling this is going to end up on ebay.
Monday, February 23, 2009