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Dec 4, 2012

The Patchwork Shirt -- YEA or NAY?



Friends, when it comes to clothes I actually wear on a regular basis, I'm pretty conventional.

Sure, I'll tiptoe around the edges of avant-garde -- leopard pants here, flower power shirt cuffs there -- but usually with trepidation and not a little regret.  I know what I'm comfortable in and it's generally the tired and true (whoops -- that should read tried and true, LOL!).



But now that I have both red and black versions of the same cotton fabric, purchased yesterday at Elliott Berman, I'm wondering if I should challenge myself and try something unusual, like, say, a shirt with a single black long sleeve and cuff, or a contrasting side front and pocket -- or both.



I don't quilt and with the exception of traditional Indian madras, I'm not a big fan of patchwork, particularly in men's shirts.  The look has grown popular lately, however, especially over at Commes des Garcons and Ralph Lauren.  A few "heritage" brands like Orvis and Woolrich Woolen Mills have done patchwork looks too: sort of, "preppy with a twist."  Or you might call it, "how to squeeze new profits from old fabric scraps" -- like turning yesterday's roast turkey leftovers into today's turkey soup.

For me, a little of this goes a LONG way.  Too cutesy and...



Here are some recent Commes des Garcons versions of the patchwork/contrast look:









Gant (below left):



Brooks Brothers:


Orvis:



Ralph Lauren:



Woolrich Woolen Mills:



 Topman:



Assorted Chinese knock-offs:





This is actually my favorite of the bunch.

So, what do you think, readers?  Are these novelty shirts cool and avant-garde, or scream -- be honest -- fashion school graduation project? 

Is this how I should use my contrasting fabric from Elliott Berman, or should I hold off and experiment down the road with the (tons of) cotton shirting scraps I've already accumulated over the last three-plus years?

Can you see me (or would you want to see anyone) in this sort of look?

Patchwork shirts -- YEA or NAY?

105 comments:

  1. I LOVE that first shirt, but not some of the others. For me, the look works best when the prints aren't the same, so I'm not sure I'd put them together, at least not without something else, like a solid or a stripe.

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  2. While I do love something with a twist, this concept says 90's to me. And as far as fashion goes, the 90's weren't all that. When I see these shirts, I envision them tucked into "mom jeans" or some peg legged jeans on a guy. The only one that's palatable to me is the Orvis plaid. However, I DO like a shirt with contrast cuffs/collars....but too many other patchy areas makes me twitch. That's my 2cents. I'm sure however you utilize your cool new fabric, it will be stylish!

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    1. Oh, Marcia, you reminded me of an old Simplicity "Crafts" pattern (which I just added to the post). Thank you!

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    2. I just spit my coffee out. Thanks. lol

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  3. NAY!!! But that being said, if anybody could make it work, it would be you.

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  4. They are eye catching, but I don't think they are quite as charming as the manufacturers think they are...

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  5. Nay! I just don't like them. I think of all the work that goes into a button-down and I just can't imagine how dated the patchwork one would look - and let me stress, not retro but dated.

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  6. Nooooooo!!! Stick to a contrast cuff or collar (one, not both). Otherwise it looks too '90s — and it's a lot of look. The only one in your post I like is the Topman shirt. The fabric is amazing. You dont need to frill it up to make it look great.

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  7. This first pic in your post is quite stylish, but the rest flashed me right back to 1973, when this was a very popular, and thankfully short lived trend. That being said, I love an unexpected pop of color or pattern on the reverse of a cuff or the stand of a collar or the under side of the collar. You are such a gifted sewist and stylist, don't second guess your gut!

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    1. Amen to you dear! It screamed early 70s to me too, enough to make me shudder. Looked like something out of some of the tv shows of the time that were supposed to portray hippies or communes or both!

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  8. Can you not see the shame on the face of the Ralph Lauren model?

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  9. i like topman shirt.. think something similar would look lovely with those two fabrics you have.. other looks are a bit too much for me..

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  10. No, no, and more no to color blocked shirts. Possibly a contrasting cuff or collar, but better yet, contrasting cuff, collar lining, and plackets.

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  11. I love the contrasting cuff and collar stands. The patchwork reminds me of high school in the late 80's. Maybe I'm too old - when you've lived a trend once, it's hard to envision living it again (don't get me started on all the neon that's back!)?

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  12. I do like the Topman and Orvis ones. We do have to be careful that we're wearing the clothes, not the clothes wearing us!

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  13. Love that Simplicity labeled the envelope "Crafts". I like the second knockoff with the white cuffs and the Topman. I'm sure you'll find the right mix for your shirt.

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  14. Don't do it!!!!!! Contrast inside collar, cuffs-yes. Patchwork, no....you will regret wasting that lovely fabric you bought.

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    1. I second that emotion!!

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    2. i 3rd it. those shirts look hideous to me. your new fabric is way too nice (and too pricey) to use like those pictures.

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  15. With the right combination, and not too many different fabrics, I don't think patchwork shirts are all that bad. I actually do like a couple of the ones you included in this post (the one at the very top probably being my favorite of the bunch). But don't experiment with your splurge fabric!!! Save this project for scraps!

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  16. I really like the Orvis one and the last one. Some of the others look a bit clownish to me. It's all about the fabric choices, and you have to be really careful.

    I really want to make the last one for my one year old now.

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    1. Apparently, I "really" like the term really today! Ha!

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    2. (Great: now I'm going to be dressed just like a one year old!)

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  17. yea. double yea. What have you got to lose?

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    1. Two days of my life plus $35 worth of fabric.

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    2. And some dignity.

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  18. yea, topman. Do it!

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  19. SeamsterEast@aol.comDecember 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I vote "None of the above", except for maybe the 6th pic down on the right, which looks a bit like a shooting jacket, and the t-shirt looking one down a bit more. Most others look like an out of tune piano sounds.

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  20. i'm pretty against the patchwork thing. i've never seen it and loved it. as one who sews i'm pretty against making anything that could be viewed as "crafty." i think i could live with the topman or orvis you pictured, but they just don't scream "make a knock-off!" to me. i do love the contrast idea since you happen to have two colorways of a great fabric. personally i'd limit it to the inside button placket and the inside collar stand; just small peeks.

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  21. Bet if you had the material to make two shirts, one of them more conventional, perhaps just contrasting cuffs and collar stand, the other all mixed up...........you'd get far more use and feel like wearing the conventional one far more often. But the adventure of making something novel is always fun, and it would need to be made with extreme care, I should think.
    Jeannie

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  22. I want to say nay, as I dislike most of the shirts you posted photos of, but I actually do like the one that you said is your favorite of the bunch.

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  23. I quite like the Ralph Lauren and the flower print with solid blocks on the front. But - NAY. Not for something you'll actually want to wear on a regular basis!

    That said, my favourite thing about you and your blog is your ability to imagine then sew and surprise us with these things. But as far as I can possibly think, patchwork in two colours of the same print is not going to look great. Sorry!

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  24. Against it, mostly. Can be done right, but has to be part of the right look, won on the right day, to the right event... Likely wouldn't leave the closet often, in my opinion... and I am a HUGE fan of loud and daring shirts! Just not the patchwork look so much. 90's... clownish... yeah - agree with many of the above comments.

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  25. Nay, don't like it at all. I agree with the poster than the Ralph Lauren model looks pained to even be in the shirt. I live in a large city and never see these shirts around, so it makes me wonder if the average joe is willing to wear them.

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  26. I'm pretty much in the nay camp....sorta like the topman and the last one, but not the rest. Can't wait to see what you decide!

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  27. I don't like them at all. Well, sort of, maybe the topman but I think it's sort of a scrap bag project for a shirt you don't wear out of the house! You are wy too talented to have anything detract from your work like that.

    That said, I can't wait to see what you do next. Michaels shirt was lovely!

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  28. I'd go with your original plan for the shirt and then use the scraps to make patchwork boxers. Garment patterns that are labeled "Crafts" like that Simplicity one generally make me cringe.

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  29. Those patchwork shirts are just a little too "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air goes to a quilting expo". Don't do it.

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  30. Ha! I just saw Simplicity 7505 at Savers a couple of days ago and thought . . .blech! Reminds me of a shirt I put together with scraps in 1974. Don't waste your $35 worth of fabric and time on a radical patchwork. Your idea of contrast inside collar and cuffs is a very good one.

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  31. I don't mind the quieter end of things, like the ones produced by Orvis and Topman.

    I have to say, though, that in general I come down on the "No" side for two reasons:
    1. It reminds me of the 70s, and not in a good way. I remember a lot of awful faux-patchwork fabrics, and the trend to make things look rustic/crafty. I just thought it was bloody ugly.
    2. You're going to be putting money, time, effort, and love into this shirt. I see the more extreme versions of this look going the way of the dodo in a year or so. Similar to shirts with contrasting collar and cuffs in the early 1980s.

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  32. Some YAY, some NAY! I'm in the "it depends" lot! I LOVE the Ralph Lauren shirt, AND also the bottom shirt, your favourite. For me, it's the fabric pattern and colour that does it.

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  33. I think your sense of style is too elegant for this gimmick, but only you can say for sure. I personally think they look like something the rag man would wear, but to each his own. I agree with patchwork boxers!

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  34. If you saw my living room you'd know I'm a big fan of wild color and pattern combinations. But nay to combining those identical prints differentiated only by their colorways.

    I'm seeing a print that by itself already has a lot going on. The polka dots are very lively, and then the simulated creases interrupt the regularity. That is a lot of design right there. Adding in the second colorway is just dizzying to me.

    The scale is small for both prints. If I did a second fabric it would be a solid color, or a print with a very different scale.

    I would also plan this project as part of an ensemble. The shirt could be a masterpiece technically but a wardrobe orphan. (Ask me how I know.)This shirt will want to be the center of attention. What will you wear with it?

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  35. Interesting topic! I dislike all of these shirts except for the first Comme des Garcons one, the Orvis one, and the plaid/heathered grey one. I’m surprised I like any of them since I generally don’t like patchwork, and I’m not big on plaid either – so the fact that the Orvis one works for me makes no sense. But somehow it does. The plaid/heathered grey one strikes me as the sort that mainly works on skinny young hipsters.

    I’m of two minds about this: on the one hand, a shirt like this is so distinctive and memorable that everyone notices and remembers every time you wear it: “Oh, there’s Peter in his crazy shirt again.” And if you want to attract a lot of attention with your clothes and appear very trendy, that may be fine. You seem not to be that sort of guy.

    I see the appeal of having a shirt like this to wear, and as a non-sewist I imagine it’s a fun challenge to take on. I imagine that to purchase a trendy shirt like this that’s well-designed and constructed, it would be expensive – probably too expensive to bother with. As a sewist, you have the ability to make a shirt like this for yourself for a lot less money. And while your time is obviously worth something, it may present less of an obstacle than forking over $$$ for such a shirt.

    I love the red and black fabrics you bought and think that if you were going to do a project like this, those would be good choices for it. I think you’d want to plan your patchwork design very carefully. The more subtle and sophisticated it is, the more wear I think you’d get out of it. I think a shirt like this only needs to whisper, not shout.

    Ultimately, I guess I like your original idea of contrasting collar and cuffs best, but will be interested to see whatever you decide to make from this fabric. Maybe you could decide to also contrast some of the even smaller shirt details, such as the sleeve plackets and the hang loop (if you were to make one). Just some thoughts. Good luck!

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  36. Of all the shirts I think the most successful execution of the patchwork are the Orvis and the Woolrich shirts. Maybe because the plaids are all in the same scale or all the plaids have similar colors. But I do think that you'll get more wear out of the shirt and be happier with the contrast in small doses as you originally planned.

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  37. NO WAY!

    This look will be "out" before you finish the hem.


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  38. Don't do it in that expensive fabric..... you'll want to put your own foot up your behind if you don't like the results. LOL! Go into your scrap stash or bargain fabrics and experiment from there! That's what I would do!

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  39. I say Nay to the way these are done. I do not however mind the yoke/shoulder being done in a different color/pattern
    http://images.asos-media.com/inv/media/9/9/7/6/1686799/image4xl.jpg
    or
    http://fashionfinder.asos.com/mens-G-Star/G-Star-Hiker-Perth-Triton-Long-Sleeve-Shirt-671516

    Beware that it could turn cowboy really quickly (which I don't have a problem with if that was the intent of a piece).

    I do like contrasting cuff/collar like some others mentioned, but I really dig the inside of a collar/cuff being contrasting and almost hidden.

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  40. My brother wanted a Polk-dotted long sleeve shirt with black & white dots and Opposing backgrounds. It was the early 90's and hip hop was the rage in his eyes - he was eleven and my first customer, pro Bono. Black on white cuffs, the opposite on the sleeve and back again on the body portion and so on. Now that I think, I could have done the same with the collar by making it into a two piece collar with different fabric. I Now sew outside rules and experiment with collars curving towards the body or rotate the sleeve to eliminate angle lines due to the arm position. It's still a learning process, but still enjoy it. Without prejudice, it looked good and he had a great idea.

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    1. Haha I remember this trend well, made a lovely silk shirt like this in solid colours that I hand dyed myself, for a sewing project at high school. It was fushia and an aqua color can't remember the other colours I used. I still have it but never wore it, strangely enough neither did my brother??

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  41. Nay, hell nay! People only wore shirts with that much patchwork because they were so poor that they had no other choice. I find it distasteful for a place like brooks brothers to adopt the poor folk look.

    Contrasting cuffs, collars, and yokes are ok for me but I am in rodeo country (and own a cowboy hat.)

    May I propose for a shirt sewing challenge a guayabera instead?

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  42. Not really my thing but I say go for it as long as you can handle not liking your finished project. But it seems like your already firmly in the no column so why waste your fabric on a just because I can whim. Ive been down that road many times.

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  43. I think your fabric is too nice (and too expensive) to risk on a shirt that you may not want to wear when all is said and done. You certainly don't want to stroll around NYC looking like the Ralph Lauren model. Quick, someone call the suicide hotline for that poor guy!

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  44. Will you wear it, really? If yes, do it. If not, don't. Easy!
    A few Xmases ago I made a shirt for my BMF. I texted asking him what he wanted for Xmas and he replied "A big c**k". Charming. So, I found a bunch of fabric with roosters on it in a range of scales, and blocked them together into a shirt. And the card said, "In shirts as in life, c**ks come in all shapes and sizes". He loves his c**k shirt and tells everyone the story!

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  45. Hmmm no... These kind of garments (and I mean most patchwork clothing items) always look a bit thrown together to me, as if you ran out of fabric halfway through and had to improvise. Or like someone morphed a few different shirts into one. But hey, you're talking to someone who isn't even very fond of this so-called colourblocking, so maybe my opinion shouldn't matter here!

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  46. Go for it! I have had the same dilemma recentlh as i felt this trend emerge. There is something so yucky crafty yet appealing in the concept. It feels like a fun challenge for all those scraps lying around. Would love to see your version. I think the whole creative sewist idea is to take on a challenge every now and then. This is a design challenge: how to make ptchwork/colorblocking work for you.

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  47. Don't patchwork your nice new fabric, stick with your original plan. Patchwork up the scraps. The woolrich and the topman shirts are the only tolerable shirts in the bunch. If you patch the scraps, I vote you do a Topman copy.

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  48. If it's a little different from the rest like the Topman or the last Commes des Garcons, go for it. I'd rather have something unexpected and not so Orvis looking.

    Maybe use the one you have less of for the lining of the cuffs, collar, etc.

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  49. I like the Orvis and the Woolrich but the rest is Commes de Goddamn! Seriously, I've never seen so many responses so early in a post and I usually read the posts before I comment but didn't this time. Sorry to be in the nay category-I usually am all, "Yay" for whatever you're doing at the time, and if I am a nay it's not usually something I feel strongly enough to comment on. You've obviously hit on a tender spot today.

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  50. Oh Peter No! You'll never wear it. At least try patchwork boxers first and see if the look works for you.

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  51. I'm a quilter but I say an unequivocal NO to patchwork shirts - in fact any form of patchwork clothing! I don't think it matters who makes it, Comme des Garçon or the strange cat lady who lives down the road - it just looks dorky.

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  52. Ring, ring? It's the early 70s calling, Peter! Yay only if you grow and blow out you hair to a real Bobby Sherman dry look doo. This call will be terminated if you fail to wear your (suitably patched) denim hip huggers. If this phone call feels like a bad acid trip to lost youth, perhaps you should cop a nay and leave the line open for those seeking a direct line to 1972! Far out!

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  53. The Ralph Lauren model looks like a puppy that just did doo-doo in the corner.
    Re the shirts, some of them have potential but they are more the 'I repatched this pocket because it tore from the weight of my worktools' look.

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  54. I like the idea of patchwork in some of those shirts. I think you should draw a few pictures, perhaps trace over some of your favorites and fill in your fabric colors in ways that please you.

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  55. Personally, I LOATHE this look but on the right person it can look great. I would never wear a shirt like these, but perhaps that's because I did wear them in the 80's! Having said that, I can see your fabric made up into a red shirt with sleeve placket in black or the inside button placket in black or maybe the inside collar stand in black, if that makes any sense. I guess that's a nod to the fashion trend without making a shirt that is going to scream 2012 when you wear it a few years from now. I wouldn't want to put the amount of work required into making one of these shirts well for a garment I would only wear a few times.

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  56. Have you come across Shite Shirts yet?

    Ultimate in patchwork - I just wish they didn't have their name on the shirts as well.

    http://www.shiteshirts.com/

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  57. Oh honey.... NO. This look was out before it was ever in.

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  58. It's all too Clampets-gone-wrong for me. I've seen beautiful things in mixed florals or stripes/dots, but it only works for me when the pieces have a reason for being there, part of the design, not random bits of fabric tacked together that look like the product of a who can use the most bits out of the rag bag look.

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  59. Cute on little kids (and models that look like kids). Otherwise, leave the patchwork to quilts.

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  60. It's a tad crafty for me. I do like the last shirt by topman, but the real patchwork shirts give me a headache with so much going on.
    Less is more in my opinion. I like your original idea.

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  61. nay, definatly nay!
    Firstly while the first shirt is ok, the rest are awful and confused. Contrast is good in shirts but patchwork is for quilts.
    secondly that fabric is far to nice to make something you might not wear, you need to make something you'll love!
    btw I love you blog!! It's definatly one of my top Favourites!

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  62. This is type of garment that once you've been seen wearing it, you've been seen. Something you wear once a year or when you get new friends. No on this one. Too much work for a one-time appearance.

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  63. UHHH. Nay! The Fresh Prince called and he wants his shirts back.

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  64. ok Tia- you just made me spit my drink out from laughing.

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  65. I am feeling the Ralph Lauren look. But as shorts, not a shirt.

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    1. I also like the RL shirt and think this look generally works better in dark colors that are the same shade and hue (e.g. not contrasting) However it's hard to do well as most of these examples prove.

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  66. Let's put it this way... nobody will be amazed when you tell them you made it at home.

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    1. Seriously, I snorted out loud when I read this... and completely agree! Only a buff model could make these look sort-of ok... put one on my middle-age hubby and it would look like he was trying out for a Hee-Haw episode (yeah, I'm dating myself...)

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  67. The first shirt is nice, but the rest can be used for dusting as far as I'm concerned.

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  68. This is the kind of thing that fashion photogs put on a nineteen-year-old model with a peaches-and-cream complexion, ice-blue eyes and a trout pout.

    Because anything looks good on those guys, and the photogs know that the same garment on a normal-looking guy would raise snickers.

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  69. Really awful, please don't. The original idea of the black color way as cuff lining, etc, is SO MUCH BETTER than these ugly things.

    Cecilia

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  70. I think it's all dependent on fabric choice. Your fabric is too elegant for such a casual look. Make something elegant.

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  71. Oh good lord - NAY!!! Stick with making something classic out of that beautiful fabric!
    Teri

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  72. The first Chinese knockoff one is kind of cute, but in general I don't like the look. And not with red and black and white. Too much, I think.

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  73. I like the last picture. I am not going to say nay because I am sure there is a way with fabric and design that it could look pretty good. I bet there is some guy out there that would look great in one of these.

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  74. Yeah! especially for the last pic (my fave also) and Commes des Garcons - these have an absurdist, DaDa quality I love. The others are too matchy-matchy crafty. Its a fine line but why not give it a go?

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  75. Love the first one, and the Topman. The rest are Yikes! So tasteless, cardboard comes to mind. So, to quote Mr. Ed: "Naaaaaaaay"

    However, a very tasteful, and subtle contrast, like a thin, off centered stripe in the collar, or on a pocket, might be unexpected and eyecatching. And easily changed out if it doesn't work Less is ALWAYS more.

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  76. You called them "novelty shirts"
    ...definite NO!
    Your two fabrics are beautiful.
    ...maybe piping or facings...?

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  77. These shirts (especially the chinese knockoffs) look cute on the cute young things but I don't think they really work on grown ups. I'm voting with the secret twist -contrast collar and cuff linings bloc. Or at most, contrasting collar, cuff and placket.

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  78. NAYY!!!!!!
    The only one I like is the last one. I wouldn't be too sad if you made that one.

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  79. My first reaction is OMG no way!!! And then I remember the toile jeans. I thought that was a ridiculous idea until I saw them on you. Those jeans are fabulous. So, don't ask me.

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  80. Sorry I can't read all the comments but I am a NAY on this... really if your mother made this shirt for you, you'd refuse to wear it! It looks like you sewed all the scraps together because you can't afford to buy a real shirt. Gant or KMart it all looks yuk.

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  81. Nay, it would be craptastic.

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  82. Hmmm ... no ...
    Aesthetically I don't like these (but then I don't have very avant-garde taste in clothing).

    But, mostly, everybody that knows that you sew will probably ask you the dreaded "sooo ... did you make that?".

    Hard to explain, but details that would be OK in RTW garments may be considered home-ecky in home-sewn garments. And patchwork shirts fall squarely in that category (with twisted neckbands, applique, raw hems ... ).

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  83. Nay. Those shirts are hideous. If you want to use your new fabric for that, just have contrasting collar and cuffs. A whole contrasting sleeve would be too much.

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  84. Overall I'd say NO, but on a 2nd look, a *few* of those aren't too bad, not good, but not bad either. A contrast inside cuff and collar band are a classic now.

    The last one is the only one I really like besides the one you made (2nd photo).

    Maybes - Gant striped one on the left and the Woolrich. The Topman isn't bad, but it reminds me of a bowling shirt.

    Commes des Garcons blue flowered one - BLECH!
    Ralph Lauren - BLECH (even the model has a WTH expression)! The rest - Blech!

    I think the challenge is going to be making the 2 fabrics play well together - I'm going to guess a 3rd fabric (plain? small pattern? not white - too much contrast?) would help out.


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  85. With the exception of the sophisticated Topman shirt and, to a lesser extent, the one you labeled that you like, I hate all those shirts.
    Completely gimmicky.

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  86. ( Having read back this comment I can see it is rather a long one, so for the benefit of peter, and anyone else who may read this I will put here a quick summary of my point and you can read or ignore the rest with my best wishes at your leisure.
    Summary-
    I DETEST these shirts and every thing they stand for.
    Thats it- you know thinking about it I could have just put that and left it, lol,)


    I am sure that if anyone can, you would create a shirt that looked visually better than those , but- here is my own opinion on this, how comfortable would you be wearing a garment that sprang from the solution the luxury goods market is resorting to, in order to continue selling its high brand, expensive, luxury products to those who feel a twinge of guilt about appearing ostentatiously wealthy in a time of real financial poverty for the masses ?.
    The designs are clear "Poverty tokenism" they look dire visually, but it is Ralph Lauren dire, not I am financially destitute dire.
    The design is outright "Clunky" to signal straight away " I am NOT poor, I just don't want to be mugged on my way to the bank by someone who is, and hey if you regularly buy Ralph then you'll know I am one of you "

    High end brand design, has always accepted the financial status element of designs as one of the core marketing principles, high end branding takes innovation, and originality, and then monetizes only an element of it,and discards the rest so that recognition and association becomes immediate and unmistakable.
    As an example, dear Coco is long gone, but the name continues as a business brand, and the designs are no longer innovative, but in the style of an established Brand image.

    Coco herself could tear up the rule book,and design what ever she choose.that was her expressing her originality,
    but today Channel the business,is frozen stylistically, to establish, and protect, the identity of Channel products.
    In times of austerity the fashion industry adopts readily the detailing of extreme poverty ( torn, ripped, distressed clothing, patchwork,etc, but retains for brand recognition purposes absolute control over the placement of these details,using them as identity markers rather than design ascetics) to provide a profitable,wealthy, customer base with a stylistic alibi against suggestions of moral ambivalence. and if it can push a brand created design marker, in to the concept of mainstream desirability,it further bolsters the acceptability of wearing such an item.
    The actual designs in the photos are just plain bad,actually a few are downright nasty, they do nothing to enhance the garment, have no wit, or wisdom in the placing,and lack originality,so the purpose of the ascetic behind them has to be for pure visibility. they ignore the craftsmanship of the accomplished patch worker/designer/creative. and that is the point of the shirt it is an out right status symbol of purchasing power, and nothing more.
    when anyone sits down to create something they should know why they are creating it, they should want to pursue an idea and push it and themselves to further territory in the making of it.
    we all put something of ourselves in to the things we create,and we also learn something about ourselves when we try to further our ideas.
    These shirts are pastiches of the garments the poor created out of having no choice, they are pretend powerlessness for those with plenty of real choice.




    ( peter your blog is always so stimulating, I love how you create an environment that leads to debate about such wide issues beyond that of surface detail.)

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  87. I agree with many of the comments about the thumbs-down on patchwork. The only two shirts I like are the very first picture with the dots and lines, and the Orvis one.

    I can see using patchwork if you want a shirt to be a work of art. But like most decent art there should be a point of view. The patchwork in the very first shirt is reminiscent of Leger or Lichtenstein, and I could see using patchwork to do a sort of homage to an artist's style. I don't know why I like the Orvis patchwork but I do. It's not like a piece of art.
    The other shirts from Comme de Garcon and the rest to me are just boring and quite frankly - ugly. There seems to be no reason for the patchwork other than they needed something new this season. Change for change's sake - not because it was compelling.

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  88. I got sucked into making a few patchwork and color-block shirts many years ago. I gave away a few because they're too 'grandma crafty' looking. It takes a fine eye to get the balance right. The only one I made that I wore was batiks. The color ways were very close and prints very similar. Now that I've got rid of 35lb. I'm reversing the placket so my husband can wear it.

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  89. I love the first one in the post..but the rest look like "Hi, Grandma made this shirt for me and I have to wear it. Please be my friend anyway."

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