A colleague has a very nice winter coat, but with three maker’s labels sewn just above the cuff, on the sleeve. I assume the coat came that way from wherever she bought it. Is she supposed to cut the labels off? Then throw them away, or sew them inside where they can’t be seen? Or just leave them on the sleeve?
I had a coat like that once, a really nice wool full-length coat, with one label. I assumed I was supposed to cut it off, because I’d never seen women walking around with labels on their coat sleeves, so I did.
I remember it as a relic of days gone by when expensive clothing had the labels attached to the sleeve or another (outer) part of a garment. You’re supposed to remove the labels and sew them onto an inconspicuous part of the garment.
Oh, really? I thought that the labels on the outside of “prestige” items were so that everybody would know you dumped $1K on a coat.
For instance, my London Fog ($125) has a visible tag that I haven’t removed. I honestly didn’t know I was supposed to. It seems akin to cutting off the Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Polo, Vuitton, or YSL (et.al) logos on clothing - simply not done by any women I know.
I had a customer the other day wearing a coat with the label still attached to the sleeve. I don’t know why she thought it should remain on…it said “100% Cashmere Wool”. No designer name at all. To be incredibly honest about this, I see this more with women of color than any other group. I think it’s just a mistaken belief that if the tag is sewn on rather than attached with a hang-tag it must remain on. But I also see tons of people walking around with baseball caps sporting a dangling paper hang tag…so weird.
How to tell which tags should be removed? If they are sewn on with only one stitch at each corner…basted, basically…you are supposed to remove them. And it would be nice if store clerks knew this and informed their customers so they don’t go around wearing these temporary tags for years. Even if it’s a fabric tag! (I think that is part of the problem…since these are fancy woven tags, they must be a design element, right? Wrong!) Tacked at just the corners? Take it off. Sewn on with a line of stiching all the way around? Leave on unless you hate it, but be aware the holes from the stitching might show.
I also am puzzled by people who leave the tacking stitch on at the bottom of a pleat at the back vent of a coat…sometimes it’s even a big “X” of stitches. That is meant to keep the pleat hanging neat during shipping and display, not to keep it permanently closed. If you leave it in there, the coat doesn’t open as it should during wear…the vent is there to relieve strain on the garment when you sit…leave that stitch in and it will balloon out unattractively. I once saw a woman who had left in all the basting stitches at the bottom of all the pleats in a skirt…talk about things ballooning out unattractively! I have purchased skirts where the stitching is half hanging loose…that’s a clue, folks, that it’s temporary!
Now all that being said, I just heard last year that those little chain stitches that hold a belt on a woman’s dress in place…that ones that always rip out? Those are also designed as temporary to keep the belt with the dress while on the rack at the store. They are not intended as belt loops like on a pair of pants…you’re expected to keep track of the belt on your own at home. Now me not knowing that one is entirely my mom’s fault…she would go to much trouble to replace those chain stitches whenever they broke, thinking they were a guide to keeping the belt in place during wear.
Would it be rude of me to mention that coat-sleeve tag thing to the next person I see this on? I’m thinking they’d be quite embarassed, or quite defensive. We should try to get Martha or the What Not To Wear folks, or Oprah to mention this on their shows.