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FASHION POLICE

Shirt-Sleeve Dilemma Leaves Him Dangling

September 06, 2002|Jeannine Stein

Dear Fashion Police: I like wearing western shirts, but I've found that the sleeves come in only one length, which is many inches longer than normal--so much so that the cuffs extend over my fingers. I can pull the cuffs up to the right place, but then the sleeves bunch up. Decorations such as embroidery or snaps on the cuffs make alterations difficult and expensive, and I've had poor results when I have had shirts altered. Can you help? I usually wear a 15 1/2-inch collar and a 32-inch sleeve.

--DANG IT ALL

Dear Dang: We had not heard of this overly long sleeve phenomenon on western shirts, so we contacted a couple of experts in the field. George Uresti, director of e-commerce at Cavender's, a Texas-based chain of western-wear stores (www.cavenders.com), said that there is no standard sleeve length that manufacturers use when making their shirts. Many shirts often come in small, medium, large and extra-large and not with specific collar and sleeve sizes, as with dress shirts.

A medium shirt with a 15-inch collar could have a sleeve length of 33/34, which would be overly long for you.

Marie Duck, manager of Spencers Western World in Pinellas Park, Florida (www.spencers westernworld.com), added that sleeves on western shirts are sometimes cut a bit longer to appear fuller when buttoned or snapped at the wrist.

Both Uresti and Duck suggested that if you're ordering shirts in a store or online, ask a salesperson or a customer service representative for more precise sleeve and collar measurements--they should be able to provide that information.

You still may have to resort to a tailor, even though you've not been happy with results in the past. The extra expense of finding an expert tailor who knows what he or she is doing may be worth it if you wear these shirts a lot.

Dear Fashion Police: Years ago I inherited a mink jacket that I never have worn, nor will I ever wear it. I feel very strongly that fur looks best on the animal, and I do support People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But since I inherited the fur, I don't feel right just discarding it. I saw an ad in a magazine once for a recycled mink teddy bear, and I was considering doing that. I can't bring back the minks, but I would get some enjoyment out of the bear. I'd be grateful if you could suggest a furrier that could help make this into a bear.

--THE FUR ISN'T FLYING

Dear Fur: Though we agree that the damage has been done with regard to the animals, there's something about turning the coat into a teddy bear that makes us feel kind of ... icky. Maybe it's the thought of having a cute, smiling bear around as a reminder of the minks' fate that doesn't sit well with us.

Since you're a supporter of PETA, we thought we'd ask the group for suggestions. Andrew Butler, a campaign coordinator, said that for four years the organization has donated unwanted fur coats to homeless shelters in cold-climate cities such as Chicago, New York and Washington. For six months, some coats have also been shipped to people in Afghanistan via humanitarian aid agencies.

"When people are in desperate need, this is a good solution. It's a win-win for everyone," Butler said. Fur coat donations to PETA are tax deductible, but they must be appraised by an independent source; the group will not appraise the fur.

You can send your coat to PETA's headquarters at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510. If the shipping costs are prohibitive, you can also contact a local shelter to see if it will accept a fur coat donation.

*

Write to Fashion Police, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, fax to (213) 237-4888 or send e-mail to jeannine.stein@latimes.com.

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