Worth fixing? Elie Tahari jacket

I picked up this jacket at GoodWill last month.  It had three holes in the sleeve, but I thought it might be worth trying to repair because of the brand.

I've now started the repair, and think that with some careful attention, it'll be a success.  But before I put in the time to finish, I thought I'd ask - is it worth the effort?

It's an immaculately-made jacket, but not young.  It's silk-lined polyester (why?!), and black with pin stripes.  Is the shape outdated?  The length? The style?  Does it fit me properly? Are the sleeves a current width?  (Didn't really get a good shot of them though...)

Worn here over a shirt and a shell.  I'd most likely wear it over something of similar weight and thickness.

I lightened all the pictures to try to make it so you can see detail

#1 from the side, buttoned.  The three (partially repaired) holes are on this sleeve.
#2 open
#3 close up of collar shape
#4 from back, open
#5 from back, buttoned
#6, buttoned

Thanks for your help and thoughts on this potential project!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • E replied 6 years ago

    I'm no good at judging whether things are dated.

    However, to my eye, this is a very 'business suiting' looking blazer. So how do envision wearing it if you did the repairs? Because I'm not sure it's the right one to mix with more casual pieces, at least like you've shown here. It seems to cry out for a similar suiting-esque bottom, or at least something in a more formal register.

    That being said, I do like the shaping on you & silk lined jackets are a glory (I have one) not to be lightly dismissed. If you're looking for a jacket to wear on more formal occasions, I think it has potential, but I am a jacket neophyte compared to other forum members. And easily swayed by silk. ;)

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    Hmm... Good point - it does have a "business" vibe - and probably a dated business vibe....  I was hoping it would be a good choice for dressing up jeans - kinda like this.  I originally thought I'd remove the sleeves for a blazer type vest, but when I got it open, it was so meticulously made that I couldn't rip it apart :)

  • barbaraq replied 6 years ago

    I think it fits you well, so on that basis worth the repair.  What about if you wore it with untucked shirttails, jacket sleeves pushed or rolled up to expose the shirt cuffs, and the jacket collar turned up in back?   That might give it a more casual vibe.  

    Because I sew a lot, I might consider shortening the hem, too.  But that is a bigger job, and maybe you would have problems with the pockets, too.

  • retailgirl replied 6 years ago

    I think it's ok, but not a 10. It looks like a suit jacket that lost its bottom. The peak lapel makes it kind of formal, I don't see how you can dress it down and the only way to,dress it up would be with the matching pant, dress or skirt. ( speaking as someone who has worn suits to,work for years snd who also worked in men's clothing stores. I take some of my cues from menswear.)

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    I would think its not worth the effort to repair unless you really love it. It's not silk lined. And it's a good brand but not a designer item. If it was an Italian made piece and silk lined I'd think differently. I think you can find something similar without flaws at a thrift store. I'm actually surprised they are selling you an item with wholes in it. Sorry.
    ETA. I see it is silk lined but the outer is polyester. The silk lining is a nice thing but I still don't feel it's worth it.

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    I tend to agree with CocoLion.   I am torn, it's a nice jacket but something is off to me.  I am having trouble seeing how i will work in with your wardrobe.  If I am thrifting, I only buy if something is in perfect condition.  I am just getting a sense that ultimately this is not a garment that is going to make you happy:)

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    Yeah - I knew it was a risk buying it :)  If it hadn't been 99 cents, I wouldn't have.  But I feel like I've gotten my dollar out of it just admiring the handiwork (hand-stitched 5 layer shoulders, for example).  I don't feel like I'm disappointed to not fix it completely and wear it.  I'll just admire the workmanship and let it go.  Thanks!

  • Jules replied 6 years ago

    Ad I feel I got my money's worth because I learned a new term (peaked lapel).
    ;) I'm sooooo bad with suiting, I can't tell what's dated vs classic, I don't understand the code (what makes something formal, etc). Luckily I never have to wear it :) However I had the same gut reaction as others - looks like half a suit, not something to work into your casual wardrobe.

  • Marley replied 6 years ago

    I'd like to see it with Barbaraq's suggestions - pushed up sleeves, notched collar, shirt-tails hanging below the bottom of blazer.  Do you have any "track" pants or really slouchy BF jeans?  I'd try it with those also.  I wouldn't ever wear it buttoned up - just too conservative that way.  How about with a chambray shirt?

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    I'll give those a try Marley - thanks!

  • MsMaven replied 6 years ago

    I could make use of a jacket like this but I am (harruph!) older than you are by decades. I see the attraction--I love Tahari, but not every Tahari piece I've bought has worked. Some things bought on sale have had a short life inside my closet. 

    What a price! I'd be tempted to try working with it. What is your time worth, though? That is the question I have to ask myself when I get such a great bargain.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Whether you keep the jacket or not, I was struck by how nice you look in a blazer, Amy. I think it's worthwhile keeping an eye out for a wool blazer in a herringbone or tweed--something that will pair more effortlessly with your jeans and casual looks to give them a little bit of a dressy vibe when you want it.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 6 years ago

    I quite like the wide pinstripes. They are a bit of the gangsta look which appeals to me.  I think if you rolled the sleeves and put it over a casual t-shirt with BF jeans, it might work.  

  • unfrumped replied 6 years ago

    What Firecracker said. I think you could rock the sporty equestrian look.

  • unfrumped replied 6 years ago

    Or Urban equestrian! Whatever!

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 6 years ago

    Nice jacket, and I agree that it fits you remarkably well. YMMV, but I used to thrift/buy cheaply this kind of jacket and just never found a satisfactory way to wear it except for special occasions. The combination of the suiting fabric and the sober coloring made it tricky for me to casualize it in a way that looked authentic and not just "I was cold and threw on my office jacket over my casual outfit". I've resigned myself to only buying blazers in more casual fabrics (ponte knit etc.) or in brighter colors or in prints, except for a couple black and navy blazers I keep in case of job interview, funeral, fancy dinner etc.

  • Mellllls replied 6 years ago

    definitely worth fixing i htink

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Nah. Fully lined blazers are not worth tailoring. VERY costly with mixed results.

    There is something a little blocky about this blazer. I vote pass. 

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I don't think this one is worth saving, but I do totally understand the feeling when one sees such a well made garment for 99 cents! I think the shoulders are too wide for you, which makes it blocky as Angie said. 

  • Thistle replied 6 years ago

    I would pass it on. It is an interesting piece, but not worth the work in my opinion. I think it does look a bit dated and business like. I would look for a softer jacket to casualize. It will be more comfortable as well!

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