During my working single mom days, I worked in womens career fashions at a local dress shop. In addition to the awesome discounts, I also learned a few things about womens dresses and career fashions including some very useful tidbits of information.
Unless you’ve actually worked in retail, many of us women don’t realize that clothing manufacturers add a few extra stitches, loops, and embellishments to suits and dresses for display purposes. These extra stitches function to either keep the material straight while sewing or so the garment ships well and can be displayed to its best advantage. Many of these embellishments are not meant to be permanent which is why you’ll find them attached in different color threads or in an inferior fashion.
Curious as to what stitches stay and what need to be clipped? Here’s the line up of the four most common display stitches that should be removed before the garment is worn.
Shoulder loops. You’ve probably seen this on off-the-shoulder dresses or loose sweaters. The purpose of these loops is just to store or display the garment safely from a hanger. If you fold your sweaters instead of hanging them, the loops can be removed. For prom dresses and evening gowns, the loops should stay in place for easy storage. Under no circumstances should those silly loops be worn over the shoulder for a “spaghetti strap” look.
Sewn pockets in womens suits. Just like with a guy’s suit jackets, some womens suit jackets are also basted shut during sewing to keep the material straight. These basting stitches are then kept in place so the jacket will display nicely in the department. Contrary to rumor, those basted pockets are to be cut open once the garment is purchased. The in-house tailor can open those pockets for you or you can do-it-yourself with a seam ripper.
Attached scarves. Just because your suit jackets or winter coats came with an attached scarf doesn’t mean the scarf has to stay permanently affixed to the garment. These inexpensive scarves are usually attached with a couple of threads at the back of the jacket’s neck which can be clipped. Removing the scarf makes it much easier to tie properly or to switch out in case you prefer a different scarf.
Those cheap belt loops found on woman’s dresses. If I had a dollar for every woman who returned a belted dress because the temporary belt loop broke, I’d be a wealthy gal. Those cheap, braided thread loops found on woman’s dresses are strictly temporary and exist only to keep track of the belt during shipping and display. Once the dress comes home, those cheap belt loops should be snipped and pulled off from the inside of the dress.
When it comes to womens fashions, it’s worth remembering that if a loop or stitch is designed to be permanent, it will be off the same quality and same colored material as the rest of the garment. If the stitching is white or made of very inferior or non-matching material, then it’s only there for display purposes and can be safely removed before the garment is worn.