Coffin clothes

I think everybody’s figured out what I mean by the term coffin clothes but I’ll define it anyway. It’s an outfit that only has design details on the front, as though nobody would ever see you from behind. If you’re laying in a coffin, that’d certainly be true. Here’s a sample of a vintage home sewing pattern:

Notice the back, it’s plain, there’s no carrying forward of the details shown on the front of the dress. This could be the back to any number of dresses. It’s a template, a half design.

Most clothes these days are made like this, it didn’t used to be this way. For most clothes, being casual sportswear, I don’t think it really matters. For some things though, I think it does. If you have a design on the front that is really outstanding and unusual, having a modicum of design integrity should mean you translate something unique to the back side too. I mean, break up the skirt or something. It also matters depending on your target. If you’re targeting the bridge or designer level of apparel and are stymied at your failure to make a hit in the market, this could be a reason why. Bridge and designer labels are more costly, in part, because they cost more to develop. Here’s an illustration of the previous example with the design transferred to the back. Something like this is designer or bridge. Saying something is designer or bridge doesn’t make it so.

I think this would be a cool dress to make. The patterning would be a challenge so you know I’d like it.

I hope I’m not too crabby sounding. I can’t concentrate and it comes out as irritation and at least today (through the rest of the week) my irritation is misplaced. I can’t concentrate amid the thumps and crashes inherent to bathroom remodeling, comings and goings, coupled with ancient rancheras so it’s coming out all over. This can’t be over soon enough, nice as these gentlemen are (and they are gentlemen; the dirtiest word they’ve said is “pedo” which can mean anything from drunk to a scandal, although the literal translation is fart). Here’s a picture of Alfredo. By the way, if you’re in Las Cruces, we’re using Pena Tile.

Before I digressed, isn’t anyone interested in real design anymore? Doesn’t anyone care about how things used to be made? Coffin clothes weren’t as common as they are today. And there’s nothing wrong with making them either. The problem is overselling; don’t describe a line as bridge or designer if the same back design is applied to every dress you sell. Think of this as an opportunity if you want to scale up to another market; your aspirational market.

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