K/R Theory Gabe B 2

Up for review, the Theory Gabe B 2 in "uniform" urban stretch. 

As many of you know, I'm trying to upgrade my jacket capsule this year. Also, a HEWI is a suit. I've tried the BR lightweight wool suit and the Theory Lanai and Testra pants to no avail. Have tried on others as well but rejected out of hand. 

First (1-4) the jacket, shown with a light top and black cigarette pants -- hoping you can see details. Unbuttoned, buttoned, back view, side view. 

Pic 5: Sleeves scrunched as I would generally wear. 

Then various potential stylings: 

  • With BF jeans and fluid knit (6, 7)
  • With skinny cream jeans. (Urban prince goes prep -- 8) 
  • With slouchy black trousers.
  • With slouchy trousers and a heavier sweater underneath
  • With a dress
  • With plaid skinnies and toned top
  • With a column of light.  
#14 is my attempt to show the back. Mr. Suz thinks that it buckles across the shoulder. Honestly, you can't see it at all in this picture. And I'm not sure it does buckle now that I have spent half an hour trying it on -- the fabric may have adjusted to me. I need to do some research -- would sizing up help with this issue? It actually feels like the right size, but I could be wrong. 

For me, the sleeves are a bit of an issue. I find them too long for an indoor jacket as is, but they are not long enough that it will be possible to alter them without a problem (due to buttonhole placement.) True, I usually wear them scrunched. But. 

Also, I have tried and failed with the pants that go with this jacket. Two separate styles in several sizes failed to fit or look good. Nordstrom reviews suggest that Theory changed the cut and/or the drape of this fabric is different -- I'm not the only one unhappy with how the pants look. 

So if I keep the jacket, it probably won't become part of a suit. And the search for a suit would still be on. 

This needs to be an absolute 10 or I won't keep. 

Thank you in advance for your thoughts! 

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.


  • April replied 6 years ago

    Hmm.  I love a luxurious sleeve length (and always have to tell my seamstress that I want my sleeves to be "too long", otherwise she pins to the "correct" length that I think is too short), but these do look slightly too long.  

    On every other front, this is a 10 in my book.  

    How are the sleeves if you sit down and put your arms on the table?  Because in my job this is how I was usually working (in meetings), it was more important to me that jacket sleeves feel like the right length with my arms on the tabletop than standing with my arms at rest (never happens).  

  • Isabel replied 6 years ago

    O, this is tough. I don't know Suz, sorry,  :  (      It looks good to me, though it is so hard on dark jackets.  If you really need it to be part of a suit, then you shouldn't buy it. BUT, I have always read that if you are going to wear one piece of the suit much more often, like the jacket, you should buy a second. Because the wear and tear and cleaning will fade the jacket to not match the pants.  

    I want to say that on #14, it is not that it seems to buckle, but there seems to be some "extra " fabric on the left side under the under arm. Can you see it ?  It almost looks as if the seam might be pulling the fabric on that side. 

  • gryffin replied 6 years ago

    OMG Suz!!  I love it!!  I think the fit looks fantastic on you.  I don't appreciate any buckling.  It works brilliantly with the dress, pants, jeans - talk about versatile.  The sleeves are on the long side but I for one actually like them long.  Personal preference but at least that's an easy tweak if it bothers you.  I definitely vote keep.  Also even if you find your dream suit, if yougive the jacket too much separate wear, it could be problematic if you want the jacket and other pieces to stayed matched as far as cleaning and wear.  But then you know I am into "rationing" my favorites so feel free to discard that thought if it does not work for you.  But I think the jacket looks brilliant on!!

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    I am on my phone but I like what I see! Fwiw, the only theory pant that fit me half decently wss the Louise in size 4. My manager says that people often sub in Vince trousers with their Theory jackets.

  • Tina replied 6 years ago

    If the sleeve length is not an issue then I would say it's a 10 and a keep. Honestly it is fabulous on you. Love the stylings, the dress and jacket- so well done. From what I can see, you will have no problems getting wear out of this piece.

  • donnat replied 6 years ago

    This jacket looks sensational. I see no buckling, but the sleeves do need some attention. You will have to bite the bullet, and have the professional do their thing I also think you willl get lots of wear out of this beautiful jacket and that it is a good idea to have both a suit and a jacket. A definate keeper.

  • Elizabeth P replied 6 years ago

    I also think it looks great, as well as I can see with the black.  In the overexposed last one, i think the fit is fine.  I also think you'll get enough wear out of this as a seperate, that it's okay to keep hunting for another suit (except for the frustration factor, it'd be so nice to get this over with, huh!).  I guess what I mean is you can justify a suit as well.

  • Aquamarine replied 6 years ago

    Looks fantastic to me. I see no fit issues, other than the sleeves are a tiny bit too long (but they would not bother me). Only you can decide the need for a suit vs. this jacket.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    I vote 11 out of 10 with sleeve alteration. How can this be anything but killer on you, Suz. I love this little ink blazer (I have exactly the same piece). It can be anything I want it to be. That said, I am not looking to add a more arty and avant-garde slant to my style, which you have alluded to a few times. In that respect, perhaps you should send this blazer back. 

    Had to laugh. Look at #6, and then look at what I wore in Vegas below. We are wearing three of the exact same pieces: 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Angie, I did that on purpose! ;) How could I resist copying you? Except I need your fab belt!  :) 

    It's true I want more avant-garde pieces...or at least I SAY I do. I think I ACTUALLY want something else. Something I might acquire through avant-garde pieces, or might get another way. What is it? It's tough to say. I think it is a species of very, very sharp uniform dressing. I don't know if that makes any sense. But especially for my "appearances" and even at home, I feel as if I want to formulate some strict rules for myself in the next little while. Refining the essence was my goal for 2014. 

    My main worry is the darn sleeves. I guess I'm going to have to take it to the tailors and talk to them. I honestly don't think they can do anything about them. They are not long enough on me that they can just eliminate one button -- the button hole stitching will show and there won't be enough fabric below the button holes if they trim it to look right. Unless they take the whole sleeve off and pull it up from the shoulder, which would be a very pricey alteration. 

    Anyone know if Nordstrom's would do that type of alteration? If so, it might be worth taking it to them. 

  • Vildy replied 6 years ago

    ah geez. You look darling to me in whatever you wear so let's leave that aside.
    1. you want a suit. This isn't a suit.
    2. I prefer my sleeves a little longer than recommended and I can do my own alterations but will sometimes leave them the way I like them because life is short. These look longer than I would leave them. If the buttonholes are stitched in but not slit, as you sometimes see on garments, you probably could get the sleeves shortened from the bottom, the tailor removing the stitching and perhaps ending up with 1 less button.
    3. I like showing off my backside and I'm presuming that you'd choose suit pants, if you could find them, a bit more skimming. Otherwise, where a suit is specifically wanted and needed, this is a bit too cheeky. :D

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh - Vildy - you made me laugh! Absolutely - I wouldn't wear those skinnies as a "suit."  :) 

    The jacket has real buttonholes. That's why I worry that an alteration won't be possible. Oy. Oy. Oy. So sad....

    I do want a suit. I also want jackets. So that is a bit of a dilemma as well. 

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Hah. Well Darling-Suz, I am flattered. I guess you'll know it's the right avant-garde piece when you see it. xo

    By all means speak to a tailor first. Like Vildy, I like my sleeves longer than most - but not too long on a fitted blazer. Coats are another story. 

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    #8 pretty much sold me on this and #9 sealed the deal. I am the last person to advise on sleeves of course. Then I went through again and saw how beautifully it works with so much of your wardrobe and probably is just the thing to add to your appearance capsule and yet still good for going to the city, out to lunch etc. And the color is excellent. Very versatile Suz, fit looks great, what can I say but keep!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    I absolutely love this jacket on you Suz. I think the fit is fantastic and it looks great in every ensemble. As an aside, when you show us your outfits like this it totally illustrates how cohesive your wardrobe is these days - everything works with everything.

    Back to the jacket. I vote keep with two provisos: the sleeves can be altered successfully and that you won't regret that it isn't part of a suit.

  • karymk replied 6 years ago

    Suz I know you are very picky about what is a yes. This fits you great, but I would hesitate at the sleeve length  unless you plan to scrunch every time.  There will be other good fitting blazers out there, why not focus first on the suit and get that squared away, then go on the blazer hunt.  You also can do a "test run" on a Zara blazer until you find "The One." 

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I think it's a 10 too and don't see any shoulder buckling.  You are lucky to have such nice square even shoulders, mine are uneven which is  something I've noticed after photographing myself over the past 3 years for YLF.  As for the style of this, it's more classic, not avant garde, but I think there is a place and need for such a piece in one's wardrobe.  I could see it paired with some less tailored bottoms to achieve this look.  For example Angie's harem jeans or my own cross-over jeans.  I can't recall if you have any piece like this in your wardrobe.

  • Nicole D replied 6 years ago

    I love this piece! I think it is somehting that will be very versaile for you.  Like it better than Lanai or BR offerings.  
    Now, to totally talk about myself for a moment, I have given up on the search for a suit or formal suit jacket, which was confirmed by the SA at Nordstrom's saying to me (after a bunch of failed suit try-ons): "If you don't need suiting, don't buy suiting!"  Liberation!  Suiting ages me and I am not a lawyer. For speaking engagements I tend to wear a dress and blazer.  The search is over for me, but I wish you well!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thank you all so much for your thoughts. Very helpful. 

    But - alas - it is going back. 

    Mr. Suz is right. I can't show it in the pictures, alas, but the shoulder buckling is real. According to my research, this suggests it's too narrow across the back for me. :( 

    And it matters. 

    So...I might try to size up. The difficulty there is that it might be too wide in the body in a size up. But I can see. The sleeve length is a problem either way, but I will look into sleeve alterations. 

    I think I need to go suit shopping in Europe. Or just buy a cheap Zara. I always seem to fit their jackets with no alterations. 

  • carter replied 6 years ago

    I think it looks great! I have had sleeves shortened by taking them up at the shoulders. I don't remember how much it was, but it wasn't so crazy that it wasn't worth it to me

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    If the fit doesn't feel right, no point in keeping it.

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I have a confession.  I have an incredibly hard time giving you advice other than to keep everything, because honestly everything you post looks so amazing to me that it is hard for me to see flaws.  Instead, I rely on YOUR statements of how things feel and what they do IRL.  I honestly think your rejects look better on you than anything I keep.  I would have told you to keep this jacket - I would be grateful beyond belief if ANYTHING looked this good on me.

    I'm mostly telling you this because I feel like I'm supremely unhelpful on your K/R posts, and I feel bad about that.   No need to respond!

  • Karie replied 6 years ago

    I don't see buckling across the back, but somehow the fabric doesn't look right on the left side near your arm. There is a back seam there, and the fabric doesn't appear to be laying flat. I think the tailor could fix that, and I would ask about the sleeves as even though I like them long, these are a tad too long. I love all the ways you've styled it, it is a gorgeous jacket!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh, Una, you are so sweet -- of course we all feel like that about all your K/R posts, too! You've nailed your style so well that you're a YLF inspiration. 

    Karie - thank you. It definitely isn't sitting right. In fact, I've learned this has a name: "Leeds Crease" and it means the jacket isn't wide enough for me. I need to size up. Sizing up may or may not work -- we'll see. 

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Angie has already spoken and what else can I do but agree with her? :-)
    Seriously though I really like it and don't see much of the back issue here. 
    I would love to see pictures of this jacket and BR one side by side to see the difference - won't it be fun to compare them? I know you have returned the BR jacket but you still have pictures, right?

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Just to add, I completely understand what you're trying to achieve. There is a certain perfect strict look that is both extremely conservative and simultaneously cutting edge, without some obvious "edgy" aspect like studs or even an off kilter cut. The Lanai is the only example I can think of but I am sure there are others.

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    I had another look at the back shot - maybe this particular jacket is faulty? I would expect it to ripple on BOTH sides if the problem was too narrow back.
    Can you order another one in the same size and see if it has the same problem?

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Sveta, it's right across the back (horizontal) just below the collar. The wrinkling you see in the picture (vertical) actually isn't anything wrong (I don't think) -- it's just exaggerated because of the way I adjusted the lighting - and maddeningly, you can't even see the actual problem! 

    This one is the 0. I tried on the 2 at Holt's, remember? But I don't know if it fit this way across the back -- I can't remember. So frustrating. 

    Luckily I know I can return it and/ or exchange. So, onwards! But I will try to post some comparison photos of the BR jacket together with this one tomorrow. 

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    Una, I think of the Shirley Manson character on the Terminator TV show.  Something like futuristic corporate.  

  • Ariadne replied 6 years ago

    I love this in every possible way except for the sleeve length.  How do you feel about perma-scrunching?  What about altering it with an extra stitch or two so that it's really, truly perma-scrunched?  

    ETA: Sorry, I'm too slow. I left this window open for a while and didn't see the last 4 hours' worth of replies.  Suz, I have 100% faith in your intuition and decision-making process so if you feel this needs to go back and/or be sized up, I'd put my money on you every time.  Also, what Una said.  XO.

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Unfortunately I don't remember the fit of size 2 on the back - but I thought it was good so possibly there were no visible faults?

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I'm going to try the 2 and see. It's possible it will work. Crossing fingers. :)

    There would still be the sleeve alteration, however -- has to come from the shoulder. 

  • Summer replied 6 years ago

    It *looks* like a 10 on (you're always at 10!), but seems you have some valid reservations that keep it from being the perfect piece you're looking for...

  • Sarah A replied 6 years ago

    Hoping for you that the 2 does the job. Perhaps the size up would make the sleeves enough longer they could be hemmed from the bottom as well. I am learning so much about fitting a jacket from your suit search. Thanks Suz!

  • Scarlet replied 6 years ago

    Really? The back is bad? It looks like a big fat 10 to me. I even like a slightly long sleeve. Well, if you must,then you must come to Berlin shopping, Suz. We'd do our best for you to sort out a jacket.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Ooh - Scarlet -- that would be brilliant! Must start saving my pennies....:)

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Glad you are trusting your eye & instinct. I think you are looking so fab & you will know when you find the right jacket or suit. Having said that the jacket looks great in the photos :)

    There is a certain simplicity/minimalism to your overall style imo but maybe it isn't so much about whether your pieces are avant garde or modern classic or strict. Maybe it's more to do with the overall quality, the cut, the material & also the fit (or potential fit) that is becoming more important. Just an idea.

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