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Topic: Vest vs Coat
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Mar 28, 2018 09:47PM)
Being a fat old man in the upper desert who sweats in 60 degrees, using a coat is not an option. My current costumes consist of matching vest and trousers in the early 1900's style. Spats, straw skimmer and pince nez glasses.

Most magicians use a coat for organization, props, and special moves ie sleeving. I have not come across any information on using the vest in such a way. I have given thought to placing magnets, clips, pulls, so on and so forth and will continue to experiment to find solutions for my props and routines.

Has anyone come across any lectures or writings specific to the use of the vest only in performance?

Message: Posted by: LeoH (Apr 8, 2018 02:40PM)
I share your pain on being quite a bit on the "husky" side and senior in age. I make life simple and select my program material to preclude sleeving, body loads, etc. Most of my shows are street festival type venues and I do wear a vest, but carry props in a busker pouch made by The Ambitious Card. It isn't one of the huge pouches, just one large enough to carry what I need. I place it over to my right hip and not directly in front of my body.
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Apr 8, 2018 04:28PM)
I also have an Ambitious Card Parlor busking pouch. I should work with it more to see if that will aid in my solving my quandary.

Thank you for the help LeoH.

Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Apr 22, 2018 09:59AM)
Consider a tailor or even custom vests. If you use the same close up props all the time, your vest can be tailored - pockets & slides added - that can help your prop management issues.

Recommended steps:
1) finalize your prop and routine list. You must know what you will be doing, otherwise you will add pockets or make adjustments that will be unnecessary or even hinder you
2) buy a cheap vest and use scrap material with safety pins to add pockets, clips, magnets, whatever.
3) dry run a walk around show (I.e., dress rehearsal ) to ensure pockets are in the right place.
4) buy a nice vest and have tailor make adjustments.
5) if satisfactory, and if you perform for clients that warrant it (e.g., sophisticated corporate) then have custom vest and trousers made with all pockets, etc. cost for the set should be ~$500 to $600 (USD) for very nice vest and trousers that will fit with the CEO of any company (you can spend more, but don't have to)

If you don't work with high-end client the. Off-the rack clothes that are professionally tailored are fine.

Executives of Fortune 500 Companies wear suits that cost $1000 and up. Even nice sport coats will cost $500 or more. They can spot lower-quality clothing. High-end clothing communicates that you are highly successful and are with the money they are paying.

Good luck!

Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Apr 22, 2018 12:25PM)
Good points to consider Hudson. I will weave your suggestions into my needs.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 22, 2018 04:35PM)
Any pocket or adjustment to clothing should have an exact purpose. So 1st you need an effect before considering anything. 2nd, it should be an effect that you will do at every presentation you do, even strolling. Otherwise you just made room for nothing. I have most of the books on manipulation and dove productions. Nothing was ever mentioned about vest or vesting. Vests usually are very snug in fit, and about the only standard adjustment that would have a little advantage is adding pockets. Most vests come with only 2 pockets, but I have seen vests with 4 as well.

The vest should be buttoned at all times, if you leave it open or only close a button or two, then it would look unkempt. Really, you don't need the best flapping about.

The problem with the vest, is that being it ends at the waist, you would have to noticeably reach for anything when it comes to stealing, so you would have to do the old, turn body move, as you remove something with one hand, then the other hand that is turned away, steals from that side. Over using it would be a big "tell" as well.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Apr 22, 2018 09:59PM)
To be clear, my comments were with regard to strolling magic.

For example, when strolling, a squeaker goes in my left front vest pocket. My right front vest pocket caries a gimmick coin. My breast pocket is a coin slider to my left front pocket. Inside my left breast, I have two pen pockets, one for a sharpie and one reinforced for QB3. I have two pockets inside my vest, left and right breast, that carry JOL leather card holders. In this card holders I have packet tricks and extra cards that I may need.

My pants are also altered where I have extra pockets sewn inside my main pockets. My left front pants pocket carries an extra ball for chop cup. In the main part of my pocket , I carry a silk handkerchief for the aforementioned coin slide vanish. My right front pocket has two extra pockets inside. One holds CSB gimmick and the other holds the non-gimmick coins. In the main part of the pocket are two loose silver dollars and sponge bunnies. In my right rear pocket are small pockets to hold two pen knives. In my left rear pocket is a smaller pocket that holds one pen knife.

I carry a deck of cards with a couple rubber bands around them and a chop cup with one ball in my hand.

I now have sufficient material to go for hours of strolling magic and can reset without ever returning to my case.

Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 25, 2018 09:18PM)
There is a lesson just on the vest in the [i]Build Your Magic Show[/i] strolling and walk around routine course. Julian Mather who created the course lives in a hot environment where coats are impractical. He goes over the modifications to the vest and what he keeps between the vest and slacks; larger pockets, wand holder, etc. Very similar to 55Hudson's ideas. One of Julian's main points is not overloading the vest. He even discusses items such as how pinstriping helps cover discolorations from wear/use.
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Apr 25, 2018 10:58PM)
Thank you for the lead Frank. I have searched out and found what I hope is Mr. Mather's email and sent him a request for information on this topic.

Message: Posted by: kidnapped1853 (May 21, 2018 07:05PM)
I actually wear a vest instead of a jacket for my stand-up magic. I love the freedom of movement it gives me while still looking sharp as well as having some pocket space.
Message: Posted by: deanr201 (May 23, 2018 05:34AM)
Not too hijack this thread but.

I'm just a mere Hobbyist but when over the last year two I have finally started taking a few bits with me to family events.

Of course wearing a vest & jacket / suit allows for lot of pocket space. I'm mainly a card guy so I have a deck or two plus extra items (gaffs, spare cards, sharpies) which all fit nicely in a jacket but 90% of the time I'm just casual, jeans, t shirt and being in the UK either a sweatshirt, hoody or winter coat!

My issue is finding the right item to modify with out looking like I have had to get my "magic clothing" before being able to do an effect.

So I'm working on trying to adapt some day to day clothing so that the clothing looks like it does not facilitate the magic.

I have found strangely if I am in a suit or shirt & vest. Spectators even family and friends seem to have a lot more respect, even old uncle grabby who likes to try and get in on it has more respect for the suit!
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (May 23, 2018 11:54AM)
Thank you all for participating in this thread. Each contribution has given me food for thought and contemplation to improve the use I need to get from using a vest for performance. I hope there are further ideas and comments shared as it strikes the readers.

Message: Posted by: Doc Willie (May 24, 2018 07:34AM)
ScottEVest makes a variety of vest with many pockets. May or may not suit your need, as some of the pockets are not easily accessible.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Dec 9, 2018 05:58PM)
Bobby Maverick use to make Busker Verts that folks raved about but guess hes no longer doing them. You might find one for sale in the sidewalk shuffle room.

Bob Solari makes a vest for magicians.


Historical Emporioum has a nice selection of vests that could be modified with extra pockets.


Lastly Daytona Magic has a lot of vest in various magical prints
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Jan 30, 2019 08:26AM)
I have these photography vests from Amazon in tan and black lots of pockets. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014LEP0IM/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 21, 2019 04:48AM)
Https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078TNR6Z7/ref=twister_B00QKVYL3K Not at all dressy but in a casual environment, could be useful?
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Mar 21, 2019 11:08AM)
All very interesting options worth looking into. Thank you all.
Message: Posted by: Scott Horn (Mar 25, 2019 04:11PM)
Heres an option... A bit more expensive. Western styling. 4 outside pockets. 2 "standard" inside pockets. Plus 2 additional inside pockets (designed for concealed carry)
Message: Posted by: Peter McMillan (Mar 25, 2019 04:48PM)
Scott, that is a nice design and options. Thank you for posting the site.
Message: Posted by: prankmonster (Mar 31, 2019 08:44AM)
[quote]On Mar 25, 2019, Scott Horn wrote:
Heres an option... A bit more expensive. Western styling. 4 outside pockets. 2 "standard" inside pockets. Plus 2 additional inside pockets (designed for concealed carry)
https://www.schaeferoutfitter.com/c-c-cattle-baron-vest.html [/quote]

Surprised to see this link here. This is a great vest. Not great for summer but you can't beat the freedom of movement. The pockets are great. I had to modify one of them for an effect. I would recommend it!
Message: Posted by: drmagico (Apr 4, 2019 06:21AM)
When I perform I usually wear a vest and a jacket. However I occasionally use only a vest. I needed a special pocket alteration done to the vest so I first went to a local tailor and I had him take an off the rack used vest for $5 and alter that first so I could see how it worked for me before I had him alter my actual vest. You may want to have a practice vest made the way you want to see how all your pockets and things fit for you before you actually have it done to your working vest. Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: bdungey (Apr 8, 2019 07:25PM)
Funny - I came to this thread with this exact question in mind. Any bizarre performers care to chime in?