Intermediate Guide to Suits: Part XV

December 10, 2009

Each week, I will present a post on the ins and outs of custom suits AND suits in general at an intermediate level. It is recommended that the beginner’s guide be read first.

Alterations the bane of existence – Part III

I did not imagine alterations taking up so many posts – but it is a crucial topic!

By now, I hope that shoulders have been ingrained in your head. Next we will examine 3 other pertinent and common alterations – jacket length, jacket side and jacket cuff. The cost ranges from $15 to $30 per alteration.

 Jacket Length – The standard jacket length is usually up to the end of your thumb (as in the picture). The length is largely influenced by trend, we have seen it become a few inches longer over the past decades – a trend perpetrated by Brooks Brothers – sack suits. Fortunately now, it is trendy to wear the jacket quite short. However, do not attempt this trend if you are not considered an average body type. Even 1 inch shorter will make a huge difference with the overall look of the suit. If you are not a risk taker, now is not the time to start, as this alteration depends on how the jacket was sewn underneath. When in doubt, stick to standard.

Jacket Side – It is currently trendy to get your jacket taken in from the waist rather than wearing it loose like a box. This will more readily show a “V” definition (chest bigger than waist since it is cinched). This silhouette is what you should aim for.

Cuffs – As I mentioned before, the shirt cuff should be showing about a 1/2 an inch. Sometimes, even a band will not save you and you must get the cuff shortened or lengthened. Keep in mind that if the suit has working cuffs then these will not survive the operation, which is quite unfortunate.

Please note that you can’t get alterations without seam allowance (existing fabric sewn into the suit seams) – most off the rack suits do not have this luxury.

 

 

 

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