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Thread: How much can tailoring fix jackets that don't fit?

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    How much can tailoring fix jackets that don't fit?

    Hey guys...so here's my situation. I have several suit jackets that I bought on the guidance of an ill-informed store employee, and they're a full size too big. These are 40S jackets, and turns out I'm a 38 (sometimes 36).

    So my question is this: are these a lost cause? Can a tailor really reshape the shoulder width / fit issues associated with jackets that are a full size off? Has anyone had similar problems? They're nice suits, so I hate to just have to ditch them, but also don't want to be swallowed in them. Thoughts?

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    Dappered Veteran shad0w4life's Avatar
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    Lots of protein and a very shoulder targeted 3 months at the gym would probably be much cheaper.

    I think shoulder alterations are most expensive thing to have done on a suit, and then you need to find a competent tailor that can handle that level of work.

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    If the shoulders are a pretty good fit, you might be able to bring in the body about a size, but any more than that and your pocket stance is probably going to start looking weird. If the shoulders are much too wide, tailoring will be expensive and complicated--probably better to buy a replacement.

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    Posting a picture always helps. Depending on the brand, I can go with a 38 (rarely) to a 40 and up to a 42. Also depending on where you purchased the suits and how recently, you may be able to get an exchange or refunded. I know some people have had issues with Brooks Brothers and were helped even with custom made suits.

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    Depends on the tailor. I have one who is very good and very reasonably priced, who re-cut a much-too-large size 44 suit into a size 40-ish suit. It was like getting a brand new suit!

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    I am a small guy with narrow shoulders so I feel your pain. Growing up in a non fashion oriented state (ME) the smallest jacket off the rack was a 38s and those were rare to find. Once I graduated from college I got fitted for some event and the person told me I was a 36s, but in all reality I am more of a 34s. 36s jackets are hard if not impossible to find in stores but over the years I am seeing more and more of them. 34s are basically never told in stores.

    So to answer your question everything can be tailored but the question you have to ask if how much do you want to spend and is their a tailor that capable of doing minor to complex alterations? For me the most I am willing to do for an off the rack jacket is the sleeve length since this only costs $25 on a jacket with non workable cuffs. The biggest thing is to look for a jacket that fits well on the shoulders since this is one of the most complicated and expensive things to alter. At a certain point if you just can't find a jacket that is able to be worn properly without minimal alterations going custom is your best choice. Custom tends to cost more in most cases since your are never going to find a $200 custom suit worthy of buying. So if the shoulder doesn't fit within reason don't buy.

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    Suits are crazy easy to alter with a good tailor. Just risk is harder with the shoulders. There are limitations to all the alterations, and some things can only be altered to a certain extent. Plus costly!

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    Seems like the consensus is shoulders are tough...and that's what I'm up against with these jackets. The shoulders are just too big, the jackets would have to be reworked to fit my frame. Seems like that's expensive. Anybody had that done before? Does the work even come out looking good?

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    I don't think ever as good as finding a jacket that fits off the bat. The thing about the shoulders, is that it affects the whole jacket and how it was cut. Pretty much the shoulders affects how the drape of the waist and chest ( I believe atleast).

    Don't quote me on it, but that's just my opinion.

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    It works acceptably, but it is going to cost at least $150. Might as well just sell the jackets and buy ones that fit.

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