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Thread: Suit Jacket vs Blazer. Is there a difference?

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    Question Suit Jacket vs Blazer. Is there a difference?

    Hey all,
    I currently own 4 suits. Sadly none of them fit me anymore because my size keeps changing (weight loss journey started at 10 y/o, I'm 23 now and still not there). (The most recent one should fit but the lapels pop out when I button it.). Anyway I was wondering if there is a difference between the way blazers are fit and the way suit jackets are fit. I may just go to the tailor and have some of the older suit jackets trimmed to work as blazers.

    Thank you for reading.

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    It's possible to do wear a suit jacket as a blazer, although it depends on the styling of the suit.

    Something I would be concerned about - if you've lost enough weight that the pants don't fit and can't be tailored to fit, I'm not sure that the jacket is going to be tailorable.

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    What size are the suits and what size are you? Have you shrunk in areas like the shoulders?

    As MikeAD91 said, you may be able to swing a suit jacket as a blazer, depending on the style, but my biggest concern would be fit. Technically, there's really no difference in the cut between suit jackets and sport coat so if it doesn't fit as a suit jacket then you're still going to be screwed as a sport coat. A tailor can help, but they can only do so much.

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    Well, as mentioned it is really dependent on the items in question and how far you need them re-sized. I lost over 100lbs over a period of three years. I recently had a jacket taken in that I wore about 20lbs ago. While the waist is better, it won't ever fit properly through the shoulders even though my tailor took it in (and she's pretty awesome).

    Depending on your height, weight and frame this new jacket may or may not ever fit you. While it is important to buy clothes as 'goals' it is also important to be realistic as well (but you may surprise yourself). I don't know where you are in your journey but keep in mind: to make weight loss permanent, it isn't a diet. It's a COMPLETE LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Unless there are health problems involved you ultimately have to realize you only got fat by eating yourself there and it's completely your fault. Good thing is, is that you can change it and are doing so. I know you can do it, but it's important to keep realistic goals in mind in small increments so you don't get discouraged. I for example thought my weight would settle in clothing sizes at a Large T-shirt, size 40 jacket and 33x30 pants because I was there just a few pounds above my goal. The last 15lbs changed my body significantly. I now wear a Medium Tee, 30x32 pants (sometimes 32x32), and a 38 'slim fit' jacket.

    Good luck. It's worth having to throw away all of the old clothes because tailoring won't work as well as you hope. Just keep the biggest one to keep you motivated, then get rid of the rest as finances allow. (Although I got so mad about it all I threw them all away immediately as they became too big and had to do laundry VERY frequently. haha).

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    Dappered Veteran BB's Avatar
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    If the suit jackets are smooth and a bit shiny, and the shoulders are padded, it might be hard to pull it off well (but it's still possible.) If the texture is a bit rough, it will likely work.

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    Based on what everyone is saying a few answers:

    1. This weight change is permanent but not complete. It took 13 years to get to where I am because I started with horrible habits instilled by parents who didn't know anything about nutrition as they grew up not having enough food on the table. Where they came from vegetables seen as a poor persons food, excessive meat consumption is for the rich, they didn't have refined sugary crap like soda/cookies/cakes/chips/candy in excess growing up, and also they weren't used to sedentary lifestyle. Born here I got an excess of sugary crap, meat, and a sedentary lifestyle. Veggies were eaten sparingly. Reversing all that took time because first I had to figure out what was wrong, how to fix it (cook/control), and then fight all the self image stuff (insert standard obese kit pscyhe here). I could have fixed this sooner physically but the mental change is the hardest part.

    2. I am 6 feet tall but it's because I have long arms and legs. Not only do I have a smaller torso but I am also bottom heavy (big thighs from all the sitting probably). I'm working out building muscle at the moment (with a strict yet sustainable and nutritious diet) which results in me getting bigger (building muscle) but the overlying fat has yet to start melting away.

    3. My current situation is of 4 suits. 1) very old suit that is big for me in the waist not sure about shoulders 2) Same 3) Canali suit (first expensive suit purchase) wore once 2 years ago. Now too big. I don't know if its just waist or shoulders as well. 4) Suit recently made, fits well except that my chest upon getting bigger has led to it being too tight up top. In my novice opinion I don't think the first 3 are too different in the shoulders/chest (balance of fat loss and muscle gain) but definitely big in the waist. The fourth seems small in the chest. Arm length is fine as I had them tailored.

    I've worn my friends blazers but they always seemed to fit me differently than my suit jackets (similar size).

    My main concern is this: I have not yet reached my target physique. Is it worth altering the suits now or should I wait for some more of the pounds to shed off/gain more muscle and reach a homeostasis before doing anything. My concern is ill fitting wear till I get to "that level" because I have no idea how long it will take. I understand if I keep working out I'll keep getting more muscular but I figure at some point the counter balance of available time etc will get me to a point where I reach a relative balance. I don't want to be Arnold I just don't want a bulging stomach and some definition all over.
    Last edited by Giatros89; November 30th, 2012 at 01:07 PM.

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    As others have mentioned the primary problem in this instance is fit. When a jacket is a significantly different size than your current size, it's going to be hard to tailor it down to what you need. Another thing to keep in mind is that such drastic tailoring could be very pricy. Though the idea of tailoring old clothes to fit us appeals to our frugal minds, the cost may be rather significant AND the clothes might still be ill-fitting.

    If there's a particular suit jacket you love the look of and want to keep in your wardrobe as a sport coat,
    1) make sure it's in a fabric that could work as a sport coat. As BB said, if it has some shine to it and/or has rather padded shoulders, it's going to be difficult to pull off as a sport coat (the look of the fabric is more important than the padding of the shoulders, imo).
    2) Take it to a tailor and see what they think; specifically, if, in their professional opinion, it would be possible to tailor it down to your current size and not have it come out wonky (or at least acceptably fitting for your tastes). They'll quote you a price for such work.
    3) Look at that price and figure out if you would be better off putting that money toward a new suit (in a fabric where you could wear the two as separates if you so choose) or a sport coat. This will all come down to average tailoring prices in your area as well as the amount of work that would be necessary, as well as your current weight compared to where you want to be. If you don't NEED sport coats/suits in your wardrobe for work, you certainly don't want to buy several of them for a size that you may very well not be in 6 months to a year.

    Without having done the above, it's hard to say that whether tailoring or saving for something new is your best bet. If the sizes of the suits differ A LOT from where you are now, I think that it's going to be hard for a tailor to bring them down to your size and to do that without the fit becoming weird is even harder (and the work will, again, probably be pricy).

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    First off, congratulations on improving your body image and staying the course to all the weight loss you've already managed. It's not an easy road for sure, and you're definitely not wilting like many do.

    Anyway, maybe it's the frugal side in me talking, but if you plan on losing more weight/transforming your body so that it's drastic enough to warrant concern right now, then I would NOT spend the money on tailoring your current jackets/suits. Unless for some reason it's absolutely necessary to wear a suit and look great right now, I would just put on a fitted sweater instead and not wear the suits/jackets. You also have no clue if tailoring your current stuff might work and fit your weight right now, but in 6 months when you've lost even more weight and need something taken in more, that might not be possible for the tailor given the original makeup of the suit, which would prompt you to have to buy entirely new pieces. Might as well save the money for that moment instead.

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    FWIW, being bottom-heavy is genetic - where people store fat has nothing to do with lifestyle. There is a medical term for it, something I picked up in a book on the subject when I was preparing to try to lose some weight (which I did, earlier this year).


    From what you're saying, it sounds like you're going to be losing more weight, and I wouldn't invest money now. If you have a special event you need clothes for, bite the bullet at that point, but for now, save your money. When I was losing weight, I lost about 10 pounds a month. I found that 10 pounds was enough to keep clothes from fitting the next month. I wasted a little money because I needed suits that fit for work, etc, but I waited and replaced just about everything afterwards. I wasn't exercising at all, so I didn't build muscle (and lost a bit, I think - building some of it back is on my to-do list), and lost dimensions in every direction...

    In summary, save your money. If someone comments that your clothes don't fit, proudly tell them how much weight you've lost. When you are happy with your weight, take your saved money and invest in a lot of new, nice stuff.

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    Sounds like the best plan is to wait unless I'm in absolute need of a suit. For now I don't need a suit regularly and can get away with just a shirt and tie +/- a sweater. Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I must say though someone dedicated can lose weight in 3 months w/o difficulty. It's just that it took me over a decade to create the "no matter what this is going to happen" mindset. I spend most of the time in "kinda moving toward it but waiting till (excuse) is over". I'm hoping in about 2 months I'll be at a reasonable weight to start focusing on filtering out what fits and what needs to go.
    Last edited by Giatros89; November 30th, 2012 at 02:38 PM.

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