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How should a tailor shorten dress shirt sleeves?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So like most men here, I would say the biggest problem I have with buying off the rack dress shirts, is that the sleeve length is usually a little too long for me. Usually there is too much fabric on the sleeve therefore bunching up. Even though I have been measured a bunch of times, and I've been told I should wear a 33 inch length sleeve shirt.

I can't afford to do MTM dress shirts just yet in my position in life. I have a wedding coming up and bigger financial responsibilities. My next best affordable option is to continue buying the shirts I generally buy from The Bay, such as brands like Tommy Hillfiger, Jones New York, Nautica for the $60-$70 range.

Now my question is this. I have taken a dress shirt (with a french cuff) to a tailor in a loca mall (the place is called Stich It. It is one of those franchise places in every mall) and I requested she shorten the sleeve length. She made me try it on, and pined it, etc.. Only to come back the following week and take the shirt home, and realize that I think they simply just removed the cuff, and cut the excess fabric and put the cuff back on. So the arm hole was noticeably shorter.

1) I always thought that in order to shorten the sleeve length, that the shirt should be unstiched from the top (where it meets the shoulder), and you shorten/cut away fabric from there? Isn't that the proper way to do it?

2) Can a tailor also bring in a dress shirt. meaning, if it fits like a garbage bag (too much fabric), they can make it look a little cut and slimmer?

I am just trying to grasp a good idea of what to look for in a tailor, and to ask the appropriate questions. I don't want to give away a shirt like I did before, only to find out that I wasted about $85 ($70 for the shirt, and 15 for a botched sleeve alteration).

I will try and search for a good alteration place in Toronto, who can shorten sleeve lengths on my dress shirts and not do it in the way mentioned above too.
post #2 of 22
For a good alterations tailor in Toronto, try Antonio in the Collonade on Bloor St.

I believe that it is standard to shorten a shirt sleeve at the cuff. What's the problem with this?
And any tailor should be able to take in the body of a shirt.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
But if you shorten the sleeve length from the cuff, aren't you also shortening the arm hole opening on the side (sorry i don't know the exact term of that part of the shirt), which makes the shirt look off?

I don't know. Maybe I am being too picky, and I get what I pay for. but I *thought* for a proper way to shorten the sleeve length, you take it from where it meets the shoulder/back, rather then from the cuff. I am probably wrong though?

Thanks for that recommendation. I will definitley look them up and see what's up with them, in terms of pricing and quality.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok after more searching in this forum and google. I think I have it understood more.

The reason why the shirt I had altered in which she shortened the sleeve length is, because they didn't actually move the shirt placket up. The tailor will first have to move the placket a little up before cutting the required excess material. Otherwise you can't cut and have a shorter placket (therefore having the shirt look off).

Can anyone confirm this, so I have it understood properly? I just want to be able to walk into a tailor with a shirt (I will try the recommendation above) and specifically require the tailor do this.
post #5 of 22
You mean gauntlet. The placket's on the front of the shirt - the gauntlet is on the sleeve.
post #6 of 22
You say you can't afford MTM shirts. But you currently spend $85 on OTR? I recently bought a blue oxford (80x2 ply) from Modern Tailor for $50 shipped and it fits like a glove. Search the forum for various affordable MTM sites. They are out there. ModernTailor has $20 off coupon codes floating around.
post #7 of 22
Man, you can buy from Propercloth and get their fit guarantee for $19 more... Or moderntailor as has been said. Or nialma with their 4 for 3. Or etc etc etc. And your tailoring some pretty low quality garments. Definitely not worth it in the end. A shirt is only worth tailoring IMHO if the shirt retails for at least 10x the price of the alteration. Or you got it for free and the tailoring is under $30-40 and the shirt is worth it.
post #8 of 22
more mis information from idiosts on the forum!!!!!!
we here in the states refer to it as a sleeve placket. those who were born in English speaking countries where they still use antiquated words should learn the modern expressions when they move here. sure that accent may get you laid once or twice, but it does not mean you know what you are talking about...
now to the question at hand.
if you only want to shorten about 1/2" then sure remove the cuff and re set.
more? remove the sleeve placket shorten the sleeve re set placket and cuff
sometimes when the sleeve placket button is cut horizontially, it will make the placket a little more difficult to remove. as the buttnhole ends up sewing through the actual sleeve piece.
the sleeve at the cuff joining has pleats. you will not feel that the shirt at the forearm is tighter.

you can also shorten from the shoulder seam.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alliswell View Post
You mean gauntlet. The placket's on the front of the shirt - the gauntlet is on the sleeve.
post #9 of 22
Corrected by my elders. It seems that in between the fedition, cries for Liberty and the ringing of a crack'd Bell, Philadelphia changed the usage of the word placket.

Thanks for the translation, Carl.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
I generally buy from The Bay, such as brands like Tommy Hillfiger, Jones New York, Nautica for the $60-$70 range.

At these prices, you're overpaying for these brands. As other suggested, there's plenty of MTM options for this price range. But you shouldn't have difficulty finding a 33" sleeve if you look at brands that specialize in dress shirts. BB, for example, makes multiple lengths, and Lewin will properly adjust sleeves for a nominal charge.

And yes, they should ideally move the sleeve placket up.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Working Stiff View Post
For a good alterations tailor in Toronto, try Antonio in the Collonade on Bloor St.

I believe that it is standard to shorten a shirt sleeve at the cuff. What's the problem with this?
And any tailor should be able to take in the body of a shirt.

The main problem with shortening a sleeve at the cuff is it throw off the position of the gauntlet button. I too have searched this forum for information about shortening sleeves and I've always come up dry
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirtmaven View Post
you can also shorten from the shoulder seam.

If shortening at the shoulder do you also need to bring in the arm-hole a bit to make it smaller, since the shortened sleeve will be slightly smaller in circumference than it previously was?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patek14 View Post
The main problem with shortening a sleeve at the cuff is it throw off the position of the gauntlet button. I too have searched this forum for information about shortening sleeves and I've always come up dry

A good tailor can move the entire placket up.

Still. Not even remotely worth the cost for the brands OP is buying.
post #14 of 22
holy shit! you're paying 60-70 for hilfiger, jones ny, and nautica?!

...and i feel guilty when i pay 80 for a new loro piana shirt on ebay... i can't imagine.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirtmaven View Post
more mis information from idiosts on the forum!!!!!!
we here in the states refer to it as a sleeve placket. those who were born in English speaking countries where they still use antiquated words should learn the modern expressions when they move here. sure that accent may get you laid once or twice, but it does not mean you know what you are talking about...
now to the question at hand.
if

You seem to have made the assumption that all of the users of this forum who were 'born in English speaking countries' have all packed up and moved the US, where most of the language has been simplified and influenced by hiphop?
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