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Trouser alterations

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Two sets of questions: (1) Is there any practical limit on the amount it is possible to take in the waist of a pair of trousers? Many of the suits I see on ebay have waist measurements that are quite a bit larger than I need. Usually, when buying off the rack, I need them taken in an inch or so, but is it a problem to take trousers in as much as 3 inches? (2) Aside from avoiding the alteration fee, when buying a new pair of pants, is there a downside to buying an inch above or below my measurement? Is one direction better than the other? Thanks.
post #2 of 5
It *is* a problem to take in pants by that much. Taking in pants more than say, 1 1/2 inches, will throw off the balance of the pockets and change the fit of the pants. A good tailor could do a reasonable job, but it is a dicey proposition in any case.
post #3 of 5
(2) Aside from avoiding the alteration fee, when buying a new pair of pants, is there a downside to buying an inch above or below my measurement?  Is one direction better than the other?
This will mostly depend on the current state of your body. Buy clothes that will fit your (planned) normal size. If you are chunkier than (your) normal, buy a little smaller than you measure and alter them out to fit you for the time being; then when you lose the weight you can alter them back and they will look like they should. If you are thinner than normal buy a little bigger and take them in a bit. The back pocket balance is the main issue in altering pants, but taken to an extreme you can end up with the side seams in the wrong place, which means the side pockets may open up and look bad, or pucker the other way, etc. Most pants have at least 1" of leeway either way. The bigger the pants, to a degree, the larger the amount of allowance. I.e. you really can't make a 34 into a 30, but you *might* be able to make a 40 into a 36.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. On more question: when buying a used suit in which the pant waist measurement seems too large for the size, is it safe to assume that they have been let out and therefore may be taken in more without changing the balance, or not necessarily?
post #5 of 5
CMP - Reasonable assumption, not a safe one. Shoot the seller a question on that. For example, if the listed waist is 35 it was likely a 34 or 36 - should be easy to tell. Another thought... it never ceases to amaze me how many gents wear their dress slacks down on thier hips instead of up at their waist. I wish i was still a 34 waist but ...oh well. Make sure you are wearing them up high enough before taking them in. I have measured dozens of guys who told me they were a 34-36 waist when in reality they were 38-40 waist.
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