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Shorten blazer sleeves w/ buttonhole interference

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just picked up a Corneliani blazer off eBay--I like it and it fits well, but the sleeves are 2" to 3" too long.  The ideal cuff termination point is smack in the middle of the buttons.  Is there a practical way of achieving the proper sleeve length in such a case?  I know I can't be the first person to encounter this problem... Adam C.
post #2 of 11
Assuming the sleeve buttons aren't functional, any good tailor can simply hack off the offending region and restitch the buttons on. Of course, this procedure will mess with the sleeve taper and width, and if you're fussy like me, you will also request the sleeve to be re-tapered to its original circumference. The tailor will usually do this by undoing the sleeve's inner seam and resewing it back up.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Assuming the sleeve buttons aren't functional, any good tailor can simply hack off the offending region and restitch the buttons on.
What if the buttons ARE functional? I've recently purchased a Zegna NC suit from the outlet store of a high-end retailer. The sleeves were already finished with functional buttons (don't ask me why). They are a couple inches too long, and the ideal length would fall between the distal 3rd and 4th buttons. I don't mind having my usual tailor do the rest of the finishing/ alterations but I'm not sure about the sleeves. I suppose the sleeves could be cut off between the 3rd and 4th buttons but that would leave only a 1/2 inch space between the last button and the end of the sleeve. Is there a way to shorten the sleeves without making a mess of the sleeve ends, and still having functioning buttons?
post #4 of 11
Quote:
What if the buttons ARE functional?
I believe in that instance,the alteration must be made at the shoulder,by detaching the sleeve,then shortening and re-attaching it. It's a more time consuming -- hence more expensive --process,but it would allow you to retain the original taper and functional buttonholes on the sleeve.
post #5 of 11
Depending on where you are going to wear this jacket FKL you don't have to get the sleeves shortened, you could just unbutton 2 or 3 buttons and fold the sleeve up. I have a  navy pinstripe jacket with functional cuffs that I do this with because the sleeves are a bit too long for me. Now I only wear this out at night since it is too unconventional for the workplace, plus I also have another jacket very similar for more conservative settings. I think it adds a little panache since the ligning shows which is ivory with red stripes. Try it out and see what you think.
post #6 of 11
Is it possible to create working button holes on a suit that was not designed for them? If not, why?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Is it possible to create working button holes on a suit that was not designed for them?  If not, why?
Yes, it is possible. A good tailor will be able to do that for you. I have heard prices from $20 a sleeve to $10 a button and all over the place, depending on who is doing it, and how much handwork you want done. A machine buttonhole will be cheaper, whereas handsewn buttonholes with well-shanked buttons positioned to be touching ("kissing") will be much more expensive.
post #8 of 11
Alteration of sleeve length from the shoulder is a most inadvisable procedure.  Most tailors to whom I've spoken are hesitant to finish buttonholes on new accounts for MTM suits, due to the costly process of alteration should the customer be unsatisfied with the fit. What must be remembered is that functional buttonholes on the sleeve were once just that...functional.  Men in business would find it necessary to undue these buttons while in the workplace to avoid damage to the fabric of their suits from ink from fountain pens, or to avoid wetting the sleeves while in the process of handwashing.  Today these are a shibbolith of the bespoke suit set. To have finished sleeve buttonholes on a RTW suit is a refinement most often considered by the well tailored man, but might arguably be interpreted as somewhat pretentious: functional sleeve buttons are the hallmark of a bespoke suit. I would avoid the purchase of a jacket that had finished buttonholes on the sleeves if the sleeve length required shortening.  A great tailor can do almost anything; but the line of a jacket will only tolerate so much before loosing balance. For jackets without finished sleeve buttonholes on which the length must be reduced, the process is quite simple.  Any competent tailor can remove the buttons, shorten the sleeve, and adjust the taper (if necessary).
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Alteration of sleeve length from the shoulder is a most inadvisable procedure. Most tailors to whom I've spoken are hesitant to finish buttonholes on new accounts for MTM suits, due to the costly process of alteration should the customer be unsatisfied with the fit.
Most tailors advise against it because they can't do it properly. That is a reflection on them, not the alteration. It's not problem if the tailor really knows his stuff.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Most tailors advise against it because they can't do it properly. That is a reflection on them, not the alteration. It's not a problem if the tailor really knows his stuff.
I'm in complete agreement that a competent tailor wouldn't hesitate to take on such an alteration; however, many tailors lack the self-confidence and/or skill to attempt it.  I've been discouraged on more than one occasion.  Of course, I didn't persist at those establishments: if the tailor felt uncertain about his ability, then, I wasn't going to allow meatball surgery on my Neopolitan jacket, which remains about 3/4" too long in the sleeves. The alteration of sleeve length from the shoulder is obviously a far more labor-intensive and expensive project.  Can anyone say what the average charge would be for such an alteration?  For those who have had sleeve length shortened from the shoulder, have the results been satisfactory?
post #11 of 11
I'm having this same issue whereby the ideal sleeve length ends right where the last button would be. I'm thinking of having the 3rd and 4th buttons resewn above the 1st and 2nd to restore the 4 button stance.

i.e

Current sleeve:

1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
___

Future sleeve

3 0
4 0
1 0
2 0
x <---------- buttonhole sans button
x

Thoughts?
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