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Taking in the jacket's shoulder

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I went to a tailor last week to have the waist of a cashmere jacket taken in. It's an old jacket but I'm starting to get fussy about the way my jacket fits.

Anyway, the guy tells me that he can take 1/2" at the shoulder to make the jacket fit better. I've never used this guy before and I was wondering if it is worth risking the jacket to find out if he's good enough for the job. My understanding is that taking in the waist is a trivial job. Taking in the shoulder is another story. He also wants to take in the shoulder from the armholes - I thought this was harder than taking it in from the center seams (which I suggested). Anybody else used Ugress on W72nd before?

I'm just having him take in the waist for now but I am thinking taking in the shoulder too. Opinions?
post #2 of 20
Expensive and risky proposition. For RTW, shoulder fit is probably the first thing I look for.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by poorsod

Anyway, the guy tells me that he can take 1/2" at the shoulder to make the jacket fit better.

Hold your index finger and your thumb 1/2 inch apart and then ask yourself if it's worth $100, for what will probably be a crappy job.
post #4 of 20
This is one alteration I can't see myself ever attempting. Just not worth it.
post #5 of 20
Is he really talking about taking in the shoulder, or just lifting it? When you mention the armhole, that makes me wonder if what he's really talking about is a lift. I've had it done on two suits that were a bit big (and the slight drop in my right shoulder that isn't noticable on a 40 but is on a 42 makes this look all the worse). They fit perfectly. Also, maybe he meant he wants to take in the jacket from the side seams instead of the center seam? If that's the case, I'd say go for it, this always comes out better on my suits. But I could be reading you and the conversation I can see you having with the tailor wrong, you'll have to tell me.
post #6 of 20
I've had my shoulder adjusted twice in two different jackets...came out perfectly. The tailoring job was about $40 per jacket. It was amazing - love the place. Called Stanton Tailors in NYC's lower east side.
post #7 of 20
some 5 years ago I got 15 Kg overweight... so I had to buy my suits in sizes 50 and 52 ( 40R and 42R ) then after 2 years I lost the 15 Kg and came back to my normal size 48 ( 38R )...

I waited a year to see if I'd keep my ideal weight and then I made alter my suits... I had to give away the 52 sizes, too big to alter them right, but the 50 sizes could be altered successfully...

The tailor was able to reduce 1 cm in each shoulder ( this 50 to 48 as maybe you know European sizes are the measurement shoulder to shoulder in cm )...

this was successful in many , but one ( a loro piana brown sports jacket ) was left with one sleeve one cm longer than the other...

So this can be done but not much than 1cm ( 1/2 " ) per shoulder... IMHO.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was quoted about $40-50 for the alteration. It is about 6 years old but a still servicable jacket. I was wondering if it is worth the risk of possibly sacrificing the jacket to see how good the guy is. Otherwise I can just wear bulky sweaters underneath and make do with it.
post #9 of 20
If it were my favorite jacket (or a very expensive one) I would reserve it for the best of tailors. Perhaps you can run a test case on some other jacket of yours?

The fact that you were considering it suggests that there's something about the shoulder fit at present is bothering you. And, if this is the case, it will be money very well spent if the job is done right. So I'd encourage getting it done from the right person whoever that is.

I've had jackets tailored via center seam for very slight adjustments. A 1/2 inch at each shoulder may be too much. They might be able to get the shoulders to fit, but then the collar might not rest against the back of your neck properly or the way the lapels sit on your chest may be changed. You can also get it done via the shoulders, though this is very tricky and risky. Some tailors put some (very slight) padding kind of near the shoulder blade to make the shoulder stand a little more. (tough to explain)

A good tailor will dissuade you from the adjustment if they feel their work will screw up the balance of the jacket.

If the tailor doesn't do bespoke, you might want to look around the shop to see if it's packed with nice suits being changed. If there are a lot of fine suits there, he's probably doing something right with his alterations. If they're all iffy, I'd probably look for another option
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by horton
If it were my favorite jacket (or a very expensive one) I would reserve it for the best of tailors. Perhaps you can run a test case on some other jacket of yours?

The fact that you were considering it suggests that there's something about the shoulder fit at present is bothering you. And, if this is the case, it will be money very well spent if the job is done right. So I'd encourage getting it done from the right person whoever that is.

Now this is not my favorite jacket, but it is quite convienient and I don't want to spend money on another cold weather blazer. When I bought the jacket, I didn't have much experience in fitting so the jacket is a touch loose - I also lost 10- 15 lbs since then which may contribute. Another reason I'm thinking about this is because I also have a tux which may need a similar operation - maybe 1/4" from the shoulders. I initially decided against it because I thought it would be too hard of an operation for this guy (he doesn't do bespoke). But he sounded so confident. . .
post #11 of 20
Perhaps its bad from to revive this old thread.

Anyway, is it possible or not to reduce shoulders (not including from the center? I have a tailor that says he can do it without screwing up the jacket? Is the main risk simply shorter sleeves or is it more complicated than that?
post #12 of 20
Yes it is a bit more complicated than that.

It affects the way the suit drapes. Take in the back, then the sleeves have to be altered, then the waist. The shoulder is affected too. The suit will not look right.

It can be done, if the suit is re-cut, but often it's more costly than the same thing in bespoke. He's taking a suit cut for someone else and trying to make it fit him.
post #13 of 20
So what you're saying is that a 1/2 inch reduction can be done. Right now I have a jacket that I like a lot that is a bit wide on the shoulders and in the back. If I have the back taken in will that reduce the impression of wideness at the shoulders perhaps rendering the actual shoulder reduction unnecessary? What I'm saying is that the jacket is a bit billowy from the waist all the way up to the top of my back. The tailor said he can either just take it in or he can take it in plus bringing in the shoulders. I am trying to determine whether the latter will be too risky and I should settle for just having it reduced in back. Cost isn't a problem for me - I'm sure he will recut the whole thing - I just don't want to screw up the jacket.
post #14 of 20
I've had shoulder reductions on a number of jackets because the jacket shoulders just hung out too far from my own shoulders (although the jackets fit well elsewhere). I've had this done on two Kiton jackets, one Brioni, one Brunello Cucinelli, and two Isaias. In all cases, the tailor took about 1/2" to 3/4" from each shoulder. He had to remove the sleeves first, of course, and then trim the shoulders back, after which he reattached the sleeves. Generally, I've had this done with new jackets, so that the proper sleeve length was arrived at after the shoulder alterations. The first time I was nervous, but went ahead anyway. After that, I worried about it a lot less. In all cases, the jacket has fit much better and can't develop any shoulder "droop" from excessive overhang. I've had this done for something on the order of $100, I think (the cost was usually buried in a larger alteration bill), by two Vancouver tailors who wouldn't exactly be considered the world's best (although both do make up "custom" suits), so that a competent, but not stellar, tailor is all that's been required.
post #15 of 20
That's useful. This is a also a new jacket so the sleeves can be adjusted accordingly. He does the whole thing including the waist reduction for 25 dollars, but this in China of course. There are people willing to do it for far less, but there would be more risk of screw-ups.

I'm just concerned about the reattaching part. Also what pattern matching? This is a check jacket that is fairly well matched up at the moment?
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