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Pant tailoring question

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I wear a size 40-42 suit jacket (which typically comes with a size 34-36 pant) and a size 31 pant.  Will a good tailor be able to take in the waist 3-5 inches without any problem, or do I have to start looking into custom and made to measure suits?
post #2 of 3
I wear a 40R jacket, and my waist was a 31-32 for many years (unfortunately, my love of cheeseburgers has made me a 32-33 for the last couple). I find that many designers (Helmut Lang and Jil Sander come to mind) have a 7 rather than a 6 drop, and getting an additional 1 or 1.5 inches taken in is generally no problem. Plus, the recent trend towards skinny stovepipe type pants is on your side. Unfortunately, I have found that if you take in pants more than about 2 inches, the line of the pant becomes somewhat distorted. And if you're more interested in traditional clothiers like Zegna or Canali, which go to greater pains to not alientate those with well-padded wallets in addition to ample girth, you may be out of luck - I've found that the drop on these suits is closer to 6. The pants found on the suits of American companies like Hickey Freeman and Jhane Barnes, as well as those of Boss suits, are even more forgiving. Maybe it's time to visit the custom department. Just make sure that your tailor's not a pederast (have you guys see that episode of Friends where Joey finds out that's not the way they measure the inseam?)
post #3 of 3
The standard way of taking in a pair of pants is through the back seam. The absolute maximum by this method is about 2". Otherwise the side seams would shift towards the back and the back pockets would meet. Of course a skilled tailor can re-cut a pair of trousers, i.e. take in all seams and remake the pockets or gather excessive fullness inside a front pleat where there was none before. But we are talking about major, major surgery here and it probably would not be cost effective for a run of the mill suit. Some manufacturers like Brook Brothers allow you to choose jacket and pants individually in the required size.
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