I hope that this, my first post, may be timely and reassuring to some members who are eyeing jackets with real, working buttons on the sleeves. They give a jacket a lovely, tailored appearance.
I understand the depression that may set in when you get home with your purchase and realize the sleeves practically cover your hands, and you can't imagine a solution without removing all those button holes and sewing new ones. Arrgh!
Rest assured, that's not the way it's done, and certainly that's not what the maker of the jacket intended. Why would anyone design a sophisticated jacket expecting that it wouldn't fit properly down to the smallest detail.
Well, all that's required is some savoir-vivre on your own part to USE the buttons (they're meant to be used, so play around with showing them off confidently) and it only takes some sleight of hand from your tailor to lift the sleeves. That's how the alterations are done, you see, at the shoulder, not at the cuff. He'll love knowing he's making you look right.
I would suggest consulting a true tailor, who understands jacket construction.
Cost is not a problem either, and I will pass on my own experience from this past year for comparison. I regularly use 4 tailors here in New York, 2 on Fifth Avenue and 2 in the Village. The most expensive tailor for this alteration charges me $45 but he says he knows tailors who charge $65. The other tailors charge only $35 for this. (Compare this cost to that of merely shortening cuffs with sewn-on buttons, which already runs from $15 to $20, so it's not a big difference considering that you will feel well tailored, just as you meant to, in your spiffy new blazer.)
Also keep in mind another jacket alteration that is common in view of today's shorter jackets. You can have the overall length of the jacket shortened (provided the button stance and pockets are agreeably positioned). I'm a "short" to begin with, and with the trim-cut of some European jackets, I've had this done several times, running no more than $35 to $45, with perfect results every time.
Finally, this is the perfect opportunity for you to develop a rapport with a local tailor, a worthwhile relationship that will be rewarding for years to come. So trot down to a tailor right away; he'll spirit you instatntly out of the dumps, and you'll love buttoning and unbuttoning your new blazer cuffs.