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Can a slightly too small suit coat/blazer be tailored?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Greetings, and my apologies if my question seems foolish. I did search for an answer, and the one I got was that one can have a too large suit coat/blazer tailored, but it is much more difficult, if not impossible to get a coat that is too small to fit. However this conclusion was usually based on a coat been a full size too small.


I just picked up a Hickey Freeman suit from Bluefly (a Milburn for $405 shipped, a good deal, IMO) and the top is just a little bit too small. It actually looks quite good if I don't move, the shoulders are not puckering and the ends seem to also fit. The problem is when I move, there is very little give and I could easily rip the fabric.


That is probably related too my build. I am 5' 10 and 235 lbs, and have been bodybuilding since I was 13 (50 now). I have huge shoulders and arms....I am also 15 lbs overweight (happened since I became married). Before I met my wife, blazers would always be way, way too big in the mid section, but ironically a 48R (the size of the coat in question) fits my rather large midriff perfectly.


Since the coat is only slightly too small, will a tailor be able to get it too fit, or should I go up to a 50? I should also mention that the pants that came with the 48R are somewhat too large, and that the 50 pants would likely be clown size, so that is also a consideration.


Thank you in advance for your considered response.

post #2 of 8

Hi, its gonna be way best part of impossible to make all the necessary changes to the smaller jacket and likely v.costly.  If there's no "mix and match" option better to go with the better fitting jacket as the trousers are an easier job for a good tailor.  Hope this helps.

post #3 of 8
I think it's hard to get a coat that is initially too small expanded b/c the fabric might not be there. Also, from wasting a ton of money I realized it's not worth it if the suit doesn't fit close off the rack. It's better to just return it and find something else. Or getting the slightly larger size and having it taken in would work too.

To give you an idea of cost, I just had one of my jackets altered several times. The first time was to shorten the sleeves, shorten the jacket 1", and take in the back from mid-lower -- cost me $160 for these alterations. After taking in the back, I noticed some mild roll in the upper back and had to have the collar adjusted to get rid of this. I decided to have the upper back taken in slightly too. For this second round my tailor charged me $80.

Hence, I spent $240 to get the coat fitting correctly, which is a hefty sum and why getting something that fits almost perfect off the rack is paramount --- it made me think that I should just go bespoke or MTM in the future, considering I spent $1200 on the sportcoat and $240 on alterations = $1440 total...

This is assuming that something that fits close off the rack would require only the sleeves taken in and maybe some minor waist suppression, which should cost $75 or so instead. In your case, to recut the pants, my tailor charges $40 to slim down and $10 for the hem. So you're probably looking at $125 or so in alterations. Still much better than spending a lot of money trying to fix a too-small jacket, when you might not be happy with the results.
post #4 of 8
Probably unlikely unless there is a very large amount of cloth in the seams which is comparatively unusual these days. Only bespoke builds in an allowance given the longevity of many such commissions.
post #5 of 8
Buy the bigger size and tailor it. You definitely don't want to be scared to move in your jacket because you'll rip it. I've had that happen to one of the lining of my jackets back when I started out on SF, and it was just a cloud.gif experience.

Putting some waist suppression on the jacket, shortening the sleeves, and re-cutting the pants shouldn't be a super-issue for a good tailor.

The bigger question you should be asking is: will the length of the 50 jacket fit me?
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone, you have most likely saved me a good deal of money and headache.


Back she goes.

post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by Dr jitsu View Post

Thank you everyone, you have most likely saved me a good deal of money and headache.

Back she goes.
Good move.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Picked up the 50R which gives me more room in the shoulders. In fact, the 50 is barely roomy enough so I am glad I went larger:

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