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Shorten a sportcoat?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A little while back, I fell in love with a Pal Zileri sportcoat with the most beautiful fabric. It was on the sale rack, it gave me an absolutely beautiful line (I love that fitted Italian line), I had to have it. I bought it.

Unfortunately, I was wearing jeans when I tried it on, jeans that sit rather low on my hips, and I was apparently so dazzled by the fabric that I hadn't realized just how long the jacket was. It was a 46L, and although I've worn 44Ls in my distant past, my normal size is a 46R (all US sizes). When I look at the jacket now... it's with great sadness that I acknowledge that it's just too damned long.

I say "to hell with it" frequently and wear it anyways, particularly with jeans where formal proportions are not as stringent. Frankly, most people around here aren't style conoisseurs, so they don't even notice the extra length. Maybe they, too, are dazzled by the fabric.

Anyways, my question is this - can a sportcoat's length be altered?

It seems to me that just taking a bit off the bottom wouldn't be terribly difficult to achieve for a skilled tailor, but it might throw the proportions of the jacket off. The button (it's a two-button coat) would be sitting a tad lower than the designer intended, and I don't want to create a chopped-off look. And are there subtleties to the construction that I'm not aware of that might cause a problem?

Again, the jacket isn't *terrible* as is, but it's clearly longer than would be considered classical. Most jackets end for me just into the beginnings of my fingers; this one is maybe 1.0 - 1.5 inches longer than that, hitting just past my 2nd knuckle. Should I just leave it and call it a fashion statement?

Would photos of said sports jacket your humble poster help?
post #2 of 12
You can probably shorten it up to 1". Anything more than that and you might throw off the balance of the jacket (buttons, pockets, etc).
post #3 of 12
Hi Douglas, there is lots of threads addressing this (I think I too started one at one point) and lots of different views on it. One thing that is agreed upon is that you have to consider the placement of the pockets, the button-stance, and a whole slew of other variables. You'd be surprised how much an innocuous seeming couple-inch trim can totally ruin the balance of a jacket. Have a tailor eyeball it, but I strongly advise against anything more than an inch.
post #4 of 12
If the waist pockets are not too low, then the overall porpotional should be alright, and shorten by an inch would be ok. I wouldn't go more than 1 inch. I am prob. like you, in between a regular and a long depends on the maker. I would say the biggerst problem for me for the long sized jacket are the position of waist pockets and sleeve length. Some long jackets are just longer in overall length, but the waist pockets and sleeve lengths are ok, then they would fit me like a regular size with just one inch off the hem. While others, the pockets would be sitting too low and sleeves are too long ( which would require you to shorten from the shoulders), that its just not a matter of shortening the overall length.
post #5 of 12
1" should be ok. pics would help us help you be sure though!
post #6 of 12
I was always very sceptical about shortening jackets - figured it would throw the line/balance off. But I had it done recently (not by much, probably about an inch at most) and it was done very well and I love the resulting jacket. If the tailor knows what he's doing, go for it.
post #7 of 12
I bought once a mismatched PZ suit

The jacket is a EUR 48L the trousers EUR 48R

It is an absolutely beautiful suit, med gray with light gray with subtle pinstripe made with super 150's wool, the kind of thin wool that is perfect for warmer weather, supersoft. It feels and looks great. and was so discounted I couldn't resist.

fortunately the jacket had a high button stance, so when tailored the button stance looks right.

The tailor reduced a bit more than 1" of the jacket lenght and shortenned the sleeves.

The suit ended looking good and I am happy with it and wear it with joy.

The two problems however that bothers me sometimes when I am in front of the mirror.

1. The round front edges of the jacket don't look perfectly round to me. I think the taylor could have done a better job finishing that, but maybe this imperfection could be seen as an "artisan" touch.
2. while the button stance is right, the front pockets are indeed lower than any other of my jackets. maybe 1/2" lower that it should. But I think this is a detail hardly noticiable, you'd have to see me side to side to another guy on a similar suit to reckon that my pockets are lower.. The breast pocket is maybe also lower but I have never noticed it. I'll measure tonight to see if it is... in any case never got my attention.

Other than that the suit looks great.
post #8 of 12
Here a guideline that I find useful, I came upon it thru trial and error.

If after any shortening process the distance from the top of the pocket (including the flap) to the bottom of the hem is any less than 9 inches, the jacket will look funny. Most RTW jackets have a 10" distance, so 1" is really all you can take off before throwing off the balance of the jacket.
post #9 of 12
I would agree that you can shorten the jacket up to one inch. As far as the work, it is not the hardest job.

As far as balance, a small amount shouldn't be noticeable. If you can live with 3/4", which would be a noticeable reduction, for a jacket you already wear, it will not visually alter the balance. Keep in mind that the button placement is not going to change, it will still be slightly low as it is now. And a reduction, of 3/4 to 1", in the distance between the button and the bottom of the jacket is nothing.

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by lakewolf View Post
I bought once a mismatched PZ suit


Always enjoy your posts. I could watch your "freind" for hours!

post #11 of 12
bringing a thread back from the much is feasible to hack off the length of a suit jacket from a Xtra Long to a Long?? 32.5" is my regular suit length and I found a suit that has jacket length 33.5" (same maker),so wondering if hacking down the length about 1" will throw off the's a 2 button
post #12 of 12
wasnt this answered in the above post by lee and thomaus?
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