I guess that would be the waist of the jacket unless there's another term. That is a more involved operation than taking in pants, though not one a tailor would probably charge very much for. My one major piece of advice is to not bother with trying to alter stuff you get that will require several operations unless you are so enamored of it that you will really wear it a lot. I am in the same financial situ as you describe and I have found that the most important thing is to get stuff that fits well to begin with. Hideous colors and patterns can look excellent if fitted well, whereas a suit with amazing fabric but in which one swims always looks horrible. I am in the process of weeding out my closet of everything I don't truly love and I find I have made many purchases that were stupid in retrospect -- I never wore the clothes only because they didn't fit right. Remember, if you bought it on Ebay, you can probably sell it there for about the same price, unless it's something "fashionable". Then you are only out shipping and auction fees, rather than being stuck with stuff that stays in your closet collecting dust. If I were to do it again (I went on a suit buying binge for almost no reason a while back) I would order a bunch of suits on Ebay all at once, pick the best one or two and sell the rest off. Then I would alter the stuff I really liked and end up with better results than my haphazard approach. Anyway, to the original question: It was a topic here a little while ago and the agreement seemed to be that pants can only be (easily) taken in a couple of inches at most before the pocket balance is thrown off. As for jackets, I don't really know. I would assume it is similar; at some point to alter it more you have to start opening other seams to keep the balance right.