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Tailoring magic

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
As a poor grad student with a taste for nice clothes, I need to maximize my budget in terms of tailored clothing.  I've recently experimented with the Ebay route with mixed results.  In regards to suits, sport coats, and slacks, how much alterring is feasibly possible w/o destroying the balance or cut of a particular garment?  (Particularly, the drop on a jacket, waits on a pair of pants, etc).  Your input is appreciated. matt
post #2 of 5
Just to clarify, what do you mean by "drop"? The term generally refers to the difference between the chest of a jacket and the waist of the pants that come with it in a suit. E.g. a 40R suit w/ 34" waist pants has a 6" drop.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
whoops...I was trying to describe the area around the waist of the jacket...equivalent to the waist of the pants. Im skinny so the "drop" on my suits is quite severe...for both pants and the mid-section in my jackets.
post #4 of 5
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.
post #5 of 5
I have a Harris Tweed blazer gifted to me by my brother. I shortened the sleevesan inch, and shortened the jacket about two inches, those alterations looked great. Then I reduced the waist volume substantially... looks like shit. Quite frankly, the tailor did a good job, but you can still tell that the jacket was altered; it doesn't really drape properly anymore. The whole process cost me about $120 at a tailor that I have a good relationship with. -Tom
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