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Shirt Alterations: Making Shirts Slim Fit

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi have a bunch of shirts that I bought before I realized Slim fit shirts fit me better. Is it a difficult (or expensive) for a tailor to make them slimmer? If so, should I just try my regular dry cleaning place or go for a proper tailor?

Thanks!
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pred02 View Post
Hi have a bunch of shirts that I bought before I realized Slim fit shirts fit me better. Is it a difficult (or expensive) for a tailor to make them slimmer? If so, should I just try my regular dry cleaning place or go for a proper tailor?

Thanks!

Slimming is possible and not too expensive. New shirts are cooler!

Find a tailor.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
What should I expect, do they put darts in the back, how much should I tell them to slim the shirt by?

Thanks
post #4 of 25
Ask them to take it in at the sides. Will narrow the sleeves and the waist. Darts in the back are a must too as they will prevent billowing in the back.

I get mine done at the Dry Cleaner/alterations place down the street from me. I don't know of any tailors
post #5 of 25
I just took in the last of my shirts to be done and it is not bad. I paid 120.00 for slimming and sleeve length on 8 shirts. I finally found a tailor and it is great to have someone that does good work and makes your cloths look the way they should for a well dressed person.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pred02 View Post
What should I expect, do they put darts in the back, how much should I tell them to slim the shirt by?

Thanks

they take it in from the sides of the shirt body and the lower side of the sleeves. just tell them to shape it and you should know when they have gone too far.

it costs $14 at my tailor.
post #7 of 25
If the tailor is a little bit 'old school' if you know what I mean, make sure you're on the same page when it comes to SLIM FIT.

Their idea of slim fit is probably going to be a lot different than yours. If you have one, bring a shirt that you like as an example.
post #8 of 25
Maybe my tailor is not so good but I find slimming the body of the shirt always comes out a bit funky. In terms of sleeve length, except for minimal shortening talk to them about removing and replacing the placket. Otherwise you end up with the placket button sitting just above the cuff.
post #9 of 25
For years I've had tailors take in the sides of the shirts with OK results.

I am in the process of trying a service that may be the best solution.

www.collarreplacement.com

They offer "recuts" for only $25. You send them the shirt with the measurements, and they will recut it, yoke, sleeves, etc. New collars and cuffs are extra. Check out the website for detailed information about the process.

I just sent them a Brioni shirt that fits me like a tent to be recut. I will report back about how well it came out.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmusic View Post
For years I've had tailors take in the sides of the shirts with OK results.

I am in the process of trying a service that may be the best solution.

www.collarreplacement.com

They offer "recuts" for only $25. You send them the shirt with the measurements, and they will recut it, yoke, sleeves, etc. New collars and cuffs are extra. Check out the website for detailed information about the process.

I just sent them a Brioni shirt that fits me like a tent to be recut. I will report back about how well it came out.

Please keep us updated this could be very promising.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
Ask them to take it in at the sides. Will narrow the sleeves and the waist. Darts in the back are a must too as they will prevent billowing in the back.

I get mine done at the Dry Cleaner/alterations place down the street from me. I don't know of any tailors

May I ask which place? Always on the lookout for decent simple alterations in DC.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post
Please keep us updated this could be very promising.

OK, I got the Brioni shirt back from www.collarreplacement.com

$25 well spent!

I bought the Brioni shirt ($395 retail) last year for a great price at a NM last call. Even though it was marked "medium" it fit like a tent--it was so baggy I didn't want to wear it.

A few weeks ago, I sent it to Mike Maldonado in San Antonio, Texas, the proprietor of collarreplacement.com. I am fortunate that I could send him a sample shirt, which was a MTM shirt that fit very well. Otherwise, one would have to send in measurements.

The shirt just came back, and this service is the best I've seen for improving baggy shirts. The shirt was recut. Mike said they took off about 2" all around. They managed to keep the Brioni pattern matching, and one would have to look really close to notice that it had been taken apart and re-stitched. The fit of the shirt is good. In fact, the fit is remarkably close to my bespoke shirt. On the downside, the armholes are still a bit big, and the stupid oversized breast pocket that Brioni put on the shirt looks a litte out of proportion. (Sorry, I have a personal aversion to pockets on dress shirts.) However, the results were still significantly better than the times I've taken shirts to local tailors for alterations. Most tailors will just take in the sides or narrow the sleeves a bit, not alter the yoke or anything else. And that alone will cost anywhere from $15 to $40.

Most importantly, I feel I can wear the shirt in public.

Mr. Maldonado tells me this is a popular service he provides, and many men find nice shirts on sale that don't fit, and he recuts them. This can work out very well for frugal shoppers. I've recently learned how much the fine fabrics in shirts like Borelli, Brioni, T & A go for, and it's $40 to $150 wholesale for the raw materials alone. So, if you get shirt on sale for cheap, and get it recut, you can get close to bespoke for a fraction of the cost.

A shirt can only be recut if it's too big. Even a collar that's too big can be recut. Maldonado, spilts it down the back and makes it smaller. This would be slightly noticeable, but I guess it works.

From what I can tell, the best candidate for a recut would be a shirt that fits well in the collar, and had sleeves that were slightly too long. Everything elso can be huge, but can be cut down. I also think it's better to start with a shirt without a breast pocket. The pocket on my shirt looked little out of proportion after the rest of the shirt was cut down.

Overall, if you are incredibly picky, you can spend $300+ for a bespoke shirt and it probably will fit better than a recut. But, if you are frugal and want champagne taste on a beer budget, recutting an on-sale RTW shirt is a great way to go IMHO.
post #13 of 25
What about altering the shoulder size? Can recutting a shirt do that?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemagic View Post
What about altering the shoulder size? Can recutting a shirt do that?

If you mean making the yoke shorter, yes.
post #15 of 25
Armholes will always be a problem with altering a shirt to be slimmer. There will be bunching of the fabric under your arms which will not give a clean looking chest. Still this is better than billowing fabric at your sides and back.

My tailor also slims the sleeves down and moves the buttons on the cuffs, which improves the fit quite a bit. I have some shirts that few would recognize as Brooks Brothers after alterations.
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