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Can a 40R be made into a 38R? - Page 2

post #16 of 29
I've had shoulders recut for around $85.
post #17 of 29
would love to hear a tailors' comment
post #18 of 29
I've sent my 42R Oxxford coat for recutting (bought quite reasonably online). The bulk of the cost is in narrowing the shoulders, as they will need to detach the sleeves. Narrowing the chest and waist is relatively easier and cheaper.
Will only know if it works when I collect it.
It will be a hit and miss to find a coat that will fit you perfectly, especially OTR or bought online, so a bit of alteration would still be good in any event.
post #19 of 29
Shoulders are expensive. Chest is near to impossible to alter successfully.

But if the fit is close and a little more room around the chest doesn't bother you it may be possible. Taking in the waist and stuff like that is an inexpensive operation.
post #20 of 29
I've had that exact operation done to a couple of suits: after losing weight I wanted to take a 40R down to my now regular size of 38R. Done on both a Corneliani and Canali with good success. It did involve cutting the shoulders and bringing in the waist of the jacket, plus 2 inches from the pants and raising the crotch.

Overall I'm pleased, you'd be hard pressed to tell that they were anything other than a 38. Cost per suit was about $180: $130 on the jacket and $40 on the pants. It was worth it for me on these two suits, but I've had a few others that went into the Salvation Army bag ...

Earlier on I tried to take a few suits from a 44R (where I started) down to a 40R and that was just too much ... while the shoulders 'fit' the entire jacket just did not drape properly.
post #21 of 29
This gets asked very often so I think it deserves a complete answer.

A coat which is too large CAN be cut down, and since it a big job, will cost a lot of money. Tailors don't frequently turn down jobs which will bring them lots of money, so few will tell you it can't be done. But is it possible, properly speaking, to take a factory-made coat and turn it into a size 38? NO. But let me explain.

This is a view of what we call a "graded nest"- all the sizes of a particular pattern. From size to size (i.e. 38 to 40) the back circumference grade is ¼", the side body is ¼" and the front is ½".





The jacket can be torn down and the back reduced at the side seam and the allowance at the neck let out in order to make a smaller neck, and the whole shoulder line lowered to make a smaller armhole. A lot of work, but can be done.

The circumference of the side body can be brought in at the side seam, but you are missing some fabric in the top of the armhole so the tailor will have to reduce a bit at the front, not the back. Small shape distortion, but nothing too bad. (NB- bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this)

Now the front, where the change from size to size is biggest. The front panel develops at center front, so this is where the cut down should take place. Oops, there's a buttonhole, so you can't do it here, the adjustment will have to go to the side of that panel. Oops, there's a pocket there. Removing the pocket and resetting it is a BEAST to do and most alteration tailors will refuse to do it, if they even know how to. So let's assume you have a very skilled tailor who will open the pocket and reset it (which will cost you a fortune), removing the half inch at the side seam instead of the front. Unless the coat was cut in a bespoke shop you won't have enough outlet to shift the neck point so it will have to stay more or less where it is, which is now in the wrong place in relation to the center front- in tailor's speak, the shoulder will be crooked (search straightening and crookening the shoulder if you're interested) which can lead to a host of problems. But chances are, your tailor will not open the pocket and so may take the chest and waist down at this seam (which will give you a large-looking hip) and take the rest out at the back, in which case the balance of the coat has been thrown off.

The top sleeve can be reduced but the under sleeve can not (again, bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this).

So while it CAN be cut down to be made smaller, the fit won't be exactly what it should be- you may get lucky, but the chances are greater that you won't, and that's an expensive gamble.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post
This gets asked very often so I think it deserves a complete answer.

A coat which is too large CAN be cut down, and since it a big job, will cost a lot of money. Tailors don't frequently turn down jobs which will bring them lots of money, so few will tell you it can't be done. But is it possible, properly speaking, to take a factory-made coat and turn it into a size 38? NO. But let me explain.

This is a view of what we call a "graded nest"- all the sizes of a particular pattern. From size to size (i.e. 38 to 40) the back circumference grade is ¼", the side body is ¼" and the front is ½".





The jacket can be torn down and the back reduced at the side seam and the allowance at the neck let out in order to make a smaller neck, and the whole shoulder line lowered to make a smaller armhole. A lot of work, but can be done.

The circumference of the side body can be brought in at the side seam, but you are missing some fabric in the top of the armhole so the tailor will have to reduce a bit at the front, not the back. Small shape distortion, but nothing too bad. (NB- bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this)

Now the front, where the change from size to size is biggest. The front panel develops at center front, so this is where the cut down should take place. Oops, there's a buttonhole, so you can't do it here, the adjustment will have to go to the side of that panel. Oops, there's a pocket there. Removing the pocket and resetting it is a BEAST to do and most alteration tailors will refuse to do it, if they even know how to. So let's assume you have a very skilled tailor who will open the pocket and reset it (which will cost you a fortune), removing the half inch at the side seam instead of the front. Unless the coat was cut in a bespoke shop you won't have enough outlet to shift the neck point so it will have to stay more or less where it is, which is now in the wrong place in relation to the center front- in tailor's speak, the shoulder will be crooked (search straightening and crookening the shoulder if you're interested) which can lead to a host of problems. But chances are, your tailor will not open the pocket and so may take the chest and waist down at this seam (which will give you a large-looking hip) and take the rest out at the back, in which case the balance of the coat has been thrown off.

The top sleeve can be reduced but the under sleeve can not (again, bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this).

So while it CAN be cut down to be made smaller, the fit won't be exactly what it should be- you may get lucky, but the chances are greater that you won't, and that's an expensive gamble.

Wow! Thank you, jefferyd, for a thorough and complete answer to a question that I have been hesitant to post myself, for quite some time now.

Unfortunately, this answer means that I should think about selling the suit that I wore for my wedding, rather than trying to have it altered to fit my now smaller body.

Aaron
post #23 of 29
Bookmarked for future references!

I ran into similar problem last year when I ask my tailor to slim down one of my suits significantly. One of his comment was, he could only go as far as the pocket positioning and button holes will allow him to, without throwing the balance off.
post #24 of 29
Ya, thanks JD. Very informative.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post
This gets asked very often so I think it deserves a complete answer.

A coat which is too large CAN be cut down, and since it a big job, will cost a lot of money. Tailors don't frequently turn down jobs which will bring them lots of money, so few will tell you it can't be done. But is it possible, properly speaking, to take a factory-made coat and turn it into a size 38? NO. But let me explain.

This is a view of what we call a "graded nest"- all the sizes of a particular pattern. From size to size (i.e. 38 to 40) the back circumference grade is ¼", the side body is ¼" and the front is ½".





The jacket can be torn down and the back reduced at the side seam and the allowance at the neck let out in order to make a smaller neck, and the whole shoulder line lowered to make a smaller armhole. A lot of work, but can be done.

The circumference of the side body can be brought in at the side seam, but you are missing some fabric in the top of the armhole so the tailor will have to reduce a bit at the front, not the back. Small shape distortion, but nothing too bad. (NB- bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this)

Now the front, where the change from size to size is biggest. The front panel develops at center front, so this is where the cut down should take place. Oops, there's a buttonhole, so you can't do it here, the adjustment will have to go to the side of that panel. Oops, there's a pocket there. Removing the pocket and resetting it is a BEAST to do and most alteration tailors will refuse to do it, if they even know how to. So let's assume you have a very skilled tailor who will open the pocket and reset it (which will cost you a fortune), removing the half inch at the side seam instead of the front. Unless the coat was cut in a bespoke shop you won't have enough outlet to shift the neck point so it will have to stay more or less where it is, which is now in the wrong place in relation to the center front- in tailor's speak, the shoulder will be crooked (search straightening and crookening the shoulder if you're interested) which can lead to a host of problems. But chances are, your tailor will not open the pocket and so may take the chest and waist down at this seam (which will give you a large-looking hip) and take the rest out at the back, in which case the balance of the coat has been thrown off.

The top sleeve can be reduced but the under sleeve can not (again, bespoke tailors leave an inlay here which can be used to correct this).

So while it CAN be cut down to be made smaller, the fit won't be exactly what it should be- you may get lucky, but the chances are greater that you won't, and that's an expensive gamble.




Yes, this sounds much less optimistic.

Thank you for the effort.
post #26 of 29
Great explanation. Makes me reconsider a recut I had in mind.
post #27 of 29
Very helpful. Tagged.
post #28 of 29
Wow. This is very helpful. I just had this done (more or less, the jacket was a big 40) and I thought it had turned out okay. A closer examination reveals that the back of the collar is now about a half-inch bellow where it should be. That is to say, more of the back of my shirt collar is showing. I'm not sure how to handle this. It's not horribly obvious, and there is no gaping "gap"
between shirt collar and jacket collar. Still annoying.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post
Important Words

Incredibly informative. Thank you clothing demigod!
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