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Would it be wise to buy a suit too big for me and have it tailored down?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Jake Volmer, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. Jake Volmer

    Jake Volmer Active Member

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    Sep 1, 2012
    Hello,

    I was trying to buy a suit OTR yesterday, but it is hard to find suits in 36s. I found this really nice Hickey (not Hickey Freeman) in solid navy wool for under $400 but it is a size 38r. I really need a size 36s, specifically one that is slim fitting due to my thin frame.

    Would it be okay to purchase this suit then tailor it down? Also If my pant size is 30 and the suit pants are 32, can tailoring help as well? Or should I just move on from this suit? Is Hickey or HF more suitable for a thin frame?
     
  2. Pingson

    Pingson Well-Known Member

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    The short answer would be: no!

    The slightly longer answer would be - you are not only going down in size from 38 to 36 but also from R to S, so you are talking about redoing basically the whole suit. While technically it could perhaps be done - 1) the result likely won't be anywhere near as good as buying the right size from scratch and 2) it certainly wont be cheep - so the suit you are looking at won't be a bargain anymore.

    Let this one go, you will be so much better off not dealing with all trouble of altering a suit that in the end won't be anywhere near the suit what you want it to be
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Move on. The tailoring costs will be prohibitive, and unless you have a really good one, the likelihood of a screwup
     
  4. Simon at Elite

    Simon at Elite Well-Known Member

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    The biggest issue you might find is the shoulders. A size 36 suit has a shoulder measurement around the 18" mark. If you're of a thin frame it may already be to big for you and going up to a size 38 is going to add around another inch

    Fixing this after purchase would be expensive if it could be done successfully at all. So I'm in agreement with the previous comments
     
  5. randomhero88

    randomhero88 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly as said. It depends how perfect you want it and how much it's going to cost you in the end.

    I bought a $900 John Varvatos suit last year that was a 44r. I'm a 42r but I paid $110 for it so it was worth taking the chance. My tailor is also an 85 year old retired woman and charges on average about $40 a suit. With $150 into it, it was most definitely worth it. Had it cost me $4-500...I probably would have passed.
     
  6. JimmyFresh

    JimmyFresh New Member

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    I think this could be a false economy - you may end up spending a lot more in total (buying the suit + alterations) than looking for a good value made to measure service.

    I would think about that first - perhaps google 'made to measure suits' for your local area and see what results come up and speak to a few tailors you find the right one for you.
     
  7. StumpjumperE

    StumpjumperE Well-Known Member

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  8. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Very unwise. Buy something that fits and not something your heart drools over - or else is cheap.
     
  9. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Not a wise decision. I've had lots of experience with this over the years and the outcome was usually unsatisfactory.
     
  10. Yika

    Yika Well-Known Member

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    Go for it . Regret later.
     
  11. StumpjumperE

    StumpjumperE Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, when buying off the rack, the suit has to be about 90-95% there before any tailoring. Looking in the mirror, you should be able to say (even with the trouser length rolled up for instance), "This suit looks GOOD on me!" The less tailoring required, the better, and it's really ideal if only the sleeves and/or trouser length have to be taken in.

    The shoulders need to be right, the length of the jacket needs to be right, the rise of the trousers needs to be right. It's ok if you maybe have to take in a slight bit in the body of the jacket to make it slimmer, but even that should be a minimal amount if required.

    I'm not an expert like many here, but I've learned the above through some trial and error (and lots of blown $).
     
  12. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Quoted for truth and emphasis. Sales associates and the alteration person will tell you it looks perfect, when if fact, it looks awful. I learned the hard way, and after blowing lots of $.
     

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