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A question or 3 about a so-far-lousy alterations experience at a high end NY tailor.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ginger84, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. ginger84

    ginger84 Active Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    Background - I have been to [A High-End Manhattan tailor (hereinafter "AHEM Tailor] twice. AHEM Tailor is well-known and well-regarded around the forum. My first experience with AHEM Tailor went very well. I brought in two new suits for alterations (hemming, pants taken in at waist, jacket taken in at the sides). The work was pricey, but it was done well on the first try. My second experience is as follows: I brought in a new RLBL suit of 2007 vintage. The suit, a 38R, is the same size as my two other RLBL's, but everything about it seemed to be just a little off (side question - are 2007's cut much differently than 2008-9's?). The suit needed hemming and an inch taken out of the waist. The fitter at AHEM Tailor also suggested shortening the jacket an inch, taking the jacket in at the sides, and lowering the collar to correct a horizontal ripple that went across the upper back of the jacket. One of the suits I brought in on my first visit was a 2008 38R RLBL, and none of these alterations had been needed on that suit. The jacket did in fact seem an inch too long and it certainly needed to be taken in. But the mirrors at AHEM Tailor are such that I was unable to verify whether the ripple was an issue. I took the fitter's word and authorized all of the work. The total alterations bill for the suit was $370. I went to pick up the suit this week. When I tried it on, I immediately noticed two issues. First, one sleeve was far shorter than the other. Second, there were massive (truly, massive) lumps in both shoulders (in the middle between the shoulder seem and the collar). The fitter at AHEM Tailor at first said there was only a lump in the right shoulder, but then agreed that yes, there was a sizable lump in the left as well. I asked what caused the lump and he would not say. I then said I presumed this was caused by the lowering of the collar, and he also would not comment. I found the opacity somewhat frustrating, but he said the problem would be fixed. I returned again today to pick up the suit. The fitter greeted me by saying that I would notice immediately that the jacket was much better. Well, the jacket sleeves were corrected. However, the lumps, though less massive, very clearly remained. The fitter at AHEM Tailor once again said at first that the problem was only in the right shoulder, and then, once again, acknowledged that there was a lump in the left shoulder as well. He agreed to fix the issue by Monday. My questions are - 1) At this point, is it likely that AHEM Tailor has irreparably screwed something up in the shoulders? Should I be wary that any fix they make will not actually hold up? (Is my suit fucked?) 2) Is this sort of issue normal? 3) Should I ask for, or expect, any reduction in fee? 4) If they are not able to fix it to my liking, what is customary? To request a full refund? More? Less? Thanks
  2. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

    Oct 21, 2008
    sounds like you might need a shoulder shift. By changing the collar, he might have made it too small for you in one way or the other and thus the bump. Its certainly fixable, though rather complex for a good tailor and certainly not cheap. I had the same problem fixed for 1 shoulders and the bill was over $100.
  3. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

    Apr 8, 2006
    Wait, you smell that?
    I think you mean "waist."
  4. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Read this thread to help you understand what is involved in shortening the back (a.k.a., lowering the collar) properly.

    - B
  5. SlamMan

    SlamMan Senior member

    Mar 18, 2008
    I've had to have this done on just about every RTW jacket I've ever purchased. I've even had the same exact issue your having on a couple RLBL jackets. IMO the shoulder lumps, at least in my case, are created when the tailor doesn't open the shoulder seam all the way to the sleeve attachment when they're lifting up the back panels. When sewn back together the seam no longer follows a straight line on each panel thus causing the buckeling. Hopefully that makes sense.

    I took one of the RLBL jackets to another tailor and specifically asked to have the shoulder seam opened all the way to the sleeve to fix the issue. They seemed to agree so we'll see if we were right when I get it back.
  6. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Jul 22, 2006
    chicago suburbs
    the lumps between the shoulder seam and the collar tells us that the collar was lowered.
    when lumps show up it usually means that the back should have been shortened at the top.
    shortening the back includes lowering the collar. in other words only half of the alteration was done.
    he then tried to do a makeshift repair.
    this will take a complete redo like voxsatoria and slamman mention.
  7. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

    Apr 15, 2006
    a tailor , where are you so i can bring my coats and suits to tailor? i dont trust anyone else.
  8. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Senior member

    Mar 10, 2006
    a tailor , where are you so i can bring my coats and suits to tailor? i dont trust anyone else.

    I think A tailor would get a lot of people to visit him in the Chicago burbs if he would take clients.

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