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Adjusting old suits


New Member
Oct 28, 2013
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My father passed away recently, and I've been left with his rather extensive collection of bespoke suits. They hold some sentimental value to me, so I'm a bit tentative about giving them away, but they don't fit me, and as of this moment, they're just taking up space in my closet. They fit perfectly on the shoulders and arms, but the waist is far too big for me (I'm fairly slim, whereas my dad had let himself go a bit). I was wondering if it'd be possible to have the suits altered to fit me? If so, around how much would it cost to have it done?


Distinguished Member
May 31, 2009
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Absolutely. Having the waist taken in is something most off the rack suits require. Ask your tailor for price. Maybe around 30 or 40?


Distinguished Member
Mar 15, 2006
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"waist is far too big for me ".

There in lies the problem, there is a limit to how far clothes can be taken in without the balance being thrown. Think also about style, if some are old, they may look odd on you.


Senior Member
Sep 3, 2012
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I was in the same position. I took them to an expert tailor, not just someone who did alterations. Some he could make fit. For others the changes required would have been too drastic to work. Lots of tailor talk about pocket location, but apparently their are limits to how far something can be taken in. The tailor was more expensive than having my cleaners do the alterations, but worth knowing the clothes were handled properly.


Senior Member
Feb 3, 2004
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Sorry for your loss. If the suits are bespoke, why not take them to the bespoke tailor who made the suits and ask him if the suits could be made to fit you?
I don't think you are going to get a satisfactory answer to your question here on the Internet especially if we can't see you wearing the suits.
Last edited:

Mark Seitelman

Senior Member
Oct 26, 2004
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I am sorry for your loss.

First go to the bespoke tailor who made the suits or an excellent tailor in a stand-alone tailoring shop.

My recommendation is to have only one suit altered. After the alterations see if the suit "sits" on you right. Wear the suit a number of times. If the alterations are OK, then proceed on getting more altered.

If the pants are too big they may have to be re-cut rather than just taken-in. This can cost upwards of $200.

You also must consider the coat, the most important part of the suit. Remember, the coat was made for your father's unique stance, roundness or straightness of back, etc. Before endeavoring the alterations, make sure that the coat can be altered to look good on you.

Also, make sure that the suits chosen for alteration are in very good condition.

Alterations by a good tailor are expensive. Also, a good tailor will be honest as to whether an alteration will work.

Therefore, I recommend that you alter one suit to see if the enterprise is worthwhile.

Good luck.

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