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Altering sleeves with working buttonholes

DrZRM

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It's serious surgery, but a tailor can take in the sleeves from the shoulder, to keep the buttons exactly in the right place. I'd suggest you call your tailor for an estimate before buying a suit that needs to have the sleeves shortened.
 

sho'nuff

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ok thanks.
i dont get why for all these higher end rtw suits that come with full canvassing and working buttonholes to make the sleeves too long to begin with.

like on a regular length, they make the sleeves 25.5-26 inches in length. for any regular guy, that is 1 or 1.5 inches already too long! why not just make them off at 24.5 or 25 inches?
 

MTM

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Functional buttonholes on rtw is idiotic. The only time I purchased something like that it was made as a sample which I tried and luckily for me it was the correct length.
 

emmanuel

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Originally Posted by MTM
Functional buttonholes on rtw is idiotic.

I dont know if its idiotic. Everyone here claims that you must find yourself a decent tailor. For what? Put a hem on pants?! No! Use your tailors skills and have him shorten the sleeves from the shoulder. My tailor has done this for me before and it has come out great.
 

MTM

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Why should any one have to go through this? why don't they just have the sleeve basted for working buttonholes and that would be that, end of story. Mind you, you can alter sleeves from the shoulders up to a certain amount. And how about if you need to lengthen the sleeves another inch or so? oh oh now we have another problem.
 

johnny_flapjack

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Originally Posted by sho'nuff
If there is a suit with sleeves already with working buttonholes, would it be possible anyway to alter/shorten the sleeve?
without making the buttons look too close to the edge?

This is one aspect against having rtw suits with working buttonhole sleeves.


I assumed it was a pre-owned suit. Who makes RTW with functioning buttons? The only one I can think of is some odd maker of unlined, casual jackets at Off 5th.
 

emmanuel

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Originally Posted by johnny_flapjack
I assumed it was a pre-owned suit. Who makes RTW with functioning buttons? The only one I can think of is some odd maker of unlined, casual jackets at Off 5th.

Its becoming more popular. I see it all the time.
 

sho'nuff

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Originally Posted by johnny_flapjack
I assumed it was a pre-owned suit. Who makes RTW with functioning buttons? The only one I can think of is some odd maker of unlined, casual jackets at Off 5th.

i have a rlbl suit on sale (i assume it is because the sleeve lining goes with the venting) and a marc jacobs both brand new with tag.
 

emmanuel

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Originally Posted by MTM
And how about if you need to lengthen the sleeves another inch or so? oh oh now we have another problem.

I have never needed to have a jacket sleeve shortened. I cant imagine that being an issue for many people unless of course you are purchasing second hand and the sleeves have already been shortened...
 

MTM

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The general rule is the majority of people do need to make an adjustment. If you don't have to do it that's good for you. No I don't buy second hand and all of my suits and sport jackets (except for one) and all of my shirts are MTM.
 

jamesbond

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Yes, any tailor worth a grain of salt should be able to shorten from the shoulder but beware that you should'nt shorten a whole heck of alot. I think it will tighten the arm hole if shortened too much. I have to have this done to a Cucinelli jacket soon but only about a half inch needs shortening. I could probably just have it done from the sleeve-end if i wasnt such a igent.

All RTW jackets come with sleeves way too long for me. I'm usually around 24" to show 1/2 inch of cuff and most RTW sleeves are indeed around 25-26". Most high-end brands don't finish the sleeves but occasionally we see the odd custom order that was never picked up or sample jacket with them already finished.
 

acidboy

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Brian, it can be done by a decent tailor, but the problem would be the old buttonholes. I had the same experience before and after cutting the sleeve a couple of buttonholes were visible and they were just sewn shut.
 

sho'nuff

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Yes brother. I don't like the holes sewn up; it looks sloppy I'm afraid. That was why I was curious to find out if there was a way around that.

Even shortening from the shoulder seam seems to be tricky because what if the arm tapers from the start? It would be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole, or in this case, a small armhole into a larger one.
 

Journeyman

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Suit jacket sleeves can be taken up at the shoulder by a competent tailor, but it will be a lot more expensive than adjusting from the cuff end of the sleeve.

As an example, my tailor in Australia charges me $40 to shorten a sleeve at the cuff, but $160 to shorten from the sleevehead (at the shoulder). This is, quite simply, because the latter involves a lot more work.

Typically, a sleeve can only be shortened at the shoulder by a couple of inches, otherwise the sleeve will no longer fit into the hole at the shoulder. Also, if the fabric of the suit is patterned and the shoulder/sleeve/chest are pattern-matched (that is, the stripes/checks in the fabric pieces match up where they meet together at the shoulder), you will most likely lose this if you shorten the sleeve at the shoulder, unless you are fortunate enough to shorten the sleeve to precisely the same scale as the fabric pattern.

Of course, if your tailor is really dedicated and if you are lucky with the amount you need to have shortened, you might be able to shorten the sleeve a bit at the cuff and a bit at the shoulder and therefore manage to keep the pattern-matching, but I wouldn't guarantee it.

Unfortunately, Herringbone (an Australian brand, as worn by PG until recently) make all their suits with working buttonholes. A couple of upmarket clothiers here also order their Brioni and other "upper echelon" brands with working buttonholes, too. It's very frustrating as my tailor reckons that it is both cheaper and easier to shorten the sleeve at the cuff and cut and stitch working buttonholes, than to shorten the sleeve at the shoulder!
 

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