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best way to alter dress shirts

Fly1296

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I'm a tall, fairly thin man, such that even fitted OTS dress shirts leave too much extra fabric in the body. I intend to purchase several bespoke "basic" shirts over the next several months but I still have a closet full of shirts that I like very much and would like to have altered to fit better. MY question is, what's the best method of altering a shirt, darts or simply taking them in at the sides? I had not considered darts before reading about them on SF, thinking them appropriate only for women's blouses. I like my shirts and jackets to fit very closely; I'm average build with a 42L jacket and 34-36/36 trouser I understand that one may not be better than the other but if one is preferable I want to make sure I find a tailor who can do it. thanks!
 

DerekS

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Typically i do both....it depends on the shirt though. If it fits well in the first place darts may be all you need. With my build i almost always do both though.
 

Fly1296

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I know this is a big time newb question, but are the vertical seams around the waist area of a suit jacket considered darts?

On a men's shirt will darts only go in the back or can they go in front as well? Still trying to get my head around this
 

DerekS

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i dont believe so....not sure though.
 

BlueHorseShoe

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Originally Posted by Fly1296
I know this is a big time newb question, but are the vertical seams around the waist area of a suit jacket considered darts?

On a men's shirt will darts only go in the back or can they go in front as well? Still trying to get my head around this


Men's shirts + darts in front =
 

Fly1296

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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe
Men's shirts + darts in front =




That was my gut feeling...nice to see it confirmed!
 

patrickBOOTH

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Originally Posted by Fly1296


That was my gut feeling...nice to see it confirmed!


It is a woman's shirt thing. To allow for more bewb drape. Unless of course you have mewbs?
 

DStew

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Originally Posted by Fly1296
I'm a tall, fairly thin man, such that even fitted OTS dress shirts leave too much extra fabric in the body. I intend to purchase several bespoke "basic" shirts over the next several months but I still have a closet full of shirts that I like very much and would like to have altered to fit better. MY question is, what's the best method of altering a shirt, darts or simply taking them in at the sides? I had not considered darts before reading about them on SF, thinking them appropriate only for women's blouses. I like my shirts and jackets to fit very closely; I'm average build with a 42L jacket and 34-36/36 trouser I understand that one may not be better than the other but if one is preferable I want to make sure I find a tailor who can do it. thanks!

I am tall and relatively skinny as well and I usually have the sides taken in at the seams but it does depend on the shirt. I sometimes have issues with OTR shirts not being long enough to tuck in on the sides. So taking in the the seams there actually helps a little sometimes.
 

il_colonnello

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Originally Posted by Fly1296
I'm a tall, fairly thin man, such that even fitted OTS dress shirts leave too much extra fabric in the body. I intend to purchase several bespoke "basic" shirts over the next several months but I still have a closet full of shirts that I like very much and would like to have altered to fit better. MY question is, what's the best method of altering a shirt, darts or simply taking them in at the sides? I had not considered darts before reading about them on SF, thinking them appropriate only for women's blouses. I like my shirts and jackets to fit very closely; I'm average build with a 42L jacket and 34-36/36 trouser I understand that one may not be better than the other but if one is preferable I want to make sure I find a tailor who can do it. thanks!

darts in the back - always
in the front - never

I also have around 20 pre-bespoke OTR shirts which I've had altered to make them slim enough for me. They all have darts now except for the ones which didn't have a plain back (I wouldn't combine darts with pleats).
 

Mexicorn

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Originally Posted by il_colonnello
darts in the back - always
in the front - never

I also have around 20 pre-bespoke OTR shirts which I've had altered to make them slim enough for me. They all have darts now except for the ones which didn't have a plain back (I wouldn't combine darts with pleats).


Regarding slimming shirts with pleats: is it possible to "close" a pleat such that it goes down the entire shirt? I'm talking about something like this(second picture). I take it the angle of the fabric connected to the yoke may cause a problem? Maybe it would be less noticeable to sew side pleats all the way down?
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by Fly1296
I know this is a big time newb question, but are the vertical seams around the waist area of a suit jacket considered darts?
If you mean the ones at the front, then yes they are darts (and the under-arm one can be a dart too, unless it is carried all the way to the hem in which case it is the side-body seam). I don't know why it is perfectly normal for jackets to have front darts yet on shirts it makes them 'feminine', just convention I suppose...
Originally Posted by Mexicorn
Regarding slimming shirts with pleats: is it possible to "close" a pleat such that it goes down the entire shirt? I'm talking about something like this(second picture). I take it the angle of the fabric connected to the yoke may cause a problem? Maybe it would be less noticeable to sew side pleats all the way down?
There's nothing stopping you sewing it like that, but pleats are usually added by slashing and spreading the pattern from the waist up, so sewing it down the whole length when the pattern was not designed for that will likely mess up the fit of the shirt.
 

Ataturk

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I don't see how you could make a shirt by "slashing" the pattern from the waist up. The grain of the fabric would be crooked. Now, that said, he's probably right that the shirt wasn't cut to have a closed pleat. But it would have the same effect as a dart in the back -- just all the way up. You need that extra room in the back above the waist to move around -- it's what the pleat is for.
 

Mexicorn

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I think what Sanguis meant was that the is turned inward at the pleat up at the yoke, so the pattern really spreads from the yoke down.

I do understand the original reason for the pleat, but I have plenty of shirts with a 'clean' back and have no real trouble moving around in them. I also have a lot of shirts with back pleats that are very billowy, so the extra room won't really be lost.
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by Ataturk
I don't see how you could make a shirt by "slashing" the pattern from the waist up. The grain of the fabric would be crooked.
You don't slash the fabric, you slash and spread the pattern to add a pleat. This is done with pattern paper before the pattern gets anywhere near any fabric, it's basic pattern manipulation...
 

Ataturk

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Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum
You don't slash the fabric, you slash and spread the pattern to add a pleat. This is done with pattern paper before the pattern gets anywhere near any fabric, it's basic pattern manipulation...

Well obviously you can't simply spread the back pattern because it's a half pattern and the center has to be straight down the grain. So do you just spread it toward the armhole? Does it not matter if the armhole area is straight? I'm doing this with a couple pieces of notebook paper and it doesn't seem to work.
 

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