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Can a tailor increase chest size on suit slightly ?

philippeb

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So, i have this really sweet suit i've been looking at, but it is a size 42S where i usually go for 44s or 43s (43s is usually my perfect fit).
And i was wondering if it is possible to have my tailor alter the chest size a little up ?
I know this might have been asked a lot, but the only postes i can find is refering to 2" or more where i am only looking to gain an inch.
 

ThomGault

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Generally, yes, they can, but it's also messing with the essence of the suit. There's a reason why the chest size is the only number given to describe a coat---because that number, in effect, IS the suit. All the other features of a suit are based on that number. The two major areas of a suit that are difficult to alter are the chest and shoulders, which is why you should aim for a suit that fits well in those two spots.
Now that the dire warning is given, I've had good success with a tailor letting out one inch, generally by opening up the back seam. Assuming you haven't purchased the suit, you can look/feel down the middle back seam to see how much extra material is available; remember that you'll need >1" for the tailor to see it back together. Given the risk and cost involved, though, why not just wait for a suit that actually fits you without alterations?
 

philippeb

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Well, looking at the question from this perspective you give, i can see why i should restrain myself a little.
I just really liked the suit.

But thanks
 

ThomGault

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I understand. Its easy to get wrapped up in a nice new suit when its soooo close to being just right. Why is it not available in the next largest size? Is it a clearanced item? What store is it from?
 

12345Michael54321

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Given enough money and enough skill on the part of the tailor, almost anything is possible. But some alterations are more major than others, and/or less likely to yield excellent results. And what you're talking about is one of those alterations.

As a rule-of-thumb, it's easier to successfully make some aspect of a suit smaller, than it is to make it larger. So just as a general thing, I'd be a lot more confident making a 44S slightly smaller, than I would making a 42S slight larger.

But better still would be buying the right size in the first place.

You say a 43S is usually your perfect fit. Well, since some suit lines run larger than others, and others run a little smaller than the norm, that means in various suit lines a 42S will be your perfect fit, and in others a 44S will be your perfect fit. 42 and 44 are, of course, far more plentiful than are 43's. So look around, try suits on, and find those lines where you're a perfect 42S or 44S. And buy one of those suits.

No matter how "sweet" the 42S in question may be, a suit which doesn't need significant suit surgery in order to fit you properly is sweeter. And quite likely less expensive, when you factor in the cost of expert tailoring.
 

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