Can you shorten a suit jacket?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by FCS, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    I normally wear an R jacket but there is an L at a deep bargain price.
     
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    You can shorten the arms, but not the body, at least not without unbalancing it. I did this once, and pockets and the front just seemed much too low. That suit went nearly immediately to Goodwill. Then again, maybe you are going for the early 80's Armani look - the 80's are back, after all.
     
  3. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    LA Guy provides an important cautionary tale, but I am witness to the fact that you can do it successfully if not too much is taken and it is a ventless jacket.

    I have had several jackets shortened, but never by more than 1 1/2 inches. Usually R comes in 31.5 inch length or so and I found my jackets look best at about 30 inches.  

    Shortening is problematic though when you have double vents, because they look stupid being real short. In one case I took a shortened jacket back to the tailor to sew up the vents, which I hated to do because I love double vents, but the jacket looked better at a shortened length.

    Proceed with caution.
     
  4. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    What is the range of height that an R jaket is normally intended for? And an L jacket?

    P.S. I'm about 170 cm.
     
  5. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    I am close to 175 and wear S if I can find it, especially with brands that make their jackets rather long (Boss, Joop, RL and more). Italian 38R seems to fit me much better.

    This is not just a matter of height as the lenght of your legs matters aswell. If your legs are relatively short, you need short jackets.

    Stu: Did the curve at the bottom come out right ? I have a few jackets that I've quit wearing due to their lenght so after reading your post I'm wondering if I should experiment a bit. 1.5 inches would probably work wonders so perhaps I should take the plunge.

    B
     
  6. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    The length of the jacket is 34.5". 3 buttons DKNY, 42L. Would this be something weird?
     
  7. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    my height is about 177cm. (5'10") and i like my jackets to be standard regular length, which is 30 1/2". the trend now is to add an extra inch to this, which still looks okay to me. if the jacket is 34.5" long, i say forget it, you'll be wasting your money. even if you shorten it "stu style", 33'' is too long for you.
     
  8. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Alan Flusser's recipe:

    Measure from the base of the collar (where the felt begins) down to the floor and divide by two. Works remarkably well. I would guess, coat length for your height is not more than 30".

    I really believe that jacket will be too long for you as the maximum a tailor can take off is 1"-1 ½". No matter how good a bargain, if the suit doesn't come out right, it will have been too expensive.
     
  9. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    BjornH: Â Yeah, they look great. But don't go more than 1.5 inches -- really 1 inch is ideal. It is so small it doesn't hurt the jacket, but it makes a big difference in how it looks. I'm real anal about this stuff and like my jackets to reach my second knuckle. My wife says I'm OCD, but she's the one with the problem because she is disorganized and doesn't follow all the lists I set out for her every day [​IMG]
     
  10. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You can shorten a jacket but not drastically. The distance from the top of the pockets to the bottom of the jacket is key. It shouldn't be less than 9" in my experience.
     
  11. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Touching a bit more about jacket length. When you mentioned R typically comes with 30.5"-31.5" length, do you measure it from the base or the top or the collar?

    Thanks,
    Ferry
     
  12. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Always from the base of the collar. If you're not sure, ask the guy who's measuring.
     
  13. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    Sorry to revive an old thresd, but I thought it would be better than starting a new one.

    Can anyone who's had a jacket shortened about an inch tell me what it cost them? I'm trying to decide whether I should cut my losses on a jacket I just bought.
     
  14. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    Sorry to revive an old thresd, but I thought it would be better than starting a new one.

    Can anyone who's had a jacket shortened about an inch tell me what it cost them? I'm trying to decide whether I should cut my losses on a jacket I just bought.


    Cost me $35 in uptate New York.
     
  15. Limniscate

    Limniscate Senior member

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    I wouldn't shorten it more than .5".
     

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