Changing button stance on suit jacket

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LitigiousG, May 29, 2012.

  1. LitigiousG

    LitigiousG New Member

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    Hi all! I'm new to styleforum and have an admittedly newbie question. I have a mish-mash closet of suits and sport coats - two MTMT with regular/average button stances, two JCrew suits with really low button stances, one Raf Simmons suit with a really high button stance, and a couple others of varying button heights.

    I'd like to make the button stances on some of these suits more uniform, i.e. raise the JCrew buttons and lower some of the higher ones. So my question: is it possible to change the button stance of a suit jacket? It seems to me that it would leave an unsightly scar where the former button hole was. Other than that obvious problem, raising or lowering the buttoning point could change the "cut" and "drape" of the suit in an undesirable way, I would think.

    Any info would be appreciated before I set off on a fool's errand! Thanks all!
     
  2. marburymadison

    marburymadison Well-Known Member

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    Nah. Not possible. Period.

    There'll be holes on the suit where the old buttonholes used to be. The jacket will drape and fit differently as well.
     
  3. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    Sure this can be done. Will it turn out well? Is it worth it? No.

    Go out and buy 1 new jacket/suit that meets your needs/specs and report back to answer your own question. :)
     
  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    You sort of answer your own question without actually realising it. What are you going to do with the redundant button hole? It will look dreadful at the best - and rather stupid.
     
  5. cncrd

    cncrd Senior member

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    I've actually had the buttoholes on a long jacket I was having shortended to a regular length closed by a reweaver, and new ones cut about 3/4" higher to give a higher stance. The fabric was such a dark, dark navy, with enough texture and a double windowpane overlay, that it really was almost impossible to see the sewing, even if you knew it was there. I was surprised at how good it looked, and what a difference it made, along with some other shortening tweaks, to make the jacket look and fit like a regular.

    But, by the time I had all the little pieces of work done to shorten the jacket and do the reweaving- $50 here, $100 there, lapels repressed, all kinds of other stuff done- my "bargain" $300 Polo suit ended up costing far more than twice that amout. And with just about any other fabric the reweaving would never have been acceptable anyway. I just got blind lucky. Horribly complicated operation, with almost no chance of success, and terribly expensive.

    The final irony was that after all the work to adjust the button stance, I ended up giving the suit away virtually unworn because I don't like center vented jackets to start with.

    So, can it be done? Yes.

    Was it worth it? No way.

    Don't even think about trying it. Take the good advice here and just start fresh with something that fits you.
     
  6. Pieceofsand

    Pieceofsand Senior member

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    Yeah reveaving can get very costly. I have a very nice high end suit that I bought for dirt cheap, but the trouser have two small 1mm moth holes by the knee area. I've been putting off to having it reweave given that it'll cost around $80-$100 plus shipping to get them done. Given that you have experience with reweaving, would you recommend it? Does it guarantee to last? My tailor actually just suggest to iron one of those "patches" from the inside, I rejected her idea because I heard that after that the pants won't drape right. She said the stuff she has are very thin and light. I don't want to get it ruined.
     
  7. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    BOOM!
     
  8. cncrd

    cncrd Senior member

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    A good reweaving job on an appropriate garment is definitely worth a premium price over something like an iron-on patch. The question isn't "is reweaving worth it?", it's "is your garment worth it?" If your suit is something really significant to you, either through being a great bargain, or exceptionally nicely made, or whatever, and it's prohibitively expensive to replace it, then yes, I would say the reweaving is worth it.

    You should consider, though, that it's very touch-feely, fiddly work, and requires a lot of judgment from the weaver. The repaired area will normally be larger than the size of the hole or tear, as the weaver will have to do his best to match the pattern of the fabric, so the fabric pattern and texture will often determine the size of the rewoven area. The darker and more textured the fabric, the harder it will be to see the repair, but it may be quite visible on light smooth fabrics even with the best reweaving work. If it's a big windowpane, it might be a big repair; if it's a dark birdseye with a lot of texture, it could be smaller. Light colored worsted wools and gabardine fabrics in solid colors, for instance, can show the reweave line no matter how good a job the weaver does.

    Also, the fabric has to come from somewhere- a turned up hem, or inside the jacket chest, for instance- and it will be a lot larger piece than you likely expect, so for a small 1 mm hole, you might end up with a 20 or 30 mm patch. Beyond blending the pattern, this is really driven by having a piece of fabric large enough to actually work with- it's hard to sew a 3mm piece of fabric, however small your needle is. I can't imagine there being a "guarantee" on the work, beyond the weaver agreeing to cover any overt mistakes he might make. It should last as long as the rest of the item; it's not a temporary fix.
     

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