Do you get the suit tailored from the store you bought it at?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bexcellence, May 12, 2012.

  1. Bexcellence

    Bexcellence Senior member

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    Assume you buy a suit from a high-end store (think Saks, Neiman, or any other luxury fashion designer), do you have the alterations done with them, or from an outside tailor?
     


  2. Ivon

    Ivon Senior member

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    Most places send the clothes out for alterations, you might end up there anyway. Where I live there is a well regarded alteration guy named Antonio, I understand he does the work for a lot of high end places, including Gucci. Unless you need major work done, store alterations are usually fine, hemming pants, setting sleeve lengths, minor neck adjustments, etc.

    Can't think of many places that won't charge extra for major work like slimming the pants or shortening a jacket. I wear OTR fairly well or if the cut wasn't right in the first place, I won't buy it. You might get lucky if you buy a suit in they wrong size and they will indulge you to sell the suit.
     


  3. Bexcellence

    Bexcellence Senior member

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    did the alterations through the department store. hope all is good
     


  4. joe4u

    joe4u Well-Known Member

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    For simple alterations like hemming, I'd go for the dept. store's services.
     


  5. aperson

    aperson Well-Known Member

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    For department stores: Only the basics (hemming pants, shortening non-functional sleeves), only if it's included with the purchase price.

    For high end retailers: Just about anything, only if it's included with the purchase price.

    For everything else, go to a tailor. I don't mean an alterations shop. Go to a place that makes suits as well as doing alterations. They'll actually know how to do everything correctly. If you need a jacket altered at the shoulder or need something taken in by more than an inch or so, don't risk it on someone who probably doesn't know the first thing about suit construction.
     


  6. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I have to pretty much disagree with all the advice in this thread. Do not ever use a store's tailoring service. This is especially true if you are not absolutely sure what you are doing.

    The problem is that the store -- and the store's tailor -- are interested in selling you the suit. Not only are they interested in selling you the suit, they are interested in selling it with the least amount of trouble and expense for them. So you are never going to get candid advice from an in-store tailor. Their job is not to make you look good. Their job is to help sell you the suit.

    If they are sending it out to a regular tailor, the situation is even worse. Then you're getting advice from the salesman who is also doing the measuring. Never having seen you, the tailor will then make mechanical alterations based on whatever semi-random measurements/pinnings the salesman did.

    The best way to do this is to go buy a suit -- making sure you can return it if it is unaltered -- and then take it to a good tailor, preferably one who makes suits as well as alters them. He will have no particular interest in you keeping that suit and will give you unbiased advice about whether the suit actually fits, what things can be done to alter it and how much those things will cost. Not only will you get good advice, you will learn alot about proper fit, which is something that the people in the store have little interest in teaching you.
     


  7. jamesny

    jamesny Senior member

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    Minor alterations are fine with them.
     


  8. Frankie22

    Frankie22 Senior member

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    So you're saying not to use a high end store for minor alterations like sleeves, hemming, etc? Sorry this is poor advice. Btw, I know many fine tailors that work out of high end stores. Maybe not bespoke level tailors, or expert tailors, but perfectly capable of minor to moderate alterations.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012


  9. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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    +1. This may be partly due to my location but the tailors for RTW at the high end stores are comparable to outside tailors and I have used both. Also, the fees for tailoring are typically free and allow for re-work later should you choose to do it. If an inhouse tailor fucks up your jacket, hey new jacket.

    I use independent tailors for on-line or out of city purchases only.
     


  10. sborg

    sborg Well-Known Member

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    nothing wrong with department strs alteration, so long as it's just simple modifications.
     


  11. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    I agree with Bounder if you need more than just the pants hemmed and the sleeves altered. I used to get all my suits altered at the store (typically BB) and have recently learned how much better a good tailor can make the suit fit. BB used to tell me it looked great and only do the alterations I asked them to do. Contrast that with my recent experience taking a suit to a good tailor, who told me precisely what needed to be done to make the suit look good. And she was 100% right based on the results. Stores are trying to get you out the door with as little tailoring work as possible. A good, independent tailor is trying to make sure the suit looks as good as possible.
     


  12. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    They'll ride up with wear.


    The problem is that an in-house tailor will not admit that he has "fucked up" your jacket unless he has left it with an odd number of sleeves. And once they have started altering it, you are pretty much stuck with it.

    Look, in house tailors do not have your best interest at heart. The store is their client, not you. An independent tailor does because you are his client and you are the one he has to make happy. They actually like to educate you as it both provides them with more work and makes that work easier.

    Someone like Vox might well get away with using an in-house tailor. He knows a great deal, not only about fit but about what can and should be done to make something fit. Of course, Vox would not be caught dead buying a suit in a Macys.

    And that's the Catch-22. If you know enough not to get suckered by an in-house tailor, you'd probably never think of using one. If you have to ask whether it's OK to work with one, it's lambs to the slaughter.

    As for using them for "minor alterations," that begs the question of whether only "minor alterations" are needed. If you take it, intact, to an independent tailor, you can get a second, unbiased opinion as to whether the thing even fits. If you and the tailor decide that it would cost too much to make it fit correctly, you can return it.

    I will leave you with one thought. Look around at the huge number of people wearing really badly-fitting suits. (NB If you do not think there are a lot of people wearing badly-fitting suits, see remarks re Vox above.) Every single one of those people had their suits subjected to the sage advice and tender ministrations of some store's in-house tailor.
     


  13. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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    Perhaps a novice wouldn't notice, or care but the quality of the tailoring really depends on the store. The marketplace between here and say Chicago or New York are quite different for tailors, but here there are good tailors and there are good in store tailors. You make an interesting point about who the client is, but ultimately the tailor is there to do a proper job no matter who client is.

    Some stores will have the SA measure you (bad) and other stores the SA will stand there while you are measured by a tailor. In either case, it's the SA making the sale not the tailor. In one case they did dramatic changes to a jacket for me and executed it beautifully. I've had bad experiences too but usually where a tailor wasn't present. I do not agree with you that the tailor has no interest in doing a good job for you.
     


  14. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    Find a good local tailor and stick with him/her. I take all my alterations to the woman at Y&Y here in Denver. They know me, my body and how things fit and have been doing it for over five years. The biggest problem with department store alterations is that you are "measured" by a sales person and altered by the tailor. Always get measured and altered by the same person -- the tailor.
     


  15. Ivon

    Ivon Senior member

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    The OP was asking about high end places, not Sears. For basic finishing and minor adjustments they should be more than fine. Much depends on knowing what you want done and your relationship with the SA/store. For $1000+ on a suit and a high end stores rep, they should be able to hem pants. If a new suit requires that much work from a high end store, maybe MTM would be a better option. In the end it's your call, if I wanted to leave the store with the sleeve tag intact, they would accommodate me.

    If you know how a suit should fit, are familiar with some brands and can communicate, it's not that hard. Luckily I fit OTR fairly well so I never need major alterations. For major work on older ill-fitting garments, I do go to an independent tailor, past retirement age and still going.
     


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