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High Arm Holes: Lowering Possible if Needed?

SlamMan

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I'm thinking of having a MTM sport coat made and I want to request the arm holes to be higher. I'm noticing my other OTR stuff and even the "MTM" HSM jacket I had made at Nordstrom has pretty low holes.

Would I be correct in assuming high arm holes can be lowered but not the other way around or am I way off base?

Are there any other crucial things to ask about when being measured for MTM?
 

gdl203

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That's correct
 

CunningSmeagol

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Originally Posted by gdl203
That's correct

How so?

ps not trying to start a fight outside of CE
 

Kuro

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Originally Posted by RunningBeagle
How so?

ps not trying to start a fight outside of CE


I beleive that they just recut the bottom of the arm hold.
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by RunningBeagle
How so?
You cannot really bring low armholes higher because you cannot tailor a hole. There is no fabric there to close the armhole to a smaller diameter (unless there's more major surgery involved that include recutting the sides of the coat significantly)

Opening high armholes to a greater diameter is not difficult since the fabric is there to tailor.
 

SlamMan

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That's how I thought it would work. Thanks for the info guys.
 

RatherAnOddball

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I've a question on the same topic, and since the OP's question got answered I don't feel too bad derailing his thread rather than cluttering the forums with another thread:

When I next go MTM, I'm going to have the scyes/armholes made as high as possible. Is there such a thing as "too high," provided it's not tight against the skin? Does this necessitate any extra considerations relating to shoulder measurement, drape, waist suppression, sleeve measurements, etc - will it throw other features off-kilter? Or is it completely straightforward and isolated, and any middle-of-the-road tailor will know all the subtle corrections (if any) to be made?
 

jcsprowls

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Wow...

Try looking at it like this: a sleeve is a tube and an armhole is what the tube fits into. So, if you "lower" the armhole, you're making it bigger - but, what about the tube that (used to be) attached to it? You'd have to make the tube bigger to fit the bigger armhole, wouldn't you?

In alterations, there are a lot of dirty tricks employed. But, in the case of this I've only ever seen one successful situation. If the manufacturer includes letout on the underarm seam of the sleeve as well as the back side panel, this alteration is somewhat possible. Though, I wouldn't expect to get more than 1/2" of additional circumference at most.

RE: raising an armhole. Uh... you *can* tailor a hole. We do it all the time. But, you cannot add fabric (i.e. make a hole smaller) after it has been cut. So... no.

Rarely have I seen a sceye that's "too high". If your bicep is overly-developed compared to the other 98% of the population, then that would make the sleeve too tight, which is a different problem.

Which leads me to RatherAnOddball's question.

The only time an armsceye can be "too high" is if it: a) cuts off circulation, b) does not accommodate the bulk of the under layers (e.g. t-shirt, shirt, vest, etc.) or c) restricts movement. Something a lot of new tailors struggle with, though, is the counter-intuitive truth that the higher the sceye, the greater the range of motion.

Sadly, most jackets, today, are draft by inexperienced patternmakers who make the sceye much too low. When you try on a jacket like this, you'll find that you cannot raise your arm very high without pulling across the chest and back or the jacket rides/distorts as you pick up your keys off the table top.

That said, the sceye of a shirt typically permits between 5/8" and 1" of wearing ease under the arm; a sportscoat about 1 1/2" and an overcoat about 2". These are just general guidelines for pattern drafting. We will always refine the fit on a fitting model, with the appropriate under layers and the model will walk, stoop and bend while we observe range of motion, drag, etc.

You can have a relative degree of confidence in your tailor if he/she fits the body of your jacket or coat *before* drafting the sleeve pattern. That's the way we do things in the industry; and, it's the way old tailors (i.e. those trained before 1950s) used to work.
 

RatherAnOddball

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Thanks a million for the thorough response, Jcsprowls. I wish there were tailors in my neck of the woods who knew their stuff as well as you do; I've got to order over the internet for everything.
 

boo

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I've had armholes tightened on a few of my jackets, but my tailor mentioned that the success of the procedure depends on the availability of extra fabric on the back of the jacket. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly how it was accomplished.
 

jcsprowls

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Same concept. You can make the armhole somewhat smaller by taking in the back side seam and the underarm seam of the sleeve. Again... no more than 1/2 at most.

Frankly, if you have to incur the cost of this alteration, you purchased the wrong size jacket. Moving down one size would accomplish the same end. You may need to let down the hems and cuffs. But, those are substantially cheaper, easier and *expected* alterations the manufacturer supplied extra fabric for.
 

Despos

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You are better off working with a brand or maker that has a high armhole. Trying to make one from a standard non-high armhole pattern can be troublesome.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Despos
You are better off working with a brand or maker that has a high armhole. Trying to make one from a standard non-high armhole pattern can be troublesome.
This makes sense to me.
 

SlamMan

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Originally Posted by jcsprowls
Same concept. You can make the armhole somewhat smaller by taking in the back side seam and the underarm seam of the sleeve. Again... no more than 1/2 at most.

Frankly, if you have to incur the cost of this alteration, you purchased the wrong size jacket. Moving down one size would accomplish the same end. You may need to let down the hems and cuffs. But, those are substantially cheaper, easier and *expected* alterations the manufacturer supplied extra fabric for.


If I moved down from a 42S to a 40S my upper arms occasionally come out further than the end of the shoulder pads. How bad is that? Would this be something that could be let out?

I always thought the most important parts of an off the rack jacket was the shoulder width and length.
 

jcsprowls

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That's why stores supply fitting rooms. If your arm bulges past the shoulderpad, then the shoulder is too narrow for your frame - try a different brand. If the sceye is too low, try a different brand.

See... the complication is that brands are extremely subtle with communicating to the end customer what body shape they fit. I make suggestions to my customers all the time; but, I'm quickly over-ridden by a marketing or PR "guru".

Yet, they still seem to "get it" on many other levels.

The fitting model they bring me is representative of the market they're trying to fit. So, they get the technical stuff right. But, they fall down when reaching the end consumer. It's frustrating. I know. But, there's only so much I can do from inside the industry to make your lives easier - short of releasing my own line.

You are right. When buying OTR, fit the jacket in the shoulders and the rest can be altered - within reason. Tightening up or loosening the armhole is a very expensive alteration. And, it's un-necessary if you just try on other brands and cuts. If after you've exhausted all the brands in your pricepoint, then schedule an appointment with a custom tailor.
 

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