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How should a tailor shorten dress shirt sleeves?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SFA, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. SFA

    SFA Senior member

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    Location:
    Toronto
    So like most men here, I would say the biggest problem I have with buying off the rack dress shirts, is that the sleeve length is usually a little too long for me. Usually there is too much fabric on the sleeve therefore bunching up. Even though I have been measured a bunch of times, and I've been told I should wear a 33 inch length sleeve shirt.

    I can't afford to do MTM dress shirts just yet in my position in life. I have a wedding coming up and bigger financial responsibilities. My next best affordable option is to continue buying the shirts I generally buy from The Bay, such as brands like Tommy Hillfiger, Jones New York, Nautica for the $60-$70 range.

    Now my question is this. I have taken a dress shirt (with a french cuff) to a tailor in a loca mall (the place is called Stich It. It is one of those franchise places in every mall) and I requested she shorten the sleeve length. She made me try it on, and pined it, etc.. Only to come back the following week and take the shirt home, and realize that I think they simply just removed the cuff, and cut the excess fabric and put the cuff back on. So the arm hole was noticeably shorter.

    1) I always thought that in order to shorten the sleeve length, that the shirt should be unstiched from the top (where it meets the shoulder), and you shorten/cut away fabric from there? Isn't that the proper way to do it?

    2) Can a tailor also bring in a dress shirt. meaning, if it fits like a garbage bag (too much fabric), they can make it look a little cut and slimmer?

    I am just trying to grasp a good idea of what to look for in a tailor, and to ask the appropriate questions. I don't want to give away a shirt like I did before, only to find out that I wasted about $85 ($70 for the shirt, and 15 for a botched sleeve alteration).

    I will try and search for a good alteration place in Toronto, who can shorten sleeve lengths on my dress shirts and not do it in the way mentioned above too.
     
  2. Working Stiff

    Working Stiff Senior member

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    For a good alterations tailor in Toronto, try Antonio in the Collonade on Bloor St.

    I believe that it is standard to shorten a shirt sleeve at the cuff. What's the problem with this?
    And any tailor should be able to take in the body of a shirt.
     
  3. SFA

    SFA Senior member

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    But if you shorten the sleeve length from the cuff, aren't you also shortening the arm hole opening on the side (sorry i don't know the exact term of that part of the shirt), which makes the shirt look off?

    I don't know. Maybe I am being too picky, and I get what I pay for. but I *thought* for a proper way to shorten the sleeve length, you take it from where it meets the shoulder/back, rather then from the cuff. I am probably wrong though?

    Thanks for that recommendation. I will definitley look them up and see what's up with them, in terms of pricing and quality.
     
  4. SFA

    SFA Senior member

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    Toronto
    Ok after more searching in this forum and google. I think I have it understood more.

    The reason why the shirt I had altered in which she shortened the sleeve length is, because they didn't actually move the shirt placket up. The tailor will first have to move the placket a little up before cutting the required excess material. Otherwise you can't cut and have a shorter placket (therefore having the shirt look off).

    Can anyone confirm this, so I have it understood properly? I just want to be able to walk into a tailor with a shirt (I will try the recommendation above) and specifically require the tailor do this.
     
  5. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    You mean gauntlet. The placket's on the front of the shirt - the gauntlet is on the sleeve.
     
  6. bmf895

    bmf895 Senior member

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    You say you can't afford MTM shirts. But you currently spend $85 on OTR? I recently bought a blue oxford (80x2 ply) from Modern Tailor for $50 shipped and it fits like a glove. Search the forum for various affordable MTM sites. They are out there. ModernTailor has $20 off coupon codes floating around.
     
  7. phxlawstudent

    phxlawstudent Senior member

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    Man, you can buy from Propercloth and get their fit guarantee for $19 more... Or moderntailor as has been said. Or nialma with their 4 for 3. Or etc etc etc. And your tailoring some pretty low quality garments. Definitely not worth it in the end. A shirt is only worth tailoring IMHO if the shirt retails for at least 10x the price of the alteration. Or you got it for free and the tailoring is under $30-40 and the shirt is worth it.
     
  8. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    more mis information from idiosts on the forum!!!!!!
    we here in the states refer to it as a sleeve placket. those who were born in English speaking countries where they still use antiquated words should learn the modern expressions when they move here. sure that accent may get you laid once or twice, but it does not mean you know what you are talking about...
    now to the question at hand.
    if you only want to shorten about 1/2" then sure remove the cuff and re set.
    more? remove the sleeve placket shorten the sleeve re set placket and cuff
    sometimes when the sleeve placket button is cut horizontially, it will make the placket a little more difficult to remove. as the buttnhole ends up sewing through the actual sleeve piece.
    the sleeve at the cuff joining has pleats. you will not feel that the shirt at the forearm is tighter.

    you can also shorten from the shoulder seam.
    You mean gauntlet. The placket's on the front of the shirt - the gauntlet is on the sleeve.
     
  9. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Corrected by my elders. It seems that in between the fedition, cries for Liberty and the ringing of a crack'd Bell, Philadelphia changed the usage of the word placket.

    Thanks for the translation, Carl.
     
  10. greyinla

    greyinla Senior member

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    At these prices, you're overpaying for these brands. As other suggested, there's plenty of MTM options for this price range. But you shouldn't have difficulty finding a 33" sleeve if you look at brands that specialize in dress shirts. BB, for example, makes multiple lengths, and Lewin will properly adjust sleeves for a nominal charge.

    And yes, they should ideally move the sleeve placket up.
     
  11. Patek14

    Patek14 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Nov 28, 2009
    For a good alterations tailor in Toronto, try Antonio in the Collonade on Bloor St.

    I believe that it is standard to shorten a shirt sleeve at the cuff. What's the problem with this?
    And any tailor should be able to take in the body of a shirt.


    The main problem with shortening a sleeve at the cuff is it throw off the position of the gauntlet button. I too have searched this forum for information about shortening sleeves and I've always come up dry
     
  12. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Cambridge, England
    you can also shorten from the shoulder seam.

    If shortening at the shoulder do you also need to bring in the arm-hole a bit to make it smaller, since the shortened sleeve will be slightly smaller in circumference than it previously was?
     
  13. phxlawstudent

    phxlawstudent Senior member

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    The main problem with shortening a sleeve at the cuff is it throw off the position of the gauntlet button. I too have searched this forum for information about shortening sleeves and I've always come up dry

    A good tailor can move the entire placket up.

    Still. Not even remotely worth the cost for the brands OP is buying.
     
  14. illeagle

    illeagle Senior member

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    USA
    holy shit! you're paying 60-70 for hilfiger, jones ny, and nautica?!

    ...and i feel guilty when i pay 80 for a new loro piana shirt on ebay... i can't imagine.
     
  15. 599

    599 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Hampshire, England, UK
    more mis information from idiosts on the forum!!!!!!
    we here in the states refer to it as a sleeve placket. those who were born in English speaking countries where they still use antiquated words should learn the modern expressions when they move here. sure that accent may get you laid once or twice, but it does not mean you know what you are talking about...
    now to the question at hand.
    if


    You seem to have made the assumption that all of the users of this forum who were 'born in English speaking countries' have all packed up and moved the US, where most of the language has been simplified and influenced by hiphop?
     
  16. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    My next best affordable option is to continue buying the shirts I generally buy from The Bay, such as brands like Tommy Hillfiger, Jones New York, Nautica for the $60-$70 range.
    ugh focus on finding better bargains first, then on what to tell the tailor!
     
  17. Wrenkin

    Wrenkin Senior member

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    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto
    Re language and pricing, remember that the OP is in Canada, not the land of simplified spelling. At any given price point the quality of an item is going to be one step down from what you'd pay for in the US. You can get good stuff, but there is little retail choice between the Bay and Holt Renfrew. This is why the OP should just give up on retail and order things online.
     
  18. ismelllikepoop

    ismelllikepoop Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 6, 2010
    ugh

    focus on finding better bargains first, then on what to tell the tailor!


    yes you have to buy stuff on ebay and gilt like so many on here to get real brand names. only then can you be as stylish as those here. its not being a labelwhore if you are a member of styleforum
     
  19. lovejosabank

    lovejosabank Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Yes. $60-$80 is way too much for Nautica, Hillfiger, etc. I pay $30-$40
    for JOS Bank and they are way better quality than Nautica.
    For $60-$80 you can get a really nice Brooks Brothers iron free
    shirt with great quality.
     
  20. GBR

    GBR Senior member

    Messages:
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    I am not quite sure why you have expressed your rather silly thoughts thus. The US has become very slovenly in some quarters in its use of English and the correct terms for things. It is not for the rest of the world to confirm and adopt that slovenliness and error strewn usage.
     

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