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Is it possible to slim down the sleeves of a suit jacket?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GQhustler, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. GQhustler

    GQhustler Senior member

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    Been wanting to know this for a while. I have a couple of suit jackets that have fairly wide sleeves and everything else is fine. I would rather just alter the sleeves to make them slimmer than have to buy all new suits. Can this be done without compromising the integrity of the jacket? When looking at my jackets, it seems like it may be very difficult to do without interfering with the armhole, but I am obviously not a tailor.

    Any help is much appreciated, thanks.
     


  2. jmacak

    jmacak Active Member

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    Hi GQ

    You certainly can get the sleeves tapered a bit, that's not too big a deal. But, the tapering will start at the armhole or thereabouts.

    If you are concerned about the 'bat wings' that is common with jackets with big armholes, that is another matter indeed. Making the armholes smaller (and higher in the process) will probably require additional material to be added to the bottom of the armhole, I don't think that this is a satisfactory operation and might very well be fairly expensive.

    cheers

    joe

    Been wanting to know this for a while. I have a couple of suit jackets that have fairly wide sleeves and everything else is fine. I would rather just alter the sleeves to make them slimmer than have to buy all new suits. Can this be done without compromising the integrity of the jacket? When looking at my jackets, it seems like it may be very difficult to do without interfering with the armhole, but I am obviously not a tailor.

    Any help is much appreciated, thanks.
     


  3. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    Once the armhole is cut, it is probably impossible to slim down the sleeves.

    Your intuition about the armholes is spot on. The tailor would have to fit the slimmer sleeve in to the larger armhole.
     


  4. Dib

    Dib Senior member

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    Been wanting to know this for a while. I have a couple of suit jackets that have fairly wide sleeves and everything else is fine. I would rather just alter the sleeves to make them slimmer than have to buy all new suits. Can this be done without compromising the integrity of the jacket? When looking at my jackets, it seems like it may be very difficult to do without interfering with the armhole, but I am obviously not a tailor.

    Any help is much appreciated, thanks.


    This can definitely be done. I try to get most of my suits made now, but when I used to buy them RTW I would always get the sleeves tapered.
     


  5. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    Tapering is one thing. Slimmer sleeves with higher armholes is another.

    I'm not sure how I feel about tapered sleeves.
     


  6. jamesbond

    jamesbond Senior member

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    I get my suit sleeves tapered quite often. It definitely makes a big difference in a RTW suits appearance, makes it look more bespoke then it actually is. Just make sure the tailor knows what there doing as far as keeping the sleeves balanced and the pitch correct, which can be difficult on this type of alteration.
     


  7. GQhustler

    GQhustler Senior member

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I wonder if tapering the sleeves would look bad/weird at all if only between 0.5"-0.75" was removed from the circumference? I would think it would be fairly subtle.

    The height of the armholes is actually quite nice and fairly high, so I would rather not mess with that anyway. However, I would obviously rather have the sleeves the same width throughout.

    jmacak, can I ask how much you paid to have the sleeves tapered and how the end result looked?
     


  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The sleeves are tapered on the back seams of the sleeve, not the underside. Tailor starts at the top of the sleeve and takes in the seam all the way to the bottom and remakes the vent. Then he does the same to the sleeve lining. This makes the sleeve trimmer and does not effect or change the armhole. If the sleeve buttonholes are cut you cannot reduce the width of the top sleeve, only the undersleeve.

    Armholes can only be made higher on a finished garment by removing the collar, removing the sleeves and opening the shoulder. Cut off cloth across the shoulder on the front and back parts. Remake the shoulder, shorten the collar or lower the gorge if necessary. If the buttonhole on the lapel is cut thru, you cannot lower the gorge. Attach the collar, recut the sleeve to fit into the smaller armhole which may include making the sleeve longer. Sew the sleeves on again. The coat will be shorter by the amount you took off the shoulder but the armhole is higher. It is a full days work and then some depending on the construction of the jacket. Not really worth it IMO.
     


  9. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Just make sure the tailor knows what there doing as far as keeping the sleeves balanced and the pitch correct, which can be difficult on this type of alteration.

    There is no need to remove the sleeves to taper them so the sleeve pitch is not effected/changed.

    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I wonder if tapering the sleeves would look bad/weird at all if only between 0.5"-0.75" was removed from the circumference? I would think it would be fairly subtle.

    0.5"-0.75" is all that is needed to trim the sleeve. These amounts make the difference. Sleeve circumference is not large compared to a trouser leg. 3/4" makes a significant change.
    After you do this have the tailor make a note of the sleeve width at the opening and elbow and bicep for future reference.
     


  10. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    What would on expect to pay to have a sleeve slimmed by .5"?
     


  11. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What would on expect to pay to have a sleeve slimmed by .5"?

    If the tailor opens the sleeve where the sleeve meets the back, remakes the vent, you will pay more. If he foregoes these two steps you will pay less. If he works for himself you may pay less, if you go to a shop where the tailor is paying someone else (employee) to do the work, the charge will be higher. Someone inexperienced in jacket construction and does a mediocre job, you want to pay less.
     


  12. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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  13. jasonwong

    jasonwong Active Member

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    Dead thread but does anyone know what the price range to expect this alteration is?
     


  14. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Was quoted about £25 recently.

    Was also interested to find if tapering the sleeve yielded good results without looking off. I have a RTW suit that fits well aside from the sleeves which are a bit roomy mainly towards the cuff.
     


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