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is it worth altering a cheap suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bruce9241, May 8, 2007.

  1. Bruce9241

    Bruce9241 Senior member

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    I currently own one suit. It is charcoal with white pinstripes. It is made out of cheap wool and is branded Richard Harris.

    I purchased this suit from Burlington coat factory. It is very heavy. The shoulders are a bit boxy and the sleeves are too long ( no cuff showing ). It is definitely fused and does not have any vents on the sides or back. It is definitely an uncomfortable suit. I always get tired wearing it because it is so heavy. It does move well. When I walk around, it feels like the suit is wearing me, not the other way around.

    Question is, is it worth altering this suit? I want to adjust the shoulders and sleeves. I have a conference coming up in June and I need to have a decent looking suit. I am currently a college student and do not have that much money to spend on custom suits.

    Any suggestions?

    Also, I have about 10 pairs of shoes. The most dressy pair is Ferragamo laceup blutchers, in black. I also have a pair of Ferragamo Monkstraps in black. the others are just Ferragamo loafers in black/brown.

    Would the monkstraps be more appropriate to wear with my suit than the Laceup Blutchers? The monkstraps are in better condition. The blutchers are beatup.
     


  2. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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    Alterations are relatively cheap, so if you're only going to be wearing this uncomfortable suit occasionally until you can afford something better, it's definitely cost effective to pay a few bucks to get it altered rather than have no suit at all.
     


  3. Bruce9241

    Bruce9241 Senior member

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    what kind of prices can I expect? Any recommended tailors in Orange County California?

    what I am afraid of is an inexperienced tailoring messing up my suit. Its the only one I have for now. I know the sleeves shouldn't be that much trouuble, but the shoulders?
     


  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree. And once you get a better one, this one can be kept as a backup, for emergencies/cold weather/in case you need to wear a suit several days in a row.

    I wouldn't sink a lot of money into it, but I'd at least make it presentable -- proper sleeve length, etc.
     


  5. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Shoulders are a tough alteration. What are you looking to have done to them?
     


  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    What's your budget? I'm sure you could come up with something of better quality for a reasonable price by June. And what's your size? One of the thrifthounds may have something lying around.

    As for the shoes, pictures would help, but for a conference, either monkstraps or bluchers will probably be fine - I'd just go for the pair in better shape, unless either is overly casual.
     


  7. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Cheap suit, expensive suit - either way, as long as it is RTW you will always have to have suits altered. Bespoke suits too get altered but usually as they are being made, in a process which is very similar. You will learn things by playing around with your suits about what constitutes good sleeve length, trouser length etc. Also you will get to test out to see if your alterations tailor is any good and whether you would entrust them again with a good suit, when you eventually get around to buying one.
     


  8. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    How much can you spend right now? That'll determine the answer(s) to your question.

    Also, have you considered stopping by a thrift shop or two? You can often find something good for very little money.
     


  9. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    If you believe it is a cheap suit and it looks obvious that it is a cheap suit then of amount of fiddling with the fit will change that.
     


  10. Bruce9241

    Bruce9241 Senior member

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    The suit itself only cost me around $139.00.... It was discounted from $300.

    I am looking to make the shoulder areas a bit smaller. The suit makes me look like I am wearing football pads.

    Here is a picture of my monkstraps. They are Ferragamo and in great condition.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the Ferragamo laceup. The condition isn't as agood, and the soles are a bit torn up.
    [​IMG]
     


  11. WSW

    WSW Senior member

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    Not worth it.
    As you said, the suit is uncomfortable and doesn't fit well. Sleeves are pretty cheap, but shoulders can be pricey depending on the amount of work you want done. As everyone else has said, it'll probably be better to go to a thrift shop or search on ebay for another suit that fits you much better and requires minimal work than to alter the Burlington Coat factory piece. Since you're wearing black shoes, charcoal or navy will be best. I think you should be able to get the laceups into decent condition if you get some shoe trees, leather conditioner and polish. From your pictures, they look better than the monkstraps.
     


  12. AnGeLiCbOrIs

    AnGeLiCbOrIs Senior member

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    If you decide to get another suit, I'd recommend going back to Burlington. They have suits there labeled Giorgio Andreani which are fairly priced, well constructed, and use good fabric. They are also made in Italy. In particular I'd look to see if they have any which started at $189. Those are only partly fused (if at all) and are a great value. They use nice Cerruti 1881 fabrics. I bought one superissimo and one winterissimo.

    Burlington also carries Andreani suits constructed by Lubiam for $379 but looking at them I could not see any benefit over the $189 suits.

    I am not sure of this but I believe that Andreani is one of Burlington's house names. Many of their suits are made by different manufacturers so look at the suit closely.

    Good luck!
     


  13. lpwb32

    lpwb32 Senior member

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    first time poster... discovered this forum a few wks ago and been addicted since. this is all great stuff and every day i'm tempted to go unload my whole wardrobe and get myself dressed properly!

    anyway i'm also in oc and might have a alterations reco. theres a chinese lady that does alterations at the dry cleaners at trabuco grove (trabuco & jeffrey rd in irvine). i had a br suit that i took to that cleaner after wearing to las vegas. even though i often find the need to bring some dressier clothes to vegas, i hate how everything you bring there will eventually smell like cigarette smoke so i don't bring my best. that particular jacket my gf says "it looks like you're swimming in it..." i thought, what the hell and asked the lady what she might be able to do with the jacket. she said she could slim the waist, shoulders, and sleeves for $40. its decent work, although not the best tailoring job i've had done but for the price i thought it was well worth it. the suit is one i picked up at a br outlet for $200 when i was back in college and didnt know anything about sizing. so obviously it's not worth any more than what i spent to do extensive work on it.

    i have a light cord blazer i purchased from theory last yr and recently took it back to the store to get the sleeves shortened. the tailor they used for that job charged $55 just for the sleeves.
     


  14. pgoat

    pgoat Senior member

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    Speaking as one who has had nice suits and cheap suits altered, I'd say limit spending accordingly - in other words, maybe stay under $50 for tweaks to a really bad suit (sleeve and trouser length, make it presentable, etc), $100 for a so-so, $125 for a decent suit and so forth.

    Although I am finding the more I learn about this sartorial stuff, the more I realize that fit is everything.

    Assuming your cheap suit is not a hideous trendy color/pattern, and it generally fits well.....why not tweak?
     


  15. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    if you have the shoulders altered it will be costly. and the suit will still be just as heavy as before. just shorten the sleeves, and start shopping around.
     


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