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Lengthening duffel or pea coat sleeves

PCyclone

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I have been looking for a relatively slim-fitting winter coat to wear over a suit on extra cold days, but it has been very hard to find something that is slim enough around the chest/waist (38) and long enough in the arms (35-36). The best I have found is a nice duffel coat at an Army-Navy surplus store, but the sleeves were about an inch or so too short. Everything I've found with long enough sleeves is at least a size Large, which looks like an unflattering balloon on me. The owner, who seemed very knowledgeable generally, suggested that having a tailor let the sleeves down would probably leave a visible ring around the sleeve at the point of the original crease, because of how thick the wool was (and therefore, presumably, how heavily they must have had to press it in manufacturing).

So my question is, was the shopowner right? Is letting out the sleeves on thick wool coats a viable option? Or will it typically leave an indelible mark in the wool where the sleeve originally ended?

Thanks for your help...
 

random-adam

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A couple months back, I got a screamin' deal on a 38L 1978-era pea coat from a guy on eBay up in Maine. It was still noticeably too short for my monkey arms. I spent as much on sleeve-lengthening as I did on the coat itself. I asked them to let it out as far as the wool would allow; they ended up adding lining material to get to the very end, and I ended up with a 26.5" sleeve length measured from the shoulder (which happily is right where it ought to be on me). There is a noticeable crease from being folded over for a longer period of time than I've been alive, but I'm pleased with it. You'll have to judge for yourself:
edit: Just noticed your location. If you happen to be up by the Silver Spring metro and care that much, you're welcome to check it out.
 

PCyclone

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Thanks - appreciate the photos! Looks like the guy was right about leaving a mark (though maybe less so on a newer coat), but it might be worth it. I would imagine it would show up less in charcoal than black or navy, too.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by random-adam
I asked them to let it out as far as the wool would allow; they ended up adding lining material to get to the very end, and I ended up with a 26.5" sleeve length measured from the shoulder (which happily is right where it ought to be on me). There is a noticeable crease from being folded over for a longer period of time than I've been alive, but I'm pleased with it. You'll have to judge for yourself:

This method was used on one of my cashmere overcoats due to my extra-long arms, and with success. A mark was left from the previous hem, but it wasn't noticeable to the typical person, and the mark didn't look as bad as the way too short sleeves.
 

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