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Pant tailoring question

Ambulance Chaser

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I wear a size 40-42 suit jacket (which typically comes with a size 34-36 pant) and a size 31 pant.  Will a good tailor be able to take in the waist 3-5 inches without any problem, or do I have to start looking into custom and made to measure suits?
 

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bengal-stripe

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The standard way of taking in a pair of pants is through the back seam. The absolute maximum by this method is about 2". Otherwise the side seams would shift towards the back and the back pockets would meet.

Of course a skilled tailor can re-cut a pair of trousers, i.e. take in all seams and remake the pockets or gather excessive fullness inside a front pleat where there was none before. But we are talking about major, major surgery here and it probably would not be cost effective for a run of the mill suit. Some manufacturers like Brook Brothers allow you to choose jacket and pants individually in the required size.
 

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