Shortening a suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by rdawson808, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Any comments on having a suit shortened? From a regular to a short for me.

    I recently read somewhere that it can be done, but it's best not to. Any particular reason? Is it a really tough job that requires an expert?

    I found a lovely sport coat at Syms the other day. Looked gorgeous on me, but it was a regular, so a bit too long. For $199 plus the cost of having it shortened it could well be worth it. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    bob
     


  2. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    I often wish this was easy, but it is not. More than 1/2 inch will (as I'm told) throw off the button and pocket position and can make the jacket look funny. Besides, it's not a job you would trust any tailor at the dry-cleaners' to do so it could cost you some money.

    I have a few candidates but I have chosen to suffer the indignity of wearing them too long instead.

    B
     


  3. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    It's not that complicated. It's just that it can (will?) throw off the balance of the jacket. The button stance and pocket placement are chosen based on the overall length of the jacket. If you shorten that jacket, the pockets and buttons can look like they're too close to the bottom of the jacket.

    dan
     


  4. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    As others have said, it definitely can be done. Best to find a really good tailor to do it and then, no more than an inch (however, how much you can take in depends on the coat and how much room there is already from the pocket to the coat bottom and whether the pockets are or are not patch pockets.
     


  5. bch

    bch Senior member

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    Get a coat that fits properly. Measure the distance from the bottom of the coat to the top of the pockets. Consider this distance a guide when you shorten your too-long coat. Don't stray too far from this measurement. Often, 1 - 1.5" will be OK.
     


  6. arkirshner

    arkirshner Well-Known Member

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    Rdawson 808 , I' a 40 short and I empathise with you.There is nothing worse than finding that killer jacket -but its a reg.
    That feeling reminds me of the song line "short people have no reason to live".
    The preceeding comments on shortening a jacket of course are correct.
    On a couple occations I have had an inserted shoulder pad raise the skirt of the jacket enough so the jacket did'nt need shortening.
     


  7. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    Recently, I got an Isaia suit shortened by 1", as it was a bit long. It was done at Field's in DC, which is highly recommended by many. William Field Jr., who measured me, said that the pockets and buttons were placed such that it wouldn't look strange to have 1" shortened. I take this to mean that there is some amount of variation depending on how the suit was designed at the outset. If you have a good eye, I would see how differently it would look shortened by your desired length, and if it seems at all strange to you, not buy it.

    Oh, I should probably add that I was highly satisfied with the alteration. It fits me well, and the jacket does not look at all weird to me, although I am easy to please.
     


  8. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    I'm having Field's in DC shorten an Isaia blazer for me right now....
     


  9. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    I just had a RL Blue Label suit shortened by a local tailor (not alterations shop). He was very conscious about the placement of the pockets and the button stance and kept these in mind when recommending the amount to shorten. I think I ended up taking of about 1 inch, which didn't seem to throw things off because the suit has a nice longish silhouette and is also a pinstripe. I am immensely happy with the finished product. Although 1"-1.5" doesn't sound like all that much, it can make a huge difference in the overall balance.

    I do recall hearing somewhere that if you have to shorten a suit more and are worried about the pockets that you can tuck in the flaps which makes them look higher. Doesn't do much about the button stance though.... And who really wants tucked in flaps??

    On another note, I find that even though I may be shorter, I am not necessarily stockier. When I try on 38S instead of 38R, I find that they are not only cut shorter, but also looser/stockier/boxier. Is this a figment of my imagination, or is it standard practice?

    K
     


  10. drljva

    drljva Senior member

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    I, too, have had this done at Field's. The only place in DC I'd trust to do something like this. [​IMG]
     


  11. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Senior member

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    I was wondering what is the cost of such operations? Is the sewing done by hand or machine/ Thanks
     


  12. ATM

    ATM Senior member

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    I haven't noticed this but I worry sometimes that the short jacket is just the regular with the bottom cut off without any adjustment made to the button stance or pockets.
     


  13. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    I think it's more than that. I really get the feeling that designers don't just shorten the length of the suit proportionately, but also allow for some more room in the waist/midsection area. Like the idea is that if you are shorter, with the same size chest then you must also be "thicker"

    K
     


  14. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Thanks for all of these great replies. I few of my own:

    I checked the suits in my closet. I have one MTM Burbuberry that looks perfect, one KenCole that is a reg and a bit long, and one HartShaffer&Marx (sp?) that is the same length as the KC. Hanging they all have the pockets at the same place. So maybe I can get away with having something taken up an inch.

    I'm not sure if all short suits are cut the same, but at the Syms in Towson, MD, they have a section of "short and stocky" or something like that. It is separate from the regular "short".

    Oh yes, someone asked this but there was no reply: how much does this run at Field's?

    thanks all,
    bob
     


  15. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Oh, I forgot, you guys mean Field Custom English Tailoring on Wisconsin?

    bob
     


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