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Shortening the shoulder width on a suit jacket - is it ever a good idea (and could be done well)?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by daspianist, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. daspianist

    daspianist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 6, 2008
    In my youthful days, I used to think that minor alterations to the shoulder width was a consistently good, and not so costly way, of making an off the rack jacket look better.

    ... or least so I thought, until several days ago where upon closer examination of a thrifted RLBL jacket that I had the shoulders taken in (by no more than 0.35-0.5 inches), I noticed some extra crease in the back of the jacket when it was hung. Wearing the jacket did not seem to to resolve the problem either, and I began to understand that it may be due to the extra fabric that lingered when the rest of the jacket was taken in down the middle (as done when taking in the shoulder).

    My question is - would a more skillful tailor be able to address the "excessive fabric crease" problem that arise when shoulders are taken in by proportionally taking out those extra fabric as well, or is this one of those taboos where it should not be attempted in the first place because it causes all sorts of problems?

    Here is another taboo that one should not attempt. +1 internet if you know what I'm referring to:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  2. tgt465

    tgt465 Senior member

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    A more skillful tailor would probably do a better job. But a more skillful tailor will cost you more. Beware the tailor who will narrow shoulders cheaply, as doing this right is not a trivial task.
     
  3. daspianist

    daspianist Well-Known Member

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    I certainly agree. In fact, the tailor I sought out was recommended by a number of users here on the forum. However, even factoring in tailor skill - is altering the shoulder at all a prudent consideration?
     
  4. tgt465

    tgt465 Senior member

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    Dec 6, 2010
    In most cases, you would be better off finding a jacket that fit in the shoulders correctly than trying to tailor down something too big. You should be able to get okay results if you need to go this route and you don't ask for a drastic reduction, but there is always a chance for disaster.
     
  5. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    Madrid
    I have this problem with a jacket I had the shoulders taken in, but it wasn't taken in at the middle seam; instead, the shoulders were remade, and the sleeves were shortened from there too. I didn't notice it at first glance (God knows why) but there's an ugly roll of fabric just below the collar that extends all the way to the shoulder. I hope he's able to fix his mess, otherwise it's time to look for a new tailor...
     
  6. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    San Francisco
    When it comes to OTR, make sure jacket is long enough, sleeves within an inch of your ideal, and the shoulders fit give or take half an inch. This is not only the best way of saving you money, it also makes most sense. All chest, waist or sleeve alterations (as long as cuffs not working) are the cheapest and the tailor need not be world class to make the jacket look good.
     
  7. shilleck

    shilleck Well-Known Member

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Location:
    SF
    A highly skilled tailor should be able to do the trick. But to avoid major alterations in the future, it is best to get yourself properly measured so you get the exact fit.
     
  8. darthlady

    darthlady New Member

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    Mar 6, 2014
    Taking the jacket to an alteration specialist may cost you an arm and a leg ;D
     

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