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Sleeve length (a typical question, but specific example requested)


Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2012
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I have a suit that was most definitely bespoke. Can't find any info inside. Found it online on a whim. Pure luck.

It fits me like a GLOVE and was super cheap, so I went ahead to a tailor to finish off this perfection, expecting to pay for some things that weren't totally necessary (like shortening the length by half an inch). I justified this because the whole piece was so cheap. Can't lose. And it fits perfectly already.

I should preface this that I am somewhat new to sartorial ways and suits in general...

so I know shortening the length less than an inch is a pretty safe bet, and he seemed confident, so I'm not worried about that, but the sleeve length is exceptionally long on this thing. I can't remember the exact measurements but it needs a bit of shortening. Problem is - working button holes. Now because this thing is bespoke, the arms are SUPER cut. There really isn't much fabric there and it's tapered for sure. You can tell even just looking at it on a rack. Not a casual look to begin with.

He claims that there simply no way to get anything out of the shoulder to shorten this thing, since it's so fitted and cut in the sleeve already, and the best he can do will result in a pseudo-awkward looking button, resting too close to the edge of the sleeve. He seems happy to do it however.

Pretty typical situation here I realize - but is he just a bit too inexperienced for this difficult process? Shouldn't it always be possible? Should I get a second opinion?

One thing to note - it's pinstripe. So the pattern alignment may get out of whack.

- story mode off -


Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Mar 16, 2006
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What he says is true. You lose sizing in the sleeve as you cut it off at the top. You can only reduce a limited amount. If you cut too much and the sleeve is too small to fit into the armhole it is not reversible and you have a disaster. Pinstripe cloth has no effect on this.
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