suit alteration questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CvilleStudent, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. CvilleStudent

    CvilleStudent Member

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    I just purchased a suit off of ebay and it needs a little work before it fits. This is my first attempt, and maybe I should have bought a cheapy to try out first, but I got a good deal on a Purple Label suit that looked nice and was in my general size range.

    Anyways, here is what it needs. Are these alterations possible/not exorbitantly expensive?

    1. remove some shoulder padding
    2. bring in the chest a little bit (2 inches or so)
    3. Bring the waist in a bit more (3-4 inches)
    3. Bring the crotch up a fair amount (the one measurement they never seem to list is waist-to-crotch)

    Basically I'm wondering if these are possible without ruining the suit. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    At that point, it's not worth it. If even possible, it would be very expensive, with the potential of ruining a good suit. Sell it and buy one that fits better.

    That's my opinion.
     
  3. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Senior member

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    What size is the jacket? It may be possible if it's a larger size (46 or 48), but probably still on the edge of being worthwhile. If you really got a good deal on it I would not be surprised if your alteration charges exceed the price you paid for the suit.
     
  4. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    I read on here about people having these extensive alterations done to suits. I don't really understand how it is possible. Too many aspects have to relate to each other.

    Too big in chest probably means too big across shoulders.
    Take up back and the collar is wrong - will never lay right.
    Start reducing the waist and the arm holes will be wrong. and the lapel angels will be off. Suit coats are very complicated. Maybe a half inch or so. That is about all that can be done without really taking it apart and recutting it. There was a thread about what size do you buy - or something like that. statement was that a 42 could easily be made into a 41. I'm not sure I really believe that.

    But I'm not a tailor, so WDIK.
     
  5. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Well, the first thing is, it's not really possible to 'bring in' the chest. You could bring in the back at chest level, but it's not really the same thing. Without recutting the whole front including the armscyes, which would entail removing the sleeves, you can't take anything out of the chest, and even then, only a little before the balance is thrown off.

    Secondly, if you really need to remove shoulder padding, on a suit built like that, you will probably need to take some fabric out of the top of the shoulder or raise the armscye, which again entails taking off the sleeves. It's possible, but it would be better to figure out a way to live with it or ...

    nevermind. You know what I think. I'm gonna go eat now.
     
  6. CvilleStudent

    CvilleStudent Member

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    Its a 44L, but I'd say the description's chest measurement was close to an inch off -- I.e. he said 23.5 across, and it's closer to 24.5 (which makes it a total of 2 inches off in circumference). The thing is the shoulder width is close to perfect. Sleeve length is good too.

    I keep reading about guys taking 2 inches off the chest, say from a 46 to a 44, and I wouldn't need any more than that really.

    Also, the shoulder padding issue is somewhat odd. Compared to my other suits, it doesn't feel any more substantial, but wearing the suit I end up looking like a pretty big dude. I guess this is what I get for buying off of ebay without being to try it on.
     
  7. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    Complain to the seller that it does not fit because their measurements were wrong.
     
  8. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Massive alterations suck, plain and simple. They ruin the line of the jacket. Sure, you can take 2" off the chest, but that 2" will have to be compensated elsewhere on the jacket.
     
  9. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Senior member

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    Either that or bulk up.Seriously,a suit should only need to be "tweaked" with a pinch of fabric taken in here and there.This sounds like a radical restructuring,which would be best avoided.After spending huge money to alter,you still may not be pleased with it,then you'd be stuck with a suit that wouldn't fit anybody. [​IMG]
     
  10. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Take it to a competent tailor (try to find a real tailor -- i.e. one that can do a bespoke suit) and see what he thinks. Be wary of those who make complicated alterations seem like no big deal. Tell him the suit is returnable and so you aren't interested in simply making the best of a bad situation. Take a pair of pants or something else with you so it is clear that you will be a returning customer regardless of whether he ends up working on the suit.

    If it can't be fixed, resell it on Ebay or here.

    FWIW, I think it is odd that a PL suit is too big on you. If the seller got the tag size correct, it should've fit you if you actually got your suit size correct. I've found that even the recent vintage of PL fits on the snugger side, despite the increase in shoulder padding that recent models have used. Are you sure you know your suit size? Also, a couple of the alterations you want (crotch taken up, etc.) sound not like fit issues, but styling issues. PL is Savile Row inspired, which is a far different fit than some other styles. For example, instead of taking up the crotch, perhaps you just need to wear the pants a tad higher.
     
  11. CvilleStudent

    CvilleStudent Member

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    If that is the case, it seems odd to me that a jacket marked 44L would measure >49 around the chest -- I thought standard would be 47-48. Doesn't sound too slim fitting.

    Regarding my jacket size, my problem is my chest is just a tad over 42, but my shoulder measurment is over 50. Basically, anything under 20 from seam-to-seam won't fit. So I've followed advice and bumped my jacket size up to a 44. My last suit purchased is a 44L and it fits great. Its a little slimmer cut though and the chest is more like 46-47.

    All this is water under the bridge since THIS suit is too big. I'm only 24 and am now debating whether I should should sell it now or wait to see if I gain much more weight (I've gained 15 lbs in the past year). Who knows, maybe the suit will fit me perfectly in a year or two?
     
  12. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Sell it. No question about it. Even if you lost $75 on it, you'd nearly make that up with the time value of money (and easily make it up if you have credit card debt).

    If I were you, I'd not compromise on fit -- I'd get a 42 (if your chest is 42") and just go for makers with a little wider shoulder (BB Golden Fleece, Made in USA come to mind).
     

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