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Tailoring my suits - need advice


New Member
May 8, 2011
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I'm new to this forum and have been lurking a little bit the last few days to learn more about how a suit should fit. I'm a rookie in men's suit fashion, style, and fit, but i'm learning. I'm an engineer and my job doesn't require me to wear a suit and I purchased one suit for formal events such as weddings, interviews, fine dining, etc in 2007. This year I have 5 weddings to go to, more than 5 other formal events, and most importantly engagement photos probably in a month or two in preparation for my wedding next year.

I've always been medium build and gained about 30 lbs since 2005, but lost 25 pounds since January of this year. My first purchase of a nice suit, other than taking hand me downs from my brother in law and uncle was in 2007. I was a black Corneliani with very thin stripes, size 42r (i'm not 100% sure on the length, it doesn't say) I purchased from Bloomingdales. About a month and half ago I bought a navy 40s Joseph Abboud from Nordstrom because I needed a suit right away. And two weeks ago I came across an excellent condition gray Canali, fully canvassed that's a 40r for an extremely cheap price. Unwittingly, I didn't realize it's not so easy shortening a jacket after doing some research on this forum.

So the question is. Based on the pictures:


The Canali 40R, 32 waist

1. Coat is a little long, an inch longer than the corneliani. Can I pull it off if I shorten the coat an inch?
2. Sleeves need to be shortened
3. Trousers can be shortened
4. Anything else?

The Corneliani 42R, 34/35 waist

1. It fit well when I was 30lbs heavier. The shoulder's feel ok when doing the stand against the wall test, but the rest of the suit feels like i'm floating in it.
2. It's a tad long if you use the "knuckles meet the bottom of the suit" rule. Should I shorten it 1/2"?
3. Will "taking it in" at the waste make it look like it fits?
4. Trousers can be taken in and shortened I suppose to eliminate the floatly look.
5. Anything else? Or does it appear too big now after losing the weight?

The Joseph Abboud 40s, 33 waist

1. Trousers can be shortened
2. Anything else?

I'm 5'6-5'7, seriously like 5'6 and 3/4. I'm thinking about getting one more suit, perhaps a light gray so I don't have to repeat the suits so much for all the events i'll be attending this year. One of the events is this Saturday so I plan on taking at least one of the suits to a tailor tomorrow hoping I can get it back on time. Any advice is definitely appreciated! I'm in the Bay Area, so if anyone can recommend a tailor that would be definitely appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance... I'd also like to say that i'm happy to have found this forum!


Distinguished Member
Jun 7, 2008
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These all look quite odd-fitting from these photos. The 40s looks too tight around the button and too large in the shoulders. The 42R is certainly too long, but also looks large in the shoulders and tight around the buttoning point.

Try taking some new pictures, as I think the lens distortion makes it terribly difficult to judge fit properly.

You most certainly are a S, not an R. You can shorten a jacket by about an inch, so you may be able to get away with that Canali (though the sleeves are going to be a ***** with the button holes already stitched).

I think you will benefit form a lower buttoning point on your coats too. A lower buttoning point creates the illusion of height.

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