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Taking in big shirts

pgoat

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I have several shirts that are way too voluminous in the torso and upper arm area. This is probably because I need a 17 neck; the shirts are usually sized like an XL and have 48-52" chests (I am stocky but only about a 44 chest, 37" waist, and am trying to lose more weight)

I realize my tailor can take these in, but I am wondering - how do you decide whether a shirt is worth taking in, and when you should just donate it (I have a big & tall teen aged brother in law who could use some dress shirts)?

Am I on the right track thinking that if the shoulders and neck fit well (assuming the shirt is one of sufficient quality worth spending the alterations $ on in the first place), it's worth taking in?

How will taking in the sides affect the armhole area? These big shirts worn on me tend to not only be too wide in the torso; they also droop badly at the armpits and have huge upper arm sleeves...

Just for the record, my shirts are not uber high quality - mostly Brooks Bros. and Henry Jacobson, with some low end (Club Room, Ike Behar, Hathaway, Alfani, Tasso Elba, et al) and a few higher priced (Tyrwhitt, Brooks Bros Golden Fleece and MTM).
 

mdg137

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It is an easy fix for a tailor to take in not only the sides, but continue through the arm hole and down as far as necessary on the sleeve.
 

Mustapha

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Originally Posted by mdg137
It is an easy fix for a tailor to take in not only the sides, but continue through the arm hole and down as far as necessary on the sleeve.

My alterationist does exactly this for me as well. It's a 25$ job and makes the shirt look like MTM.
 

pgoat

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assuming I have a lot of shirts and most are lower-priced, would you trust this alteration to a dry cleaner shop (as opposed to a shirt or suit maker?)
 

EdenResident

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As long as the shoulders fit, there should be no problem at all. I have my shirts taken in and get the arms slimmed all the time. This is an easy job and any decent tailor should be able to do it.
 

goodlife

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In my opinion if a shirt is is good condition (ie no wear of discoloration) and you would continue to wear it if correctly fitted, the alteration is a good investment as the shirt can be fixed more economically than it can be replaced.

A cleaner that also does alterations should be able to carry outthis relatively simple process, however it is still a good idea to do a test run with a shirt you would not regret losing if the results are poor.
 

Scrumhalf

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Originally Posted by pgoat
assuming I have a lot of shirts and most are lower-priced, would you trust this alteration to a dry cleaner shop (as opposed to a shirt or suit maker?)

Any competent tailor ought to be able to do this. I don't think you need a bespoke tailor to take in a shirt. Look in your yellow pages for alteration places and use citysearch or some such online tool to look for reviews.
 

pgoat

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Originally Posted by goodlife

A cleaner that also does alterations should be able to carry outthis relatively simple process, however it is still a good idea to do a test run with a shirt you would not regret losing if the results are poor.


This is sound advice; thank you to everyone for your input.

I may try to take some 'before/after shots once I get a good test shirt picked out....a few are so huge (shoulder seams are way off my natural shoulders) that I may just let my BiL have them.
 

mishon

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It all depends on a shirt and how much you like it / spent on it. I have a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt that has a 52' inch chest while I am a 44', hence I do not wear it because $25 to take the sides in and another $25 to slim down the sleeves is too much for a shirt I spend $19.99 for on eBay. To me, it is economically wasteful.

I recently bought two Borrelli shirts online and they have a 50 inch chest. I will gladly spend $25, or whatever it costs to get them altered, because of how much I paid. Also, since Borrelli has hand sewn sleeves, it's easy for any competent tailor to shorten and / or make sleeve alterations. I am not sure if the same holds true for an Alfani shirt. In your case, I would suggest finding a competent tailor for MTM shirts. For $130 a pop or so, it is your best bet.
 

otc

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I have also been thinking about trying this...would the dry cleaners down the street be ok?

I've got the same issue....usually I would want a 16.5 neck to be comfortable but they tend to fit like tents in american market shirts. Luckily I don't wear ties very often so I can drop to a smaller neck in something with longer sleeves (and...admittedly, I have a lot of shirts with slightly too short arms that work better with a roll).
 

Scrumhalf

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Originally Posted by otc
I have also been thinking about trying this...would the dry cleaners down the street be ok?

I've got the same issue....usually I would want a 16.5 neck to be comfortable but they tend to fit like tents in american market shirts. Luckily I don't wear ties very often so I can drop to a smaller neck in something with longer sleeves (and...admittedly, I have a lot of shirts with slightly too short arms that work better with a roll).


There are plenty of tailors that do alterations. It should cost you between $15 and $25 per shirt. I think your phone book or citysearch should be able to pinpoint several such establishments. There are at least a dozen tailors within 5 miles of where I live who do alterations.
 

DocHolliday

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Originally Posted by mishon
It all depends on a shirt and how much you like it / spent on it. I have a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt that has a 52' inch chest while I am a 44', hence I do not wear it because $25 to take the sides in and another $25 to slim down the sleeves is too much for a shirt I spend $19.99 for on eBay. To me, it is economically wasteful.

Gads, my place slims both arms and sides for less than $20. Are you sure they're not quoting you prices for separate alterations? If they're doing both at once, it shouldn't be $50.
 

ama

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Originally Posted by AnGeLiCbOrIs


Think I can take this Polo in?


That would make an ideal dress for an obese woman!
 

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