1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Taking in the Sides of a Suit Jacket

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Omar1223, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Omar1223

    Omar1223 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I have an athletic build with broad shoulders and therefore have a hard time finding suits that fit me. I usually wear a size 32 jacket but have a 31 waist and am 6'0-6'1" tall. When I was a little bit ignorant in the ways of fashion, I bought a suit that fit me well in the shoulders because I thought that was the most important thing.

    However, now I have realized that the jacket is too big from the chest/waist area. Is it possible for me to take it to a tailor to bring the sides of the jacket in without making the suit look weird? Is it worth it?

    If anyone has recommendations on suit makers or brands that would fit someone of my build, that would be great too. I am a college student, so I would prefer prices toward the lower end but still want a quality suit.

    Any ideas/suggestions/comments and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
     
  2. BigHandMan

    BigHandMan Senior member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    I think many on this board would say you did the right thing in selecting a jacket that fits well in the shoulders because it's the most challenging element to correct in terms of fit. On a relative basis, at least, taking in the chest and waist are far easier. If you'd purchased something that fit you in the chest and waist, it's likely it would never fit across you shoulders (based on your description of your build) and would be a non-starter.

    And I assume you meant a size 42 jacket... not 32?
     
  3. Omar1223

    Omar1223 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Sorry about that. I wrote that completely wrong. I am a size 38 jacket.
     
  4. Taxler

    Taxler Senior member

    Messages:
    617
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    A 38 jacket/31 waist = 7" drop. This is close to the norm for RTW unless you've purchased an unusually full cut jacket. The waist alteration should be minimal, but you may want to try some other brands for your next suit.
     
  5. demeis

    demeis Senior member

    Messages:
    1,286
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    any decent tailor should be able to do it for you. Its the norm for off the rack suits.
     
  6. Ringo

    Ringo Senior member

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    My measurements are pretty much exactly the same as yours, though I'd wager to say that you probably have more muscle than I do, as I would never claim to have an "athletic" build (I'm just slim/skinny). For the most part, getting the jacket taken in on the sides should not present any problems, as long as the jacket in question is not of the "sack suit" variety. Anything with slight waist suppression off the rack should be fair game for being taken in on the sides without distorting the overall shape of the jacket. I highly recommend taking any suit you buy to a tailor and have him alter it to fit your body. At the very least, the tailor could provide you with an idea of whether the necessary alterations are possible without a massive overhaul of the jacket's construction.

    As far as brands go, I have [unfortunately] found that the best fits tend to be for pricier, "trendier" brands. Of the 38's that I've tried on, I think the best fitting suit jackets were RL Black Label, Prada, and Paul Smith, all of which are out of your price range, as they run about $1400-1600 at full retail.

    That being said, hit up any outlet stores that you can, and do not be afraid to try different sizes. While in the RL store, I tried on a Polo (blue label) suit, and the 36R fit me almost exactly like the Black Label 38R. Different brands (and different suits within the same brand) fit very differently. If you shop at the right places, great bargains are to be had.

    Finally, if you're not going to be wearing the suit too much, you can look at stores like H&M, which will have suits that will fit you very well for anywhere from $175-250. Of course the one big thing you don't get is a high quality garment, i.e. the fabrics are not going to be great (but not terrible), and the construction quality will not be the best either. If you're thinking about dropping $100-200 at Men's Wearhouse or K&G or something along those lines, I'd definitely strongly consider H&M. Some of their darker suits look pretty good and don't feel too bad at all to the touch. Plus, they'll most likely fit you way better off the rack, and you probably don't need to get it tailored.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  7. Omar1223

    Omar1223 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    hey, ringo thanks a lot for the great post and your help. i also have one more question for you. what do you do about dress shirts. most of mine i buy i tend to "poof" up around the waist area when i tuck them in. any recommendations on brands or suggestions in general?

    thanks again.
     
  8. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    next time when shopping, ask first if the store carries suits in athletic cut.
    this term means that for any size shoulder, the sides of the jacket and the trousers are smaller than usual. this would apply to any of their styles.
     
  9. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Ringo, I know what you mean. I had the same experience with different brands fitting differently and more expensive suits fitting better.

    A Prada 36R fit me so perfectly (would've required hardly any alterations to jacket or pants like it was made for me) but $$. Hickey Freeman 38R fits well but 36 is small.

    I wore a 40R Chaps Ralph Lauren at first and my tailor who's taking it in says it fits just fine in the shoulders so go figure. 36R, 38R, 40R???

    With a 29W, the Chaps are a ridiculous 11" drop so I'm sticking with 38R.
    Try on lots of suits Omar. Only way to know for sure.
     
  10. merkur

    merkur Senior member

    Messages:
    2,907
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    ..
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  11. darkknight

    darkknight Senior member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    sorry for bumping an old thread, but i have a question. when a tailor takes in the sides of jacket, is it the seam that intersects the pockets or the seam that leads to the side vents that get taken in?
     
  12. GBR

    GBR Senior member

    Messages:
    7,458
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Try MTM, it would avoid your having to take such decisions.
     
  13. darkknight

    darkknight Senior member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    this is for a blazer that i wear casually with jeans. it fits me very well buttoned, but i like wearing it unbuttoned and that's when it looks kinda sloppy from the sides. i think the side vents have something to do with this. that's why i was asking if it's the seams by the vents that get taken in. i'm also thinking about getting the vents closed as i hate the look from the back and the sides when the jacket is unbuttoned.
     
  14. landshark

    landshark Senior member

    Messages:
    1,716
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Tailors can take them in from the back seam. Don't close the vents.
     
  15. darkknight

    darkknight Senior member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    are you talking about the center back seam? if so, could they just take in the bottom without the top half and wouldn't that look weird? i don't want them to take in the entire back seam because it fits me perfect on top.
     
  16. literasyme

    literasyme Senior member

    Messages:
    963
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    No, a good tailor wouldn't touch the back seam. Sides get taken in from the back seam of the side panels (on RTW coats, the pockets normally make it impossible to take in the front seams, I believe; I don't know if patch pockets make a difference). If necessary, your tailor can remake the vents.

    The real question, though, is why you would want to alter the coat at all, and what the consequences would be. You say it fits well as is when buttoned -- i.e., the way it was supposed to fit. If you take it in the sides to make it look as you'd like it to look unbuttoned, you likely will not be able to button the coat anymore, or at least not without it looking ridiculously tight. Just a thought....
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by