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The Tailors' Thread: Fit Feedback and Alteration Suggestions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by emptym, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Mr.P

    Mr.P Senior member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  2. NotTooShabby

    NotTooShabby New Member

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    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Hi there guys, I am a new member and just recently got my first MTM suit from Black Lapel. The pants are fine, but I am pretty sure the jacket needs a remake. I would love to get any feedback on what alterations should be done.

    My thoughts are:
    • + 1" Chest
    • + 1" Waist
    • - 0.5" Hips
    • + 0.5" Sleeve Length
    • + 0.5" Arms/Biceps
    • There are slight shoulder divots, but after reading a bunch of threads about them, I still don't have any ideas on how to get rid of them.

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  3. fcong

    fcong Member

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    Thank you Shirtmaven for your comments!
     
  4. Emthigious

    Emthigious Active Member

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    Mar 20, 2013
    A friend of mine is looking for some fit feedback. I have some thoughts of my own, as does he. But I'd like to hear what you think first :) Thanks!

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    Please excuse the poor lighting.. All we could do at the time.
     
  5. LGHT

    LGHT Senior member

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    121
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    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Finding the right tailor?

    I just recently purchased a few new suits from the 2nd had store (new with tags) and although they fit they need to be tailored. One needs a lot of work, but since I only paid around $50 for each one it's not a big deal to pay more to tailoring. I was looking at the prices someone posted for me here.

    http://www.brotherstailors.com/alterations-prices/

    Looking at those prices it seems if I shorten the sleeves, take in the back and shoulders it's about $200. Do most shops quote by what needs to be done in the above link or do they just charge a flat fee and make it fit? I'm located in Orange County and it seems you can go to Santa Ana for a really inexpensive shop or head down to Newport Beach where the Bespoke tailors are. I could imagine a huge price difference between the two.

    How does one go about finding a decent tailor that won't charge me the same rate as my Attorney?
     
  6. Ttailor

    Ttailor Senior member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    

    I don't know what you expect to be paid per hour, but I expect to be paid a fair wage for my time, don't you?

    You pay for experience and technical knowledge, plus all the usual costs of doing business.

    I will also tell you that altering clothes is often fraught with complication because factory made clothes are not made to be easily altered.

    If you think about the process of shortening rtw sleeves for instance, here's a very rough rundown.
    Fitting in order to mark new sleeve length.
    Remove button/s
    Maybe unpick one of the fake buttonholes because it will look odd too close to the hem.
    Unpick the area on the sleeve lining to access the sleeve hem
    Turn it inside out and detach whatever hem treatment there is.
    Discover that the interfacing is now no longer in the fold of the fabric.
    Possibly add more interfacing.
    Deal with adding a new fake buttonhole if required.
    Make hem and the lining shorter.
    Secure the hem again.
    Turn right sides out, close up the opening in the sleeve lining.
    Resew button/s onto sleeve
    Press
    Inform client, maybe check final alterations on the person. Charge them for the service
    Lather rinse and repeat

    Pay your rent, employees, insurance, benefits, taxes, maintenance, bookwork etc.

    Most alteration tailors charge for each specific alteration. Makes the most sense as one jacket may only need sleeve changes but another may need more complex work.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. LGHT

    LGHT Senior member

    Messages:
    121
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    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    In all honesty I expect to be paid the going rate for the task at hand based on my qualification, skills, and experience.

    The average salary for a tailor in my state seems to be around $15 and hour. However I've seen some who want to charge more than 3 to 4 times that amount. The key for me is finding someone who has a good amount of experience can do good work, but isn't expecting to be over paid because they fill they should. Someone around the $20-25 an hour range. I'm not purchasing $3000 suits so I don't need the best of the best just a good tailor who charges an honest fee.
     
  8. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Senior member

    Messages:
    1,455
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    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    RWC, CA
    

    Ttailor just explained to you in detail why an hourly salary doesn't equate to how tailors charge for their services. If you have an amount you're willing to pay, shop around for a tailor willing to do it for that amount, then decide whether the results were to your liking. Like your attorney, a relationship with a quality tailor is worth a lot - especially if you plan to start with $50 suits.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. LGHT

    LGHT Senior member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thanks for the tips, I've been looking around online, yelp, etc and I guess I'm just going to have to go trial and error. A lot of info I'm finding seems to either be related to women's clothing or higher end suit shops that seem to charge $200+ for to take in the sides, sleeves and length. Seems like some shops also sale suits and as a result try and keep alteration price high to encourage a perspective customer into buying theirs instead of getting yours altered. Even using the link above that's more than double the rate as most shops I've contacted.
     
  10. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Senior member

    Messages:
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    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    RWC, CA
    

    Yeah it's not that surprising that Brooks Bros would charge more than average for alterations. It's like getting your car serviced at the dealership - but you wouldn't bring your Honda to the BMW dealer.

    Being in/near LA, I'd imagine you're in a good place for finding a good price to service ratio, what with the garment district and all that. But spending $200 to take a suit from "doesn't fit" to "fits" is not really that much overall.

    One word of caution, however: there are golden proportional rules to garments that you don't want to break because you'll throw the balance of the entire piece out of whack. An easy one to highlight is jacket length. If you shorten a jacket to the point that the pockets are too close to the bottom of the jacket, it won't look right, even if it's now the right length for you. Let's call that distance 9" from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the coat, to be safe, but one of the tailors on here can tell you their magic number.

    So just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. You'll end up never wearing the item and then the tailoring cost will have been entirely in vain.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  11. LGHT

    LGHT Senior member

    Messages:
    121
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    Oct 20, 2015
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I'm actually in orange county which is about 2 hours from central LA depending on traffic. I did find a local tailor that seemed to get good ratings on yelp and his prices fell in line with the previous posted link. He is a small shop and spent about 30 min getting me sized and told me if the suit is 2 long or too wide in the shoulders he wouldn't bother taking my money, because it would be 1. Too costly to make the alterations and 2. The finished result wouldn’t look right. Here is what I have being done. take in the sides a couple inches, shorten the sleeves an inch or so take 1” off from the bottom, 1” in on the pants and put a him on the pants. Total out the door was $125. I pick it up Wed so hopefully it will fit nice.
     
  12. kashmir

    kashmir Senior member

    Messages:
    711
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    Oct 5, 2010
    Question:

    I have had my jacket vents closed temporarily before. But is it possible to just shorten the vent length?

    Thanks!
     
  13. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    

    That shouldn't be a problem.

    But as the tailor presumably will have to cut away some of the underlay higher up (to reduce bulk) you might not be able to return to a longer vent, if you change your mind at a later time.
     
  14. kashmir

    kashmir Senior member

    Messages:
    711
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    Oct 5, 2010
    

    Thanks! As it stands, the vent is quite long at 11.5 inches. I plan to bring it down to a more classic length. Would 8.5 inches be a more neutral vent length?
     
  15. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    

    Total length is relative. The top of the vent is usually about even with the pockets so the length will depend on the spacing of the pockets from the hem. Naturally, a shorter coat would have a shorter vent and vice-versa so forget about measurements and look instead at proportion.
     
  16. joshdot

    joshdot New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Hello All,

    I just received a test shirt that I ordered online from Modern Tailor and I was wondering if you all could give me some advice as to improve the measurements. I'm new to this so any advice is appreciated.

    It feels a little tight around the shoulders and chest so I think I might increase the yoke width and the chest width a little bit. It seems like there is some extra fabric around the back of the shoulders/armpit. Not exactly sure what to do about that. Also, the sleeves feel a little tight so I might increase the sleeve width slightly. Lastly, there are some weird creases around the shoulders and I wonder if I should choose the sloping shoulders option next time, but I am not exactly sure if that will fix it.

    Here are some picture for reference. Any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks!


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  17. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
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    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    CA
    Welcome to the forum, @joshdot. I moved your post over here where you will get the most feedback. Best of luck.
     
  18. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    
    I have seen worse. you have sloping shoulders add an 1" to chest. ask them to drop the armhole slightly and widen the sleeve add darts
     
  19. sandspider

    sandspider Member

    Messages:
    9
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    Mar 20, 2014
    Is this jacket salvageable? Should I keep it or try and sell it at a loss on Ebay or B&S. When I was in the store shoulders were not divoting like this.
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  20. flvinny521

    flvinny521 Senior member

    Messages:
    616
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    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
     

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