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what can a tailor do exactly (to a shirt/suit)

ILikeBacon

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What exactly can a tailor do to a shirt/suit?

I know hem/sleeves can be shortened/slimmed, but that's about it. What about in terms of the shoulder and torso?

Also, my neck is around 14.8" so I need to wear shirts with 15" collars but I find that 15" shirts are too baggy on me. I like more of a slim fit and I have a fairly athletic build.
Should I just keep buying smaller shirts that fit me better but are too small in the neck or just buy larger shirts and have them tailored.
I usually wear size s/14.5" for classic fit RL shirts. Should I try going up a size for the custom fits?

Also... What is "balance"
 

landshark

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But the shirt with the 15" collar. Any decent tailor or alterationist can slim a shirt significantly. Personally, I find RL shirts to be way too big and billowy, even in the custom fit.
 

TheButler

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Most of these can be found with a quick search and are stickied at the top of this forum:

You don't have to settle for buying tents and having them tailored to fit or strangling yourself to get the chest to fit. Different brands come with different proportions, just find the ones that work for you. An entire thread on slim fit shirts: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=35147

On suits, "Basically you can almost always alter the sleeves. And you can usually have the back taken in or out a bit to change the waist measurement. It is difficult, sometimes even impossible to alter the chest or shoulder width. They say you can have the jacket shortened 1" or so but you would need a good tailor." http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=1463

Manton on "balance": http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=44021
 

ILikeBacon

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Does the collar of the shirt really matter when it comes to shirts that I'll probably never button all the way to the top? Cuz I don't really wanna spend like 20$ tailoring every shirt haha. Or would it just look sloppy?

And so when picking out a suit/shirt what part or parts should you look for to fit you perfectly?

I'm guessing neck, shoulders (chest?) for a shirt?
And I've always heard shoulders for a suit jacket.
 

blackboard_knowledge

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To provide you with the Reader's Digest of the aforementioned forums (with my slight editorial), shirts are less negotiable than suits. Find a brand and style that fits you perfectly; I have gone down that road and would not not get into the business of tailoring shirts. And, absolutely do not get into the business of tailoring the neck of your shirts. It is expensive and often ruins the shirt.

I feel that suits are more of an investment, and one should factor in tailoring costs. Once one does that, labels become less important; what is really important is the quality of the material and the silhouette of the jacket. If you are a slim person, there are an unbelievable number of companies that make jackets that fit your upper body (just keep sizing down until you find a fit). The problem is typically the pants, which except for a few of the Italian houses, are too baggy for my taste. Any good tailor will be able to slim the pants to your frame.
 

ILikeBacon

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I know there are like 2 ways to make a shirt slimmer. Darting the back and actually cutting the sides of the shirt and removing fabric (this way you can make the arms slimmer as well?).

What the pros and cons of each?
 

JG000

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Originally Posted by ILikeBacon
Also, my neck is around 14.8" so I need to wear shirts with 15" collars but I find that 15" shirts are too baggy on me. I like more of a slim fit and I have a fairly athletic build. Should I just keep buying smaller shirts that fit me better but are too small in the neck or just buy larger shirts and have them tailored. I usually wear size s/14.5" for classic fit RL shirts. Should I try going up a size for the custom fits?
OP, if sizing down on the neck gives you a perfect fit otherwise, try collar extenders http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Button-...0564453&sr=8-1 At 1-2 dollars a pop, they are far less expensive than even the most affordable alterations
 

ILikeBacon

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Will darts be enough to get rid of that extra fabric along the body and down to the hem? Because a bunch of my shirts are pretty billowy at the bottom and I wanted to fix that.
 

Professor Chaos

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It depends. You'll have to ask your tailor. But in my experience, the answer is probably yes.

In contrast, opening the seams and recutting is probably too expensive to be worthwhile, unless you're wearing $200+ shirts.
 

ktrp

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I just had some taken in from the sides, cut, arms slimmed down.

The tailor who did it charges 25 to do that, vs 15 for darts.

The shirts in question had originally been about 150-200. They were a little loose when bought, then I lost 40 lbs and also decided I liked slimmer cuts. I only bothered tailoring in ones I really liked.
 

Avocat

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The answer is, as in all things, it depends on your tailor and what you want to spend (thus agreeing with what everyone else has said here). A tailor can take sleeves in from the shoulders, take material in, out and cut it down, and add darts, with good ones able to completely re-design a suit for you and/or make other alteration "miracles" if you want, depending on the skills of the tailor and/or seamstress. (If so, be sure to ask the tailor for work samples, along with references from happy customers.) Of course, finding a "good" tailor sadly is another issue these days (i.e., one who understands your needs, etc. and wants to make you happy, whether it be a custom-made suit or otherwise). Here's an article for you on how to find and choose a tailor, http://www.atailoredsuit.com/how-to-...or%28a%29.html ; it's basic, but a good start to help de-mystify the process, I think. Also, keep in mind that a tailor (or seamstress) who specializes in women's wear may not be the best choice for a man (i.e., different fit, styles, etc.). Many tailors start as alterationists in retail or dry cleaning shops. Alterationists do the basic tasks, like: hemming trousers and adjusting their fit (taking in/letting out the waist area), replacing zippers, etc., and many can also shorten (or lengthen) shirt, suit coat and jacket sleeves. (But again, ask to see work samples.) Hope this helps, and Happy (US) Thanksgiving.
 

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