A jacket is a classic staple of a gentleman’s wardrobe. They are pieces that can make men feel attractive, sophisticated, and refined. That is, if they fit well. Whether you purchase ready-to-wear jackets or got fitted for a bespoke one, chances are you haven’t had yours altered in a few years. If your body structure has changed at all, and it probably has, you need to modify your jacket again to bring back that sophisticated look. If you have no idea where to start, you’re in the right place! Read on to learn about the different alterations you can make to your jacket to make it fit you perfectly.
Here are a couple easy alterations that won’t take that much time or money. Just about any tailor can make these modifications to your satisfaction.
If you’ve gotten any taller or gained any shoulder breadth, you may need to raise or lower your jacket’s collar. There should be a little bit of shirt collar visible above your suit collar. If there isn’t enough, lower the collar. If there’s too much, raise it.
The seams play a major role in defining the overall structure of your jacket and determining how well it fits your body. If your figure has changed at all, you should alter the side seams to where it fits your figure. The center seam may also have to be adjusted to fit the side seams.
This alteration is probably the easiest and most straightforward, but it yields significant results. You want a jacket that can wrap around you without being too loose or causing unsightly pulling. Simply have them repositioned to fit your figure.
Sleeves are another easy but significant alteration. You want sleeves that reveal around half an inch of cuff, and not too much. Quite a few ready-to-wear suit jackets are made with long sleeves in order to fit men with longer arms. If you aren’t one of them, however, you’ll definitely need to get them adjusted. Many of these suit jackets also have extra fabric in the sleeves, so just in case you’re one of the few who needs the sleeves lengthened, any tailor that’s worth their salt can probably make that happen. Beware of functional buttons, though – these are a little bit harder to modify.
It’s pretty easy to have jacket vents closed or have the lengths altered, but other than that, there isn’t much you can do. If you’ve got a jacket without vents, don’t bother to ask a tailor to add vents because there won’t be that much fabric to accommodate. Even if the tailor can pull it off, it probably won’t look that great on your behind.
Sleeve from shoulder:
In certain situations, it is difficult to alter the sleeve length from the cuff. This may be the case if you have functional buttons or the jacket is just a difficult cut. In this case, you may have to get the sleeve length altered from the shoulder.
This is a task more challenging than a modification from the cuffs since there is a lot of unstitching and re-stitching involved. The sleeve seam may also have to be altered to fit your arm properly.
If you are looking to lengthen your sleeves, your tailor will first see if there is any excess cloth under the cuff. If there is, they can easily extend the sleeve from there and move the cuff buttons. If there isn’t, they will have to check for excess fabric under the shoulder.
Cheaper jackets often have shoulders that are just a bit off-kilter. This isn’t surprising since it’s pretty difficult to make sure the same amount of padding is put on both shoulders and both are aligned well. If your shoulder pads are uneven, your tailor will probably add a little bit more padding to the lower side, taking into account your figure to make sure you don’t end up with strangely hefty shoulders.
If you’ve modified the side and center seams to fit your figure, sometimes you may find that your jacket still isn’t fitting right. This may be because you need a chest alteration to match the new seams. This is harder than the other seams because there is a lot of unstitching and re-stitching and making sure the end look is perfectly balanced.
Shoulder point reduction:
Many ready-to-wear jackets don’t perfectly line up with your shoulder width. Whether it is too tight on your shoulders or are drooping at the sides, what you need is a shoulder point alteration. This is a very challenging jacket modification because the padding has to be removed, the cloth has taken in or extended, the padding replaced, then it all stitched back together. It takes an expert tailor to do all of this and bring outstanding results, so if this is something you need to be done, don’t skimp on a tailor.
If you’ve had the seams and/or chest of your jacket adjusted, you probably also need a sleeve rotation. Since your jacket’s alignment has changed, your sleeves will be a little bit off-balance. A tailor will have to remove the sleeves entirely, find a new position, and sew it back in.
Your label doesn’t make as much of a difference when it comes to the overall fit of the jacket, but it certainly makes a difference when it comes to style. Suit styles often change, and you may find your wide lapels are no longer in style. Keep up with the trends by having your lapels modified.
Like your lapels, your pockets won’t make a major difference to the overall fit of the suit. If you insist, however, make sure you’ve got a good tailor because one mishap could result in you losing the entire jacket.
If your jacket is too long and needs to be shortened, you could have a tailor modify it. Keep in mind, however, that although it is a relatively simple process, it takes a lot of expertise to make it look good. Poor craftsmanship could leave you with uneven lengths on different sizes, or strange-looking pockets and vent.
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