In part one of this post, we looked at the Jacket sleeves, shoulders and waist. So, let’s move on to the pants and shirt as well as some major Jacket overhauls you may want to look at:
Taper Trouser Legs
One for guys who don’t skip leg day but still want a slim silhouette, tapering trouser legs is a straightforward way of ensuring trousers or jeans that fit at your waist and thigh also fit well through the lower leg. The process involves slimming the trouser leg down from the mid-thigh/knee area to the break, stripping away excess fabric and creating a new seam that sits closer to the body. Ideal if you want your denim or chinos to look less like your dad’s.
Hem The Trousers
“Trousers should shiver on the shoe and not break”, said Oscar Wilde. The ‘break’ of a trouser is the degree to which the material bags on the top of your shoes. In an ideal world, your trousers should hang clean down to the bridge of your foot and sit neatly on top of the shoe, as Wilde described. There’s nothing less elegant than trousers that are too long, or more embarrassing than trousers that are too short (unless purposely cropped). Hemming suit trousers to the correct length is the easiest alteration in the book – any old tailor should be able to do this quickly and easily.
Let Out The Legs
Most modern suits, particularly those found on the high street, are cut with slim, sharply tapering trousers, which are designed to flatter a skinny frame – but that isn’t ideal if you’re of naturally larger proportions. If you struggle to get trousers with legs that are wide enough to fit without straining around your thighs, many brands will supply trousers with inlay down each side seam, which an alterations tailor can use to let out and widen the trousers – giving you a touch more room to move.
Make Your Shirt Fit Better
You might not prize your shirt as highly as the tailoring you wear on top of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth streamlining. Adding darts (subtle sewn-in folds) to a shirt can instantly improve how it fits through the torso, tucking in excess fabric and giving you a sleeker silhouette. Although you’ll find plenty of DIY guides on adding darts to a shirt, it – like most alterations – is best left to the professionals unless you consider yourself a skilled seamster.
Give Your Shirt A New Neckline
Always thought that crew neck would work better as a boat neck? Or maybe you want to kill the collar on your favourite button-down? A good tailor can help you achieve both. Although in many cases, like with a T-shirt, it’ll be easier (and more affordable) just to buy a new one, having a tailor work on the neckline is not only more environmentally friendly, it’ll also allow you to keep what you like about the garment (e.g. the colour or print) while optimizing how it fits at the neck.
Get Rid Of Pockets
Some shirts look better sans-chest pockets. So if you’d rather your favourite shirt had a more minimal appearance, check in with your tailor who should be able to remove the pocket(s) without leaving behind much of a trace. Results vary, with holes from where the pocket was stitched initially sometimes visible, so get your tailor’s professional opinion before pushing the button on this one.
Replace Buttons And Zippers
No, it’s not exactly rocket science, but having your tailor replace missing buttons or faulty zippers saves you having to carve out the time to do it yourself. (Or, you know, learn how to do it in the first place.)
Reline A Suit Jacket
Love your off-the-peg suit jacket but want to make yours more personal to you? A tailor might be able to help. Relining an entire suit jacket isn’t easy, with intricate work required to fashion new interior pockets and ensure the new lining sits just right in the shell of the blazer. So, while prices vary hugely, this alteration typically doesn’t come cheap.
Stitch Down Pockets
Apart from perhaps an upended glass of Rioja or a sticky-fingered child, few things wreck the appearance of your tailoring like overstuffed pockets. If the temptation to overload every open seam is too much, it is possible to have them sewn shut. Not only does this stop you wrecking the clean lines a suit is intended to create, it also encourages you to invest in a decent briefcase or holdall!
As you can see, there are many ways that your skilled, local tailor can help you look better in both off-the-peg bargain buys, or even designing and building something Bespoke, especially for your personal look. Over the long term you not only look and feel better, you will be saving money from continually buying replacement clothes. Of course, you will also be supporting local businesses, and ensuring the survival of this skill in your community.
Perhaps it's time to take your personal look more seriously and dress your best?