Top 7 Tailoring Tips for Menswear – Advice on Alterations
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The best kind of suit is a well-fitting one. Even if you know your measurements, however, not every off-the-rack or made-to-measure garment will fit perfectly. But what’s the best way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your alterations? Today, we’ve rounded up 7 essential tips to guide you in getting your suit perfectly tailored.
Advice on Alterations Tailoring
You never want your wardrobe staples to look too loose or feel too tight. So, if you’ve never been to a tailor before–or even if it’s your 50th time going–it’s best to have some tricks up your sleeve.
1. Be Aware (Know a Tailor’s Limitations)
Before you even consider getting a garment tailored, you need to know that even the most experienced tailors won’t be able to fix all issues you might have with a garment. Go in with reasonable expectations and know what they can achieve. For example, even a great tailor can’t significantly shorten or lengthen a jacket without throwing off the proportions of the buttons or the pockets.
AOS Tailoring 2. Choose a Tailor with Proven Experience
Your average alterations tailor will be able to shorten the trousers at the hem–but lengthening a sleeve from the sleeve head will require a more advanced skill set. If your tailor happens to balk in the slightest, find someone else! Your local haberdashery should be able to recommend someone to you if they don’t already have a tailor in-house.
Walter Beauchamp Tailors 3. Prepare Yourself – and Your Suit
Make sure you check available online reviews for any tailor whom you plan on visiting. Also, take some time to talk wtih your colleagues, friends, and family members to see where they might be able to recommend that you get your garments tailored. In terms of preparation, make sure your item is clean before you bring it to your tailor. Using a suit as an example, you could either take it to the dry cleaners beforehand or you can launder it at home.
Clean Blue Suit Jackets Hanging 4. Have a Vision for Your Finished Garment
It’s extremely helpful for you when you go to the tailor to have an idea in your mind of what you want the finished garment to look like. Make sure you take a moment to speak with your tailor beforehand and see if what you’re envisioning is something that they are able to produce. Also, when you do go to the tailor, it’s easy to forget what things you initially wanted to see happen in the finished product. As such, write down a list of what you would like, so that you don’t forget anything when you do go to your tailor.
Slim-fitting trousers are complemented by a shorter hem (whether or not cuffs are present)
As an example, I had a client some years ago who wanted to buy a very slim-fitting suit. Even though we informed him that the design called for a shorter hem, he did request that we make a full break on his pants. When the garment was complete and he tried the suit on, he noticed that the pants seemed to puddle over his shoes. This was because there was not enough fabric in the opening of the pant leg to properly lay across his shoes. Despite the fact that he requested a full break and that we attempted to convince him otherwise, he was upset by the way the pants looked.
Build a relationship with your alterations tailor
Thankfully, we were able to at least shorten the pants and get them to look appropriate for the customer, but this is a perfect example; you should both envision your finished garment ahead of time, and consider the advice of your tailor (without blindly accepting it). In essence, although it is important to have a vision for your finished suit, if it’s your first time working with the tailor, it is best to listen to the tailor’s advice.
5. Bring Your Own Shoes and Shirt
One of the easiest things to do to avoid a possible realteration is to remember to bring your own shoes, specifically, dress shoes. Nothing too casual, something you probably plan on wearing with a suit and a well fitting dress shirt. Why? Firstly, you’re going to eliminate a lot of extra guesswork on your tailor’s part. Secondly, you won’t have to go to the tailor multiple times. You’re going to get the exact sleeve length exposed so your tailor knows what to tailor for your jackets, and when you wear proper fitting shoes and not your flip-flops, for example, you won’t actually have to come back multiple times because they’ll get the right length for your trousers.
Plain white dress shirt – simple and neat Four basic dress shoe styles for men 6. Once Your Garment is Pinned, Test the Fit
There are two principal ways in which a tailor will mark a garment during the fitting process: pins and tailor’s chalk. Because the fabric of the garment will be gathered together and made a bit tighter when pinned, trying to test the fit of the pinned garment will be important. For example, if you like your things to fit very slim and you’ve got your garments pinned, it could be a little tough to sit down comfortably, so you should try to see if you’re able to move and maneuver properly. Make sure you can stick at least two fingers into your suit trouser’s waistband to ensure that even after a large meal, you will not pop a button. Meanwhile, if your tailor has marked your suit with chalk, there’s really no need to try to test out the fit, as it really hasn’t changed at that point.
A bespoke suit boosts your confidence and elegance
In the case of a jacket, test if you’re able to pull an inch to two inches away from your stomach at about the navel point when the jacket is buttoned. If your jacket is too loose, you’ll see it ripple and start to fold vertically. If your jacket is too tight, you’ll start to see an “X” forming across your midsection. On the back of the jacket, you’ll also see pull lines forming between the shoulder blades horizontally. So, it’s best to know how your suit should fit. All tailoring shops are going to have access to a mirror, so be sure to take a look at yourself. If your tailor has access to a three-way mirror, this will allow you to see yourself from every angle.
7. Ask Questions & Listen to the Answers
I have often seen men come in to have a suit tailored, and whether it’s their very first time or their 80th, they’ll sometimes get a little bit nervous about the questions they want to ask. This is why it’s very important to make sure you write down your questions, so that you get everything covered before you leave. Although your tailor is (theoretically) a very skilled individual who knows what they’re doing and has a lot of experience, don’t be afraid to voice your questions and concerns. If it’s your first time, defer to their suggestions and let them guide you–but if you’ve been through this many times and you know exactly what you’re after, stand your ground. Make sure you explain exactly what you’re after. Raphael’s first tailor in the United States actually used to fight him on some of these more complex alterations because they were just a lot of work, but he persisted in order to achieve his desired look.
Simon Crompton at Calvo de Mora tailor bespoke spain madrid Conclusion
Armed with these seven tips, your interactions with your tailor should be professional and pleasant, and the finished result should fit you like a glove. While visiting a tailor and being courteous but firm with your desired specifications can seem like a daunting prospect, your wardrobe will be sure to thank you!
Have you ever encountered any of these scenarios when visiting a tailor? What lessons have you learned? Let us know in the comments section below. #Menswear #Wardrobe #Custom #Wardrobe #Bespoke