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mens suit alterations jacket
mens suit alterations jacket
Required Reading

A Complete Guide to Suit Alterations

April 5th, 2016

Your one-stop Internet shop for a guide to suit alterations and tailoring.

Suit alterations are generally necessary for a perfect fit – let’s say nine-and-a-half times out of ten. But luckily, most suit alterations are usually quite simple. Plus, a little tailoring goes a long way.

We’ve written extensively about the benefits of tailoring, garment-specific tailoring and addressed tons of questions about different suit options, getting suits custom made and many different kinds of alterations on HSS.

Here, for the first time, we’ve rounded up all of our individual articles into a comprehensive, easy-access guide. So, here it is: The Complete HSS Guide to Suit Alterations and Tailoring.

Suit Jacket Alterations

mens suit alterations tailoring guide

Unless you’re extremely lucky with the fit of off the rack suit jackets or you get all of them made to measure, chances are you’re going to need some alterations. The good news is that when it comes to getting a suit jacket tailored, a little work goes a long way in terms dialing in fit.

Our suit jacket alterations and tailoring guide covers the most common alterations – jacket length, sleeve length, chest, shoulders and collar – discusses how each should fit the individual and whether or not each particular alteration is worth the cost.

Read more: The HSS Guide to Suit Jacket Alterations

Suit Pants Alterations

mens suit alterations tailoring guide

Getting your suit pants tailored – or any pants, jeans included, for that matter – is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways for any guy to instantly look more put together. Our guide covers the four main alterations you might consider – hem (or pant length), waist, taper (pant width) and rise – as well as whether or not each is worth the money.

Read more: The HSS Guide to Suit Pants Alterations

A Guide to Pant Breaks

mens suit alterations tailoring guide

Before getting your pants tailored, it’s best to read up on and understand the different types of pant lengths and pant breaks. There are many factors that go into choosing a proper pant length for you, including your age, height, weight and whether you consider your personal style more conservative or style-forward.

Our guide to pant breaks and proper pant length covers the four main types of pant breaks – no break, slight break, medium break and full break – and helps you decide which one will fit your personal style. It’s the perfect companion to our suit pants alterations guide.

Read more: The HSS Guide to Pant Breaks

Suit Vest Alterations

mens suit alterations tailoring guide

The suit vest, or waistcoat, is the most versatile part of any suit. It’s why I like to make my suits three-piece suits whenever possible. However, unlike a suit’s jacket or pants, there aren’t too many alterations that can be done to the waistcoat. However, the two alterations you might want to consider have a lot to do with how it should fit.

Read more: The HSS Guide to Suit Vest Alterations

Finding a Quality Tailor

suit alterations tailoring guide

Of course, before you get any kind of alterations done, it’s important to find a quality tailor. This can be a bit more difficult than it sounds. Where do you look? How do you know if a tailor is reputable? Or whether he or she will listen to you and understand your style vision v. pushing their own beliefs on tailoring?

Read more: The HSS Guide to Finding a Quality Tailor

A Guide to Tailoring Costs

mens suit alterations tailoring guide

If you’re going to get any suit alterations or tailoring done, it will cost money. However, it’s always money well spent. And in most cases, a little money spent on nailing the fit of something goes a long, long way towards making you look like a million bucks.

Not all alterations and tailoring services are cheap, however, and some may not even be worth it. Which are which? We’ve got a guide for that.

Read more: The HSS Alterations and Tailoring Price Guide

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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