Intermediate Guide to Suits: Part XIV

Each week, I will present a post on the ins and outs of custom suits AND suits in general at an intermediate level. It is recommended that the beginner’s guide be read first.

Alterations – the bane of existence – Part II

Other than the obvious of getting your pants hemmed or the waist taken in (or out) – there are far scarier alterations that sometimes are very necessary.

Shoulder De-construction – this alteration usually needs to occur when the armhole does not fit right. Either the armhole is too big and sags at the armpit or is too tight and cuts off arm circulation. There is also a third problem that may occur where the whole sleeve requires rotation. Have you ever tried on a jacket and you notice the sleeves are puckering and the fabric is gathering? This is due to the way you hold your arms (like a gorilla or at attention). A custom suit accounts for this body naunce.

As I mentioned in the Beginner’s guide – the shoulder is made up of many layers (like the chest). This is why it is a complicated operation and is attempted by only the most experienced tailors. Remember that any shoulder operations will cost upwards of $30 to $70 PER SHOULDER!

As far as fit on the shoulder is concerned- this is a separate undertaking that is rarely attempted. I must stress the importance of shoulder fit – if it doesn’t fit in the shoulder, don’t bother with it, since the alterations alone will cost more than the suit.





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