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Which Suit Alterations Can & Can’t Be Done? March 6, 2018

Midtown East, Manhattan
Which Suit Alterations Can & Can’t Be Done?, Manhattan, New York

Going to a tailor for suit alterations is crucial to looking your sharpest, but there are some garment changes that simply can’t be made. Understanding what can and can’t be altered is crucial to finding a solid starting point with a suit. It will also help you obtain the best possible fit. Consult the following guide to learn more about this delicate process.

The Ins & Outs of Suit Alterations


The shoulder area is one of the most important sections of a suit jacket. If the shoulders are too big, the jacket will be loose and boxy, leading to an unflattering appearance. While it’s possible for a tailor to perform suit alterations on a jacket, it’s typically expensive and difficult. This alteration requires tailors to restructure the entire piece, so guide your next suit purchase based on the fit of the shoulders.


suit alterationsAs opposed to shoulders, the sleeves of a jacket have much more potential for suit alterations. There are, however, some considerations that need to be considered. Most jacket sleeves can be lengthened, but the amount is limited to the excess fabric sewn into the sleeve’s interior. Some button holes may have to be added when lengthening sleeves as well.

Most sleeves can be shortened if necessary, but with similar caveats in mind. If there are functional buttons on the sleeves, the proportion of the jacket may be thrown off if they’re brought too close to the end of the sleeve. 

Body Fit

The torso area of a jacket is important to its overall appearance, but there’s usually only one way it can be altered. While it can be taken in to look slimmer, limited seam allowance prevents most from being let out.

In terms of length, the body of a jacket can be shortened, but it’s usually inadvisable to do so. This suit alteration can create an odd mix of proportions and an awkward look. Instead, its best to find a jacket as close to the correct length as possible.


6 Avenue Tailor is the premier Midtown tailor in New York, NY. With more than 30 years of experience and the ability to perform exceptional suit alterations with rush service, the shop takes pride in helping every customer look their best. For more information, call (212) 593-1925 or visit the website.

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