How to Know If Your Suit Needs Altering

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Here at Slater Menswear, we offer free alterations on all of our suits, purchased both online and in-store but how do you know if your suit needs altering?

If you’re purchasing a suit in store, our in-house experts can measure you up and show you exactly where your suit needs altering to achieve the perfect fit but if you’ve ordered a suit online and you’re not sure whether a few alterations may be required, here’s how to know:

The Jacket

Generally, suit jackets are more difficult and time-consuming to alter than anything else and if you try on your suit jacket and it is dramatically too big then you most likely just need to size down, as opposed to having it altered.

If the shoulders are drastically too narrow or too wide and your actual shoulders aren’t sitting comfortably within the shoulders of the jacket then it probably isn’t a case of altering but resizing and the same applies with the length of the jacket.

Most suits will come in a short, regular and long version, depending on the length of your torso, so if the jacket is sitting too long or too short, trying a different length is a better option than trying to alter this. You should also think about sizing over altering when it comes to the fit of your jacket around the torso; if it is too loose or too tight, a different size may be required.

Sleeve length can be altered but it can be a little time consuming as buttons will need moving, however, if the shoulder and body fit of the jacket is perfect and it’s just a case of shortening the sleeve of your jacket, this can be done.

A suit jacket sleeve should sit just below the wrist and not rise higher than the wrist when the arms are held directly in front of the body, so if the bottom of your sleeves aren’t sitting like this, they may need altering.

The Trousers

The trousers are usually where alterations are required when it comes to suits and luckily, when it comes to leg length, they’re quite a quick and easy piece of clothing to alter.

As a standard, suit trousers here at Slater Menswear are 6 inches smaller around the waist than the jacket size. For example, if you chose a 34 inch jacket, the trousers will be 28 inches around the waist. Trousers are also available in short, regular and long, depending on what jacket length you choose.

If trousers need altering on the leg, you can simply turn the hem up to where you want it to sit and pin it before taking to a tailor, so they know what length to make them or if you come in store at Slaters, we can do this for you.

It is personal preference of where the trousers sit but in general, trousers should sit below the ankle, providing a little give when you sit down and walk, ensuring the ankle isn’t revealed but shorter trousers have become somewhat of a trend recently, so if you personally like them a little shorter, you can have them altered to be this way.

If it is the waist size of your trousers that don’t fit correctly, this is probably because your body doesn’t fit the standard proportions of the waist being 6” smaller than the shoulders, so it is likely to be easier to try a different waist size for your trousers.

So, whether you’re trying on in-store or at home, this is how to tell whether a few alterations may be required and if you’ve bought your suit from Slater Menswear, feel free to bring your suit in store where we can help ensure you get the perfect fit and sort your alterations for free!


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