Top 7 Tailoring Tips for Menswear – Advice on Alterations

Top 7 Tailoring Tips for Menswear – Advice on Alterations


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
Today, I’ll be talking about the top seven tips to know when having a suit
tailored for the very first time. Number one, be aware. 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 on with
reasonable expectations and know what they can achieve.
For example, even a great tailor can’t shorten or lengthen too significantly a
jacket without throwing off the proportions of the buttons or the
pockets. For more information on what can or can’t be effectively tailored on a
suit, check out our wonderful article here. Number two, start by choosing a tailor
that’s got deep experience in menswear. 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.
Number three, come prepared. Make sure you check your tailor’s reviews that you
plan on visiting. Also, take some time, talk to your colleagues, talk to friends,
family members, and see where they might be able to recommend that you get your
suits tailored, see what tailors they trust. Also, in terms of preparation, make
sure your suit is clean before you bring it to your tailor. You can either take it
to the dry cleaners beforehand or you can watch our video on how to launder
your suit at home. Number four, have a vision for your finished suit. It’s
extremely helpful for you when you go to the tailor to have an idea in your mind what you want the finished suit to actually 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 maybe initially wanted to see
happen in the finished product. Take a moment and write down a list of what you
would like to see happen so that you don’t forget anything when you
do go to your tailor. Now, if your suit happens to look too large and it’s
got a lot of extra fabric, yes, your tailor might be able to reduce the size
or tailor the suit down but you can only do that to a certain point before that
starts to look off. And on the flipside, if your suit happens to feel a little
bit tight, if there’s only a little bit of fabric inside of the garment, you can
only let it out so far. I had a client many years ago who wanted to buy a very
slim fitting suit. We informed him that the design called for a shorter hem and
even though we informed him of this, he did request that we make a full break on
his pants. When the garment was complete and the customer came in to try the
suit on, he noted 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. We informed him of this in the beginning but by his request,
wanted the pants to be a little bit longer but now he was upset by the way
the pants looked. 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
as to what you envision and what the tailor is explaining to you. It needs to
match up and you need to understand what’s actually doable by the tailor and
what the design calls for in your suit. Also, if you had a jacket that was too
long and requested that we shorten it, we could only do that to a certain point
before that would start to look off as well. 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 as they know best, they’ve seen
this kind of thing before. Number 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 the suit and also a well fitting dress shirt.
Why? Well, for two reasons, one, you’re going to eliminate a lot of extra guesswork
on your tailor’s part and two, you won’t have to go to the tailor multiple times
when you bring and wear a proper fitting dress shirt in for your fitting. 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 seat rousers.
Number six, once your suit is pinned, test it out. Now, there could be a few
different ways that your tailor might be marking your suit. One could be
through pens and another might be through chalk. Now for example, if you
like your things to fit very slim and you’ve got the pins and it could be a
little tough to see if you can sit down comfortably but you can at least see if
you are able to move and maneuver properly. If your tailor has marked your seat
with chalk, there’s really no need to try to test out the fit at that point as the
fit of the garment really hasn’t changed at that point. Make sure you can stick at
least two fingers into your suit trouser’s waistband and see if you would
like the finished fit once everything is complete. By doing this, you can ensure
that even after hitting a large meal, you will not pop a button off your seat
trousers. If the pants are made any looser, they can start to look like they have a
bit of a trash bag effect or look a little bit too loose or baggy, especially
around the seat or the hamstring area. In my opinion, I like a slimmer fit on
myself, maybe even a little bit more than say Preston or Raphael but ultimately, you
want to find what works best for you and for your body type. And when the jacket
is buttoned, test and see if you’re able to pull an inch to two inches away from
your stomach at about the navel point. 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 formation forming across your buttons and on the back of the jacket,
you can also see pull lines forming between the shoulder blades
horizontally. To better understand how a suit should fit, check out our video here.
Now, all tailoring shops are going to have access to a mirror so be sure you take a
look at yourself and see if you are happy with what is about to happen with
your suit but if your tailor has access to a three-way mirror, this allows you to
see yourself from every single angle and this would be ideal. Number seven, don’t
be afraid to ask questions and make sure you take your tailors advice with a
grain of salt. I have often seen men come in to the tailor to have a
suit tailored for the very first time or perhaps, it’s their 80th time and
sometimes, they just get a little bit nervous about the questions they want to
ask to their tailor. This is why it’s very important to make sure you write
down the questions that you would like to ask your tailor so that you don’t
forget and you can make sure that you get everything covered when you do leave.
Although the tailor is a very skilled individual who knows what they’re doing,
has a lot of experience, if it’s your first time, yes, defer to their
suggestions and let them help and guide you along the way 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 to your tailor.
Raphael’s first tailor in the United States actually used to fight him on some
of these more complex alterations because in fact, they were just a lot of
work but he persisted in order to achieve the desired look he was
interested in. Now, have you ever encountered any of these scenarios in
the past when you visited a tailor? If so, let us know in the comments section
below. Also, what kind of lessons have you
learned when you’ve gone to the tailor and from your first experience with the
tailor? If you’ve enjoyed this video make sure you check out this great video
series on how a suit should fit before you go to the tailor today I’m wearing a
brown faced plaid suit jacket from Indochino it’s very unique it’s got horn
buttons and a little bit of blue within the plaid my white dress shirt and brown
silk knit tailored tie are from Hugo Boss my tan
cotton chinos are from the Gap my shoes are a brown pebble brogue from Aston Grey
my brown belt has a gold detail and that’s from Anton now as you can see
overall I did enjoy using a lot of earth tones in this outfit but I made sure to
incorporate that white shirt which offers a nice contrast between the
jacket and works with my skin tone quite well I’m also wearing a white cotton
pocket square and my socks unfortunately these are not the best for this outfit I
was in a bit of a rush this morning so they are solid black but in the future I
would probably want to do something that will contrast my overall outfit

94 Replies to “Top 7 Tailoring Tips for Menswear – Advice on Alterations”

  1. FIRST COMMENT!! Love your videos even though I'm a girl. I feel like there isn't enough appreciation for classic men's wear and this channel is perfect.

  2. Kyle's voice is very calm, which is particularly good for the 3/4 of the video as he's explaining some detailed process, but at the end it felt like his rythm was too slow thus sounding quite tired.
    He's an excellent addition to the Gentleman's Gazette tough.

  3. Feel like when I finally go I'll end up fighting over the break of pants, I like zero break absolutely no bunching of pants at the shoes. In fact, I dont like my pants to touch my shoes at all I like them to stop just above them so my pants hang straight as possible and you can see a little sliver of sock or ankle

  4. How much can I expect to pay for a tailored suit? And how do I compare prices with tailores so I can find the beat one for my budget?

  5. Excellent video. Kyle's advice is much, much appreciated! A bit of constructive critique: the volume of your voice is just a tad low. Much lower compared to the intro/outro music. Perhaps adjust the volume in post-production to the same as the intro/outro music. Thank you!

  6. I LOVE this channel! Am I the only middle aged mum subscribed haha? My 16 year old son has just started 6th form college and has aspergers…the dress code is business wear so we bought him two suits plus a selection of ties and shirts. We don't have a lot of money so I watch these vids to try and adapt items and maintain them as best as possible.
    My son feels so much more confident in his suit and enjoys choosing which shirt and tie combo he wants for the day with either his navy suit or grey suit. I'm learning so much about mens clothes and that my son can achieve an elegant look just by getting the fit perfect and mix and matching with confidence.
    So, a big hello to all you sartorial gentlemen out there and thank you to everyone who contributes to this channel so that mothers of asperger sons like me can help their sons look great and feel great!

  7. You need to bring Gentleman Jim of youtube with 50 years of tailoring experience to join a show. Anyone think this the tailor guy’s jacket is too short?

  8. Yup, like the new guy. He's a nice contrast in wardrobe selection (brand names) to the normally vintage selections of the channel. Between the three of them is where my daily dress lies.

    Moving forward, Kyle could use some voice lessons. He's pleasant, but monotone, and could use some coaching on how to place emphasis on the key points. It'll come.

  9. Finding a good alterations tailor can be a nightmare, since they rarely know "the sartorial way" – at least in Germany, where I live. For example: when telling the last alterations tailor I consulted a few months ago about the sleeve length I wanted on my sports jacket (showing about half an inch of cuff), he looked at me as if I was asking him to stitch some bunny ears on top of the shoulders. Very frustrating.

  10. You lost me at Indochino, come on guys you can do better that. I think suggesting, advertising or even mentioning this garbage brand you are doing a great disservice to your viewers, your brand and is insulting to anyone in this industry. This is the second time you guys have mentioned this trash company, Ive been watching you from the beginning, please dont make me unsubscribe.

  11. raphael knows a great deal about classic menswear. but it appears that he doesn't seem to care/know too much about when to get his hair trimmed. looks so messy at the sides!

  12. I see only postive comments about Kyle, which is good, but when Preston joined the team he got a lot of disparaging remarks and still does from time to time, which is sad.

  13. great video Kyle. keep up the good work. i like his calm voice but perhaps he should work on projecting his voice and adding variations a little more to engage the audience better. it will happen with time and practice, but great job nonetheless.

  14. My problem is the best tailor in my city is a hard traditionalist. If you tell him you want a slimmer fit suit he just says "no no that's not right" and basically refuses lol.

  15. Good tips! Wearing your own dress shoes is vital for the fitting. Listen to the tailor and bring pictures similar to that of what you hope to achieve to give the tailor a better understanding of what way to take the suit.

  16. Kyle is awesome! His articulation could need some work, but his voice and relatable character makes for a very comforting atmosphere.

  17. The comments:
    10% talking about the video
    90% “Kyle is a nice addition to the channel”

    But real, Kyle is a nice addition to the channel.

  18. I really don't think that these slim fitting trousers for you well Kyle, they just get wrinkly and if you go with pleats it'll be a lot more comfortable

  19. A lot of tailors, not all of course, make significant mistakes. At a famous San Francisco retailer, I had an Armani suit re-tailored so many times that the store decided to literally shred it and provide another one free of charge. The reason: I kept saying my arms are exactly the same length and the store tailor insisted repeatedly, over weeks and weeks, that the only way to tailor jacket sleeves was by making chalk marks where he felt the sleeves should sit on the shirt cuffs. This resulted in a different sleeve length for each arm, and different sleeve lengths literally every time he did it. Had he listened to me and simply used the number I happily provided on day one, on both sleeves, we both would have been a lot happier.

  20. Thanks for the video, Kyle. I live in a ‘black hole’ here in North Central Wisconsin that’s devoid of tailors. Closest is probably 2+ hrs away.

  21. 1) I like that the channel finally has a presenter who actually has experience from clothing business.
    2) Need some advice. I'm seeking for a tie knot that is as narrow as four in hand, and as symmetric as half Windsor. Any advices?
    3) The intro/outro music is still too loud compared to the presenter's voice. Like it always is, but Kyle, being less loud than Raphael or Preston, makes it even more obvious. Decrease the music volume.

  22. Sorry, but not crazy about the new guy, Kyle. He has no on air/camera personality, and just does not have a natural flow. Keep looking for a replacement.

  23. Nice addition. Good look Kyle.
    Really, I had a suit that I bought 15 years ago and thought that would never be good to wear again. Was a massive adjustment in a tailor in Berlin. Totally win. In the end I spend less than 200 euros for a result that I only could archive in a 2000 suit. Still, not perfect but I actually think that the imperfect details bring some personality to the suit now.
    Thanks for the video.

  24. I really like the addition of Kyle. My one and only suggestion would be properly tying the shoes so the laces sit flat on top of the shoe, especially considering the channel. Great work! This channel has greatly improved my wardrobe choices. I dont know what i would do without the pocket squares, boutonnieres, ties and cufflinks from fort belvedere.

  25. Welcome, Kyle! Obviously, his style could not be more different from that of our esteemed Herr Schneider, which I appreciate! Shows a real open-mindedness on part of the Gentleman's Gazette. The channel will only benefit from more diversity.

    That being said, any recommendations for a tailor in/near the cities? Rafael, do you want to disclose who you like to work with? I live an hour away from St. Paul (also a German transplant) but would make the trip.

  26. Kyle's great! Only suggestion is that he have a tailor look at his jacket collar! When he's standing up fully, it's pinching. They either need to lower the collar or let out some of the fabric in the center seam!

  27. I have been waiting for a video about tailoring for a long time. As you incorperate diffrent videos into the collection I hope to see more of this as maybe a video series. Either more information about tailors and the history of thier craft or even how to make emergancy alterations and fixes to clothing.

    Kyle is wonderful in his acting and delivery of written script. I think with more time on camera he will be an invalube member of the team.

    And to you kyle dont feel bad about the socks , I feel like I can connect with your overall desire to present yourself properly and we ALL have been there. I feel like your modern sense of style and wardrobe choices (the slim fit , modern asthetics) will let a lot of people be able to make a connection with you. Your going to be a smash hit buddy! If anything you have one of the best places in the world to get new socks and accesories!

  28. For those who would find an entirely tailored wardrobe or having most of their garments altered too expensive, could you recommend a key tailored piece or pieces which would be a good investment? Many thanks.

  29. I notice all three of you gentleman have precise and quite proper elocution. Perhaps you've some wisdom regarding this?

  30. Kyle is great! Love that you guys are diversifying the style of the channel just a bit, while staying true to your vision!

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