A jacket with tailcoat details (first worn here) has been on my list of wardrobe wants for a long time, but finding one that fit my frame with minimal alterations has been something I have yet to find. Last year I began taking complicated items to the most skilled tailor I’ve ever come across (thanks to Wendy!), which opened up the possibilities of buying the designer pieces I love (and would normally have sadly walked away from due to fit) and having them tailored down by skilled hands.
This jacket fulfilled several of my requirements for investing in tailoring costs:
Quality fabric – 100% wool in a thick, nubby texture; soft leather details; fully lined.
Special details – Beautifully pleated back; leather accents; working sleeve buttons; functional pockets; small, proportional lapel.
Bonus points – By Rag & Bone, one of my favorite brands; sale priced to help offset tailoring costs (price also mitigated with the help of coupon codes and gift cards).
This jacket was altered down approximately 2 sizes (“before” is size 0). Here is a basic run-down of what was done:
— Alterations —
Blazer/Jacket Alterations In General
If the jacket is lined, the tailor will need to open or remove the lining before making alterations, and then re-attach when done. This increases the cost of most jacket alterations.
The most difficult of the alterations done on this jacket, and one that should be avoided if you have that luxury. Due to my height on top of already having narrow shoulders, most jackets need some modification in this area on me. The sleeve needs to be removed, shoulder and shoulder pad cut back, shoulder reshaped, and sleeve reattached. Only a skilled tailor you really trust should be given this task, and high price tags should be expected. Price range: ~ $75 – $150.
After removing/opening the lining, the torso is slimmed by taking in the seams that already run along the side and back of the jacket. Price range: ~ $45 – $65.
The button placement at the bottom of the sleeve complicates this alteration. However, since the shoulder was already being narrowed (requiring removal of the sleeves), the sleeves were simply shortened from where they attach to the shoulder, keeping the bottom button details intact. Price range: unsure.
* prices are meant as a rough guide only. They are highly subjective and can vary wildly based on many factors including (but not limited to) average city storefront rental rates/taxes, tailor skill level/experience, competition from other tailoring shops, and complexity of the individual tailoring job.