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A well-fitted suit is a total game changer. It can be instrumental in making a great first impression and boosting your confidence. A suit is an important purchase and getting the perfect fit usually requires a few alterations. A skilled professional can give life to your suit and make you look sharp. Online tailoring services are a great way to achieve this, and you don’t even have to leave your home!

Before we dive into our top 4 suit alterations for a bespoke look, let's explore the difference between suit tailoring and suit alterations!

Suit Tailoring vs. Suit Alterations

Because tailoring is about custom-fitting, it requires excellent skills and experience. Expert sewing skills are required to get your suit pieces to perfectly fit your unique measurements. Tailors can make adjustments to suit jacket interfacing, underlining, and padding without leaving a trace. 

Suit alterations make smaller modifications to make clothing fit better. These modifications are concentrated in specific areas and include simple tasks like shortening sleeves and hemming.  

Without further ado, here are our top 4 suit alterations for a timeless look! 

1. Sleeve Length

If you bend your wrist so your palms face the ground, the sleeves of your jacket should be ¼” above the top of your hand. The  ¼” rule allows your shirt to peek through the sleeves. If you prefer your shirt to not peek through the sleeve, make sure the sleeve hits the top of your hand. Your tailor can shorten the sleeves effortlessly. However, if the jacket sleeves are too short by 1.5 inches or more, there won’t be enough fabric for your tailor to lengthen the sleeves. 

2. Pant Hem

The fabric fold at the bottom of the pant leg is referred to as a “break”. You get to choose the type of break when you get your pants hemmed. The style of pant break is entirely up to you and your style, there is no right or wrong pant break. 

  • Full break - the most traditional pant break style. With a full break, the pant leg opening will hit about midway down the counter part of your shoe
  • Half break - the most popular and modern style of break. The pant length will hit at the mid to upper counter part of your shoe. This look is common with business styles.  
  • No break - modern style perfect for office wear. When standing, a small amount of your ankle or sock will show. 
  • Negative break - a trendy look for more casual environments. The pant leg opening will hit above the counter of the shoe and will not touch it. 

3. Waist & Seat

The waist of your suit pants should fit you perfectly, without a belt to hold them up. They should hit at the hip or above. The seat should gently hug your derrière. If there is excess fabric around your butt, a tailor can take in the seat. As a rule of thumb you shouldn't expect anything to be taken in or out more than 1/2-1 inch at the waist and seat.

4. Taper Pants

For your suit pants, you should be able to pinch about 1 inch of fabric on either side of your thigh. If there is more fabric, your tailor can taper the pants so that it slightly narrows towards the ankle. 

Helpful Tips 

  • Choose a Reputable Tailor: It's challenging to find a tailor who fully understands your requirements and delivers high-quality service. Be sure to research and look at customer reviews before making your choice. 
  • Be Ready: Once you’ve found your online tailor, consider trying on your suit with the shoes and shirt that you plan on wearing with it. This will help your tailor determine the necessary alterations for pant hems and suit jackets
  • Think Long Term: Stick to classic and timeless styles that will withstand the test of time. 

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