Style Guide: Tailoring Blazers

September 20, 2017



Blazers can be a great fall staple for clients that can be styled to take them beyond 9 to 5. No matter how great a blazer looks on the hanger, the fit must be impeccable. Before you urge your client to purchase a jacket they love but may need alterations, make sure you know what can and can’t be tailored. Here’s a quick and easy guide:




Leave the shoulders alone.

The #1 rule of blazers is that shoulders must fit “off the rack.” Letting out won’t work and taking in is incredibly expensive and means reconstructing the garment.


Take in at the torso.

Taking in the waist or removing extra bulk in the back seams of a blazer can dramatically improve the overall silhouette and style at a reasonable cost.


For letting out the waist, check seam allowance.

Most off-the-rack suits don't leave a lot of extra fabric to let out the seams.


Don’t shorten blazers.

Even if your tailor says they can do it, it will throw off proportions with buttons and pockets. Stick with finding the right length off-the-rack.  


Shorten sleeves from the shoulder.

If there are buttons or other details at the cuff, sleeves should be taken up from the shoulder. It’s well worth the added expense.


Fit note: Full-length blazer sleeves should end where the base of a client’s thumb meets his/her wrist. For men in particular, dress shirts should peek out ¼ to ½ inch from blazer sleeve.


Fix collar rolls.

Pulling between the shoulders by the neck can ruin a slick look. This is a more advanced alteration, so only take it to an experienced tailor.


Make sure you have a list of trusted tailors in your area to whom you can send your clients, and be informed on approximate costs of these basic alterations so you can add that on as you determine the “true cost” of a blazer when shopping with clients.  


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