Wedding Suit Alterations Guide

The Do’s and Don’ts to Adjusting Your Suit Jacket Fit

We always hope that hemming your pants will be the only change you need, but we also know that everybody and fit preference is unique, so sometimes you need more changes. Alterations to suiting and tuxedo jackets can quickly become prohibitively expensive.

For some, adjusting their expectations regarding how much mobility a suit jacket should provide is the first step. Jackets are not made to let you swing your arms completely overhead. When your suit or tuxedo is well-fitted to your body and your hands are down to your sides, you will look your best in wedding photos. Jumping jacks are out, but you should still be able to reach comfortably at a 45-degree angle.

Armholes and shoulders should not be messed with:

The numerous components and intricate construction of suit jackets provide the jacket with the necessary structure. Because of this, successfully altering these areas to address fit issues is extremely challenging, if not impossible. The shoulders and armholes of a suit jacket should have a close-to-perfect fit. This is the most important factor to consider.

Shoulder divots are perhaps of the most widely recognized fit issue men experience around here of their coats. Small indentations in the fabric right under the shoulder and sleeve appear when the shoulder and upper arm fit is too tight. If your suit jacket has shoulder divots, it’s best to go up a size or switch to a fit that gives you more room in the upper arm and shoulders.

In order to allow for movement, the jacket’s armhole shape is designed with a little extra fabric at the back. When your arms are resting at your sides, this might show up sometimes. You are prepared if the excess fabric disappears when you turn 45 degrees forward. The jacket is too big if there is still access fabric or you can comfortably swing your arms over your head. Is there another issue with the shoulder fit? For more information, read our article on shoulder fit here. To reiterate, the shoulders of the jacket are extremely difficult to alter. If you want to find a great suit or tuxedo jacket, the first step is to get the shoulders right. Once you have done that, it will be easier to concentrate on fine-tuning other aspects as required.

The Collar:

The collar roll is a common fit issue at the back of the collar. just below the neck seam, there is a tiny bubble that can be seen. Believe it or not, the most common cause of this fit problem is a person’s posture or physical build going against the design and cut of the garment. Fortunately, the collar roll can be corrected. It can be easily fixed by removing the excess fabric from the collar seam and opening it up before reattaching it to the jacket’s back.

A gap between the back of your jacket’s collar and your shirt’s collar when the jacket is not flush against your dress shirt is the opposite problem of the collar roll. This can also be fixed by opening the neck seam to let out some extra length at the back collar, allowing your jacket to rest on your shirt collar, which is another posture issue. Raising the collar is a common name for this change.


Popping lapels on your suit jacket may be a common fit issue for you if you have a broad or muscular chest. When the jacket does not have sufficient width between the front of the armhole and the edge of the lapel, the lapels will pop up and open. To put it another way, the jacket’s style and size don’t suit your body type. You can fix this problem and avoid having to change a very complicated part of the jacket by going up one size. Keep in mind that avoiding alterations to the upper portion of your suit jacket is our top recommendation.

Sleeve Length & Jacket Length:

Jackets are typically available in short (S), regular (R), long (L), and extra-long (XL) sleeve and body lengths for off-the-rack suiting. Where on your body ought your suit jacket to fall? The body of your jacket should fall just above or just below your knuckles when you have your arms at your sides. From the front, it ought to end extremely near the lower part of the zipper on your jeans.

If you try on a jacket without a dress shirt, the sleeves will probably feel too short right away. This is because the jacket sleeves are made to end above the shirt cuff, so about 14 to 12 inches of the shirt are visible above the jacket sleeve. Depending on their personal style and the type of shirt they are wearing, men typically prefer shorter or longer sleeve lengths.

When compared to changing the length of the jacket’s body, adjusting the length of the sleeves is easier and less expensive, so it’s important to start with a length that fits your torso well. You can shorten or lengthen the sleeves of your suit jacket if they aren’t touching where you want them to. Suit jackets typically have enough seam allowance to accommodate length changes of 1 to 1.5 inches. The exact amount that can be adjusted for your sleeves depends on where the buttons on the cuff are and whether you are willing to pay extra to move buttons and buttonholes. Because the length of your suit jacket can either make or break your polished appearance, this modification should be performed by a skilled tailor with fit expertise to ensure you get the right fit.

The Waist:

Many seams at the sides and back of a suit jacket’s waist can be easily altered. No problem if the shoulder and armhole fit well but the waist feels too big or small! This is the most common and simplest way to alter a suit jacket to get a similar fit without spending a lot of money.

You can have the waist let out of your jacket if you find that there is too much tension at the button. The seam allowance at the side and back seams determines how much your jacket can be let out. Simply measure the distance between the center of the button and the center of the button hole at the front while holding the jacket closed until you get the fit you want. The addition of fabric to the front of the jacket will not increase its waist; rather, This is a useful method for determining how much extra space you really require.

If you’ve had to go up a size in the jacket to fit you properly in the shoulders, but are finding the body of the jacket is too big and is hanging on your frame, not to worry. Taking in your suit jacket is much easier than letting it out. A tailor will be able to pin the jacket exactly where the fabric will be taken in to give you a visual prior to altering.

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