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Men's Jacket Tailoring question
Old 02-24-2015, 07:34 PM   #1
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Men's Jacket Tailoring question

Seeking the wisdom of those of you who know more about men's tailoring than I do (which is hardly at all).

My son is 20 and is 5'8" and weighs about 115 pounds. He tells me his neck is size is 37". The last suit he bought, he said the clerk told him that he fits within a difficult size. The largest child's suit is neck 36" and he get fit into that at all. However, the smallest adult's suit is neck 38" and I would guess is most likely to be based upon a more standard body size rather than someone is really thin. The result is that in a suit he typically looks like - as he puts it - a 10 year old dressed up in his dad's suit. Yes the 38" neck sort of fits him but everything else in the jacket looks oversized for him.

This spring he is one of the organizer of a conference at his university (he is a CS major) that many people within his field of study will attend. He will be interacting with all the presenters at the conference and the attendees.

He wants to make an appropriate, professional appearance and look like an adult. So he called and asked me for suggestions. He wanted to know if he could get his existing jacket (which has only been worn a few times) tailored to fit him? If so, where?

If not (or if cost prohibitive), what is the best option for a reasonable suit to be acquired that could be tailored to fit his somewhat unusual body type? (I'm willing to pay for something reasonable in cost but not sure where or what to look for.).

For those who might have specific local advise, we are in Texas in Montgomery County and would be open to somewhere in Montgomery County (best) or Harris County (if need be).
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:37 PM   #2
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I think the sizes you are quoting are chest, not neck measurements. A men's small shirt is neck size 14" - 14 1/2"...
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:48 PM   #3
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I have consulted with the young wife, who is a former fashion designer and current high school advanced sewing teacher. She also believes that you probably are referring to chest size, as suits are not measured by neck size. Her recommendation is that you go shopping for a suit at a place that specializes in them, such as Joseph A. Banks, Brooks Brothers or even Men's Wearhouse. They will have tailors on staff who can properly advise him as to fit and who can make the necessary adjustments to a 38 suit so that the final product is not baggy on him (you can't usually tailor up from a smaller size). By contrast, clerks at most department stores are unlikely to be well-versed enough in tailoring to advise him.

I believe that there are also "slim cut" suits especially for younger men
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:34 PM   #4
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You need to look for a slim fit suit in a 38R and then have both the pants (at the waist) and jacket (at the center back) taken in. Brooks Brothers' Fitzgerald suit is the gold standard for slim suits - but wait until they put them on sale for 50% off retail. Also get their slim fit non-iron dress shirts.


Ralph Lauren Black Label is nice but $$$ (don't confuse this with Ralph Lauren Polo stuff you find at regular department stores for cheap) or Hugo Boss. Banana Republic, J. Crew, and Express may also have options. Everything I've ever seen from Jos. A Bank has been cut so large that it would never fit a slim fellow.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:25 PM   #5
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Thank you. While DS was one who said that was the neck measurement, reflection tells me that he clearly misspoke (the best I can do for not catching is to blame my 102 fever).

Yes, I am trying to balance cost (for someone who won't have many opportunities to wear a suit over the next year or so), but getting something in time (the conference is in early April).

These do give some sizing possibilities for him to look for. I told him when he bought his suit to go to Jos. A. Bank but he thought they were too expensive and ended up at a department store.... I can see a mass department store won't be right for him (sort of like my size 0-2 daughter has huge problems with buying nice pants in most stores).
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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I tried to visualize a young man with a 38 inch neck and the only image I could conjure up was a WWF wrestler on steroids.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:37 PM   #7
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Young men are wearing very tight suit coats and pants these days. Maybe he will fit into a 38 regular that is styled for his age group.

DH bought a tuxedo for DS's wedding a few years from Overstock.com and it was cheaper than renting (and he will wear it very infrequently if ever again), so that's someplace else to look.

Many dry cleaners will also do tailoring for a reasonable cost.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:47 PM   #8
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My advice would be to check Banana Republic. They have nice suits for younger men. I usually wear a 38R and find that some of their suits run a bit small. They are usually well tailored (many have a slim cut) and made of quality fabrics.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:32 AM   #9
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Purchase a suit online in a slim or ultra slim cut at his jacket size (I've had great luck in Macy's deals and their Calvin Klein suits) Take it to a tailor locally to have them adjust hem, waist, sleeves, and jacket. Much better than trying to squeeze off the rack and cheaper than going to a men's wear house type.

When you order the jacket size online, most will list their "drop" from jacket to waist. Normally the drop is 6". However, going slim or ultra-slim you see 7-8" drops (waist of 30-31)

Purchase accordingly.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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My son is hard to fit as well and we looked online at different places. One thing I recall is that there were some Asian places, perhaps on ebay, that had slim cut that may work well for him.

For the existing jacket, I agree that dry cleaners often have good tailors that can alter them to fit. Either ask around for a recommendation of see if one of the community newspaper has a "best of" listing for tailors. This is what my son did with the suit he wound up getting.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #11
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Jos A Bank slim fit suit is a good option. They always have sales going on. Stores everywhere or buy on line.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post

My son is 20 and is 5'8" and weighs about 115 pounds. He tells me his neck is size is 37". The last suit he bought, he said the clerk told him that he fits within a difficult size. The largest child's suit is neck 36" and he get fit into that at all. However, the smallest adult's suit is neck 38" and I would guess is most likely to be based upon a more standard body size rather than someone is really thin. The result is that in a suit he typically looks like - as he puts it - a 10 year old dressed up in his dad's suit. Yes the 38" neck sort of fits him but everything else in the jacket looks oversized for him.
In a situation like this, after taking in the excess from the current jacket, it probably won't fit hang well or look good. The back and shoulders will be off.

Unless he has a swimmers build, looking for a slim fit off the rack jacket or suit, as the others suggest, seems like the right way to go. Lots of options to choose from, so he shouldn't pay too much.

In addition to the stores others mentioned, Marshalls and TJ Maxx sell brand name clothes and should have good options for mens suits.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:20 PM   #13
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My go-to places are Lands End for tailored and slim shirts/polos/pants with a lifetime warranty (wait for 30% off sale, one is ending today). For suits Ive had good luck purchasing a 38short from typical department stores (JCPenney, etc) and then having a (good) tailor take them down to 36 short. I bought one once from Kohls, ordered it online, and it was a true 36 short that worked well. There is also an Athletic cut to consider if the body is slim but the upper body is more developed. Considerations
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:24 PM   #14
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If your son does not expect to be wearing a suit very much in the next few years, go to a local reputable men store when they have a sale. There may even be a outlet mall that has Brooks Brothers, or Saks. Jos. A Bank would suffice if you need one soon. But he should buy a dark, wool suit in a traditional classic style, it can be worn year round, and they will never go out of style as he gets older. It will be tailored to fit and a good store tailor will leave material to make adjustments provided he doesn't grow 6 more inches and 75 lbs. It may be boring now but he will get many years of wear out of them. Fad or stylish suits bought now will look silly in a few years. (Wide lapels, velvet material, collars of a different fabric/pattern, sky blue-pink to name a few.) I look a suit as an investment; you only have one chance to make a first impression.


I have been 6'5" since high school and have been a 180lb beanpole to my present 235lb Iron man physique. Clothes has always been hard to find but suits have never been a problem. I have about 8 suits that I still wear today that I have bought over the past 20 years, most are $1200+ suits that I never paid over $400 dollars for.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:00 PM   #15
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Suggest the suit jacket with double, aka side vent. If he wants to present class. The few suites I owned were always double vent.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:20 PM   #16
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Another thing to try is to ask any friends or neighbors, especially those who wear suits for work, if there are any local suit stores that might be worth visiting with him. Back in the 80s I recall local suit stores that I used in two different cities that were excellent, but I suspect that with the move to business casual that those local places may have gone the way of the buggy whip. One of the sold you a suit off the rack and then had a couple of good tailors. The other actually measured me up, I selected a material and they made a semi-custom suit for me... they typically pitched buying two pairs of pants and one jacket since pants tend to wear out faster they found that their customers purchases would last longer.
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Men's Jacket Tailoring question
Old 03-02-2015, 05:15 PM   #17
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Men's Jacket Tailoring question

There are multiple inline retailers of "custom" suits these days. You send them a bunch of measurements, and they create a suit from them, further they will pay for final tailoring if anything needs adjustment. I'd suggest you google it. Indochino is one. 400-600 bucks i think.

I use a local bespoke dealer, pay 800-3000 per suit.


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Old 03-02-2015, 09:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'm going to have him start at Joseph A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse as they are close to one another and he can easily check both of them. I am going to tell him he needs to look at the slim fit suits (with likely further alteration needed). Then, if nothing works with those, we can look at some of the other alternatives.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:46 PM   #19
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This is what tailors are for. $20 to make sure your clothes fit.

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Old 03-03-2015, 03:37 PM   #20
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This is what tailors are for. $20 to make sure your clothes fit...
When I was first shopping for a suit for job interviews (late 70s), I was so skinny that it would take a whole lot more than $20 (and $20 was worth more then) to make a suit off the rack fit me, like having it completely disassembled and resewn. I ended up having a couple of suits custom-made by a Chinese tailor in downtown Scottsdale AZ. Each cost around $300 then.

Later in life, having put on a few pounds, I was able to buy suits off the rack then had slight modifications done. Just now, tried to look up Kuppenheimer, the chain store I last bought a suit from. Found out that it went bankrupt in the mid 90s.

Son of a gun! That means even the latest of my suits and jackets are 20+ year old. And they still fit!
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