Deciding on your suit for a special occasion is only part of the process. Ensuring that it correctly fits and that it helps you look at your best is something that you will also need to consider. Getting your suit tailored is one such possibility; but of course this means sending it in to be altered which will take some time. But how long exactly? Needing my own suit alteration, I spent some time researching the topic. I would like to share what I have found with you here today.
So, how long does it take to get a suit tailored? A suit can take anywhere from a couple of days to 12 weeks to be tailored. How long it takes depends on many factors such as the tailor, the suit, the complexity of alterations that need to be made, the number of orders ahead of you and the price you are willing to pay for a faster service. That being said, the average time typically falls between 1-2 weeks.
With these numbers in mind you may even be wondering if getting your suit tailored is going to be worth it. The truth is, a tailored suit will not only be able to help you look at your best, but feel at your best too.
People often forgot what feeling your best can do to your mood, confidence and comfort. All of which can have a big impact on how you experience your day.
Equally, your suit is one of the most important ways to make a good first and lasting impression; and the fit is one such way it will do that.
Let us now take a closer look at exactly what is involved with getting a suit tailored. We will be looking at some of the most commonly asked questions around the topic, such as what is involved with suit tailoring, what can be done, how much is will cost you, and if it is ultimately worth it.
So, be sure to keep on reading to the end to ensure you get all the information you need!
What Does It Mean To Get A Suit Tailored?
Getting a suit tailored is the process of getting a suit altered, to fit your specific measurements and dimensions.
Suit tailoring services will typically be able to amend both the jacket and trousers, mostly being able to make them smaller but sometimes being able to make them slightly larger (depending on the suit).
More specifically, here are the main alterations that can be made:
- Hemming the sleeves – where the sleeves are reduced in length by turning the ends under and sewing. Around a ¼” to 1/2” before the shirt sleeve is often advised.
- Reducing Collar Gap – where the collar of the jacket sits too far from the collar of the shirt.
- Slimming the sleeves – to remove excess material for a more fitted look.
- Take in the waist – to prevent the jacket from looking too large around the midsection.
- Hemming the trousers – where the bottoms of the trousers are reduced in length by turning the ends and sewing. A very small gap looks best; whereby the edge of the pants sit at the top of the shoes.
- Tapering – to ensure your trousers are not overly baggy.
Depending on the alterations you need made will depend on what measurements will need to be taken and or provided.
For a full suit, your neck, chest, shoulders, arms, biceps, wrist, back, stomach, hip, inside leg and thigh will be required.
Usually, visiting your tailor for an initial consultation will be required. This is when your measurements will be taken.
What Can A Tailor Do To A Suit?
What a tailor can do to a suit largely depends on the suit itself and the alterations that need to be made.
As a general rule of thumb, tailors can mostly make suits smaller and take them in.
Making a suit larger however, is a little more complex and may not always be possible.
It depends entirely on how the suit was initially designed, and if there have been any allowances or provisions for these changes when first made. For example, some suits will have extra material under the seams or hems which may be able to be used.
Typically, the more expensive the suit was to buy, the higher the chance that you can have changes made. Cheaper suits, generally do not provide the extra material required for the tailor to work with.
When it comes to reducing the size of a suit, there are some further limitations as to what can be done. This is because the tailor needs to ensure it retains its shape and all of the elements still look in proportion. A 1-2 size reduction is usually as far as a tailor can go.
While the jacket can be altered in a number of places and ways (primarily the sleeves), the exception is the shoulders. It is not advised, nor is it usually possible to have these changed.
For the trousers, these are slightly more versatile – both the length of, and at the rise (where the waist meets the crotch).
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Suit Tailored?
The cost of getting a suit tailored will depend on a number of factors such as the suit, where you live, the tailor and the types of alterations you would like made. That being said, the average price for a full suit should typically fall between $25-150.
Of course, you may only need one part of the suit altered, such as the pants/trousers, and this should make the service more affordable.
Here are some of the average prices, per alteration required:
- Pant/Trouser tailoring – $15-$40
- Jacket sleeve alterations – $25-$80
- Jacket length – $25-$75
These are all averages so do not be surprised to see prices that range from this guide.
One thing to consider with getting your suit tailored is that you should really consider the quality of the suit and what you need done before hiring any tailor to work on it.
If you have a lot of changes that needs to be made, or if the suit has sentimental value, then you should be willing to pay a bit more for a more experienced, reputable tailor.
Mistakes can happen, so it is best to always seek out the best tailor that you can afford.
Is It Worth Getting A Suit Tailored?
In an ideal world, getting a suit tailored is going to be worth it. One of the primary reasons behind wearing a suit to begin with is to look smart, sophisticated and well put together.
If your suit is the wrong size and it is noticeable, it has the opposite effect and can make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.
That being said, whether or not you should look to get your suit tailored does depend on some other factors that only you can answer.
It depends on your finances, and what investing in a tailoring service could mean in consequence.
You may even want to look at getting a new suit altogether, as this may actually be cost effective!
Additionally, it depends on the occasion, where you are going and what you will be doing. Of course, if you are going to be influential or a key part of the event then tailoring your suit is advised.
Other things you may want to think about is the suit itself. Have you inherited it? Do you actually want to make changes to the suit or does it hold some sentimental value to you?
Moreover, you will need to think about the long-term ramifications of having the suit tailored; it may mean that it may not fit you in the future and if future alterations cannot be made, this could pose a problem.
Ultimately, you need to think about your own context, the occasion and your preferences. But, there is no denying the fact that a tailored suit typically looks much better.
It is getting the suit to fit you.
When it comes to getting a suit tailored, there are a lot of factors that can impact how long it can take and how much it will ultimately cost you.
But generally, it typically takes between 1-2 weeks and $50-$150 for a simple suit alteration.
If you have less time at your disposal then you may need to pay a premium to get the job done faster.
So, it comes as no surprise to learn that one of the best things you can do is to plan ahead of time. Do your research and your due diligence on the different tailors and services in your area.
Consider that cheaper is not always preferable, nor is a more expensive tailoring service always going to be better.
Either way, just be sure to discuss the timeframes with your tailor and agree on a date for collection. Set your expectations and ensure you are ready for the occasion.
Let’s hope you didn’t leave the suit alterations too late!
Other guides you may want to read:
- How Long Does It Take To Get Fitted For A Tux? [What To Expect]
- How Much Does It Cost To Dry Clean A Suit? [On Average]
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!