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5 Ways to Make Your ‘Off the Peg’ Suits Look Better!

For some people the cost of a made-to-measure suit or a bespoke suit means that they may supplement their wardrobe with off the peg suits. Most of us have numerous off the peg suits that may or may not fit well. When a new client receives their first made-to-measure suit I am often asked to adjust their existing off the peg suits to have a similar fit. Clearly this is not possible but there are a number of things that you can look for that can improve the overall appearance significantly without having to break the bank.

1. The jacket taper: This is the fit around the stomach area that can be adjusted by taking in or releasing the rear side and centre seams. The adjustment can cost as little as £12 and can make an incredible difference to the fit of the suit. If you haven’t already taken your jacket to a tailor then do it this week! custom tuxedo NJ

2. The jacket shoulders: There is little you can do if the shoulders are too small but if they are too big then they can be trimmed for a better fit. This adjustment prevents the shoulder pads from sagging over the arm which creates the look of a boy in his Dad’s jacket!

3. Sleeve length: The length of the jacket sleeve is subjective. I personally like to see about ¼ inch of shirt cuff. If your cuffs are working (can be undone) then any alterations to the sleeve length will have to be made from the shoulder which can be quite expensive. However, the majority of tailors will shorten a sleeve for around £8.

4. Trouser waist: If the waist is too big then please don’t ratchet up your belt a notch to compensate….this only serves to create a waistband like a drawstring tracksuit trouser! Trousers can be easily taken in for as little as £6 and should sit comfortably on the hip without the need for a belt.

5. Trouser length: There are a number of factors that can influence the length of the trousers including the size of the cuff and the style of the shoe. However, as a rule of thumb I would suggest that the front of the trousers should have a single break on the shoe, and the back of the trouser leg should sit where the leather meets the heel of the shoe.

Footnote

This article was written by David Brooke, Managing Director of made-to-measure and bespoke tailor Mathieson & Brooke Tailors Ltd (M&BT). M&BT design and make made-to-measure suits for business and weddings. They also make made-to-measure and bespoke golf trousers

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