The importance of dressing well cannot be understated. Especially in the professional world, clothes reflect our personalities and say what words cannot — a well-fitted suit can suggest that you’re well put together, while a poorly-fitted suit can do just the opposite. The Blazer, or suit jacket is a dress essential, a key component of a suit and an item that can enhance any casual outfit (a button down or graphic tee with jeans comes to mind). Finding a good blazer that fits well (read: perfectly) can be tricky, especially as a shorter man. Buying off-the-rack, while the most cost-effective, can yield blazers with measurements that are unforgiving especially if you're under a certain height (we'd say under 5'5). Though it may present itself as a challenge, there are many ways you can get the fit you need at a price that’s fair.
See Also: Alterations For Short Men: Pants, Jeans, and Slacks
The unpredictable selection of men’s formal wear has lead many of us to seek alternate solutions to finding a personalized fit, mainly in made-to-measure and bespoke clothing. Made-to-measure clothing uses a base pattern for a specific item and alters it slightly, adjusting to your measurements. Bespoke, on the other hand, creates an entirely individualized pattern, just for you. Both can turn out incredibly well-fitted clothing and suit jackets, but can be costly. Shops such as Indochino and Astor & Black cater to this demographic. If you have that type of money, then go for it!
A third option, however, and a much more practical solution is having your suit jacket altered. That is what we've been covering here in our Alterations For Short Men series. To recap, altering takes your existing clothes and tailors them to fit your body without the need to buy a customized item, effectively allowing you to buy off-the-rack and alter later. You are in the driver's seat here. It's best you seek out a trusted tailor with an excellent reputation and build a good professional relationship with them as they will help you to look your best. If you love their work, you will go back again and again (trust me on this one).
How Much Alterations Costs Depends On What's Being Altered | Source: ShortGuyCentral
The most important part of an alteration is discovering where the work needs to be done and having your measurements ready. When buying a blazer off-the-rack, the most important measurement to consider is in the shoulders. Letting out a blazer is one of the more difficult and time consuming alterations to have done, making it also one of the most expensive. If the shoulders fit, however, the rest should be a breeze. Shortening or tapering suit jacket sleeves is a relatively easy and affordable alteration and can make a world of difference. The same can be said of the length of the jacket. It's also important to note, that when choosing between a classic and slim fitted jacket, a slim fit will inherently have less fabric and will likely require the least work, saving you time and money.
See Also: Alterations For Short Men: Dress Shirts
As we've been saying throughout this series, alterations are the most practical and economical way to get a well-fitted blazer without having to change your shopping habits. It’s easy to buy the suit jacket you want and customize it to fit your body type later and achieve the highly quality look of a bespoke or made-to-measure jacket without the high cost. Stay tuned for more parts in this series!
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