Alterations Guide

Posted on

Alterations Guide by Paul Evans

A Guide On What Can Be Altered

The problem with clothes is that they’re designed to fit both everyone and no one at the same time. Garments are made according to patterns (typically drafted on a computer) made to measurements of some imaginary person of “average” size. So there’s an “average” size small, “average” size medium, so on and so forth. Since nobody perfectly fits that average, clothes always fit a bit off, which is why it’s important to get things tailored post-purchase.

But what aspects can be tailored?

For a suit jacket or sport coat, almost everything except the shoulders, chest, and length. When trying on a jacket, make sure the shoulders of the jacket end near where your natural shoulder terminates, and that the chest doesn’t feel too loose or tight. You can tell if it’s too tight if the lapels start to bow away from your body. The length should also be about right, although you can shorten it just a bit if necessary. If you take too much away, however, you’ll throw off the balance of the jacket, where the buttons begin to look awkward if situated too close to the hem.

On the upside, the waist can easily be let out or taken in by about an inch, to give a slimmer or fuller look. The sleeves can be taken up or down an inch or so as well, though this is sometimes made more complicated if the sleeves have working buttonholes (meaning they’re actually punched through). If the buttonholes are functional, you might have to alter from the sleeves by taking it up from the shoulder, which will be more expensive.

Shirts are similar to jackets in that you want the shoulders and chest to fit well. It’s not that these can’t be altered on a shirt; it’s that altering them can be expensive and not worth the cost. On the upside, the waist can easily and affordably be brought in at the side seams, and if you need to take out fullness in the lower back, a tailor can insert darts (which is a type of seam). Sleeves can be brought up at the cuff or shoulders (though not as easily let out since there’s rarely excess material). You can also make the collar or cuffs tighter or looser by simply moving the buttons about a quarter of inch in either direction.

For pants, you mostly just need to make sure the thighs and rise fit you well. The rise is the measure of your pants from the crotch seam to the waistband – it determines how high the trousers sit on your body. If these fit to your liking, much of the rest can be altered. The legs can be slimmed down or tapered easily from the knee down, either from the inside seam or outseam (or both). The waist can be taken in or let out two or three inches if there’s material inside to allow, and darts can be put in at waistband to make it hug a bit more closely to the body. The legs can also be easily shortened, and pleats can be taken out, though results on the second can get a bit dicey.

Accessories and footwear are perhaps the simplest. Ties can be narrowed or even widened by a tie specialist (I recommend TieCrafters, who’ll take mail orders). Belts can be shortened by just cutting the belt down from the buckle side, so that you don’t need to punch any additional holes. Shoes can be made snugger by inserting insoles, tongue pads, or heel pads, and looser by bringing them to a cobbler, who will expand them (width wise, not length wise) with a shoe stretcher. You can even stretch tight hats a bit so they feel more comfortable.

When purchasing something, don’t forget to set aside a little money for alterations. Few things fit perfectly off-the-rack (though, shoes and accessories are often fine). Doing so will make your clothes look twice as good and three times as expensive.

SEARCH THIS STORE

icon/arrow/left Created with Sketch.
Start Over
icon/arrow/right Created with Sketch.
Back

Size Guide

{{ menu.title }}

icon/caret/down Created with Sketch.

Find Your Size

Answer a few questions to find your perfect size

Read the Fit Guide

Some helpful tips to keep in mind

icon/chart Created with Sketch.

View Size Chart

See all sizes in US, Euro, and UK

{{ this.submenusel }} / {{ this.totalslide }}

Tell us more about your:

Dress Shoe Size (US)

Athletic Shoe Size (US)

icon/shoe/size/dress Created with Sketch.

I don't know my sizes

What is your dress shoe size (US)?

What is your athletic shoe size (US)?

5.0
5.5
6.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
10.5
11.0
11.5
12.0
13.0
14.0
15.0
16.0

How would you describe the width of your foot?

Narrow

Regular

Wide

You're most likely a
Paul Evans

{{ this.newsize }}

And if it doesn't fit, don't worry! We offer free shipping and returns.

Select Size icon/arrow/right Created with Sketch.

We recommend ordering a full size below your regular US dress shoe size.

icon/fitguide/01_sizing Created with Sketch. < 8 7

Like most other Italian brands (Gucci, Prada, Tod's), our shoes run a full size larger than US dress shoe brands.

Extra room in your toes is by design. Think sleek and sexy.

Resist the urge to press down on your toes to assess the fit. There's always going to be extra room because of the shape of our shoe lasts.

You have the perfect fit when:

icon/fitguide/03_fit Created with Sketch.

There is enough room across the widest part of your foot and your heel sits comfortably in the shoe. If you can confidently strut your stuff in the shoes, you're good to go.

And don't worry about minor heel slippage or extra room in the your toes!

Minor heel slippage is normal in a new pair of leather-soled shoes.

icon/fitguide/04_heel Created with Sketch.

After you break in your new shoes, the heel slippage will stop. Our Italian calfskin leather needs a chance to conform to your foot. If it doesn't, email us and we'll make it right.

Paul Evans US (Dress) Euro UK
5.0 6.0 39 5.5
5.5 6.5 39 6.0
6.0 7.0 40 6.5
6.5 7.5 40-41 7.0
7.0 8.0 41 7.5
7.5 8.5 41-42 8.0
8.0 9.0 42 8.5
8.5 9.5 42-43 9.0
9.0 10.0 43 9.5
9.5 10.5 43-44 10.0
10.0 11.0 44 10.5
10.5 11.5 44-45 11.0
11.0 12.0 45 11.5
11.5 12.5 45-46 12.0
12.0 13.0 46 12.5
13.0 14.0 47 13.5
14.0 15.0 48 14.5
15.0 16.0 49 15.5
16.0 17.0 50 16.5
{{ buttonText }} icon/arrow/right Created with Sketch.
Size Guide