Today I want to talk about a few alterations or repairs that you can make to your suit jackets or sport coats to get them to fit better and last longer. We all know about reduce, reuse, recycle, which is so important as we try not to be wasteful with our wardrobes. If you’re spending a lot of money on a decent suit or sport coat there are a few different ways to make sure that it lasts longer.

First, I want to address the fit. If the body of your jacket is not fitting correctly and it’s too big we can take in the sides. Sometimes your tailor can also let out the seams in the back to give you more room to button. This is a very simple way to maintain that the fit of your jacket or to fit it to you after your body changes. Material is something that is important to keep in mind as some materials will show stitches or creases and cannot be let out.  You can gain or lose up to 30 lbs and still tailor your jacket.

Another alteration is shortening (or lengthening) the sleeves. This is a good way to reuse a jacket that was not originally purchased by you, or a good way to modernize the fit of a jacket you may have. You can also have your sleeves tapered (trimmed) to make them more proportional to your body and the cut of the jacket. These two quick alterations can help give your jacket new life.

Changing the buttons is also another very easy way to maintain your jacket. Simply swapping out the buttons can elevate style or just make your suit or sport coat appear more modern. If you have a jacket that doesn’t fit anymore or is just past its prime, keep the buttons if you like them and add them to another suit or blazer that you may have in your closet.  It can be tricky at times finding a great set of buttons.  Before you donate or get rid of a jacket (or suit) check the buttons.  If you like them, save them for a future garment.

The lining of your jacket is also an area that sometimes needs attention. With wear and tear, sometimes you will see holes in the arm and body. Take this to your tailor (like myself) and just have them quickly patch it up.  It is important to keep your lining in good shape as that will also assist in maintaining the structure and protecting your jacket on the inside. If the lining is too damaged to repair but the shell of the jacket is still in good shape, you can always have the entire lining replaced.  Sure, this maybe pricy but the time and effort to find a new jacket may take you more time and resources.  You have to decide if it’s worth it.

Something to keep in mind, especially if you have wool jackets, is the possibility for moths to cause damage. Periodically, you should go through your closet and just double check that’s there are none in your clothing, and maybe add a few mothballs as a protective measure. Moths can do some serious damage if you are not mindful of them.

Another good thing you can do is get a good quality hanger. Never use cheap wire hangers with your good jackets (or any jackets). Instead get a wide rounded hanger that will support the shoulders. The shoulders and chest of a jacket are the key points that everybody sees, so you want to keep them intact and looking nice.

Hopefully these tips are helpful in maintaining your suiting. If you have any questions, feel free to come see me at:

Q Contrary
3188 East Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85016