How Much Can You Alter Our Garments?

HOW MUCH ALTER waistAssuming a minimum 1/4″ seam allowance, a suit jacket can be altered to let it out a total of 2 1/4″.  The collar can be raised 3/8″.


Measuring tailored clothing

The explosion of e-commerce sites has created a dilemma of how to address fit in a virtual environment. The focus of next week’s convention of the International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives will be on this subject and I am sure I will have lots to report when I get back from it.  We are also working on a special project which may revolutionize online shopping and is set to launch as soon as this summer.

One thing I will bring to readers now is that the methods and terminology used in sportswear is slightly different from that used for tailored clothing, and terms you may have seen used online at sites like e-bay may not be used the same way by tailored clothing manufacturers.  Having a basic knowledge of these terms will come in handy when talking to alterations tailors or when ordering made-to-measure garments, as it helps to be speaking the same “language”.

Below is a guide to the terms and measurement methods we use at Hart Schaffner Marx, and are also pretty much the industry standard in tailored clothing.

-Jeffery Diduch

HOW WE MEAS 1Measuring the jacket Back Length: lift the collar and measure from the base of the under collar to the hem of the jacket.

Measuring the Point to Point:measure from the intersection of the armhole seam and the shoulder seam, across to the same point on the other side of the jacket.

Measuring the Half-Back: measure from the armhole seam at the level of the elbow seam on the sleeve, across to the center back seam.

HOW WE MEAS 2Measuring the Half-Waist: With the jacket laid flat on a table, measure from the front edge to the center back seam, about 3″ above the pocket.

Measuring the Sleeve Inseam: Measure the inseam from the armhole to the hem.

HOW WE MEAS PANTS 1Measuring the trouser Inseam: measure the inseam from the crotch to the hem.

Measuring the trouser Outseam: Measure the outseam from the top of the waistband to the hem.

Measuring the Rise of the trouser: subtract the inseam measurement from the outseam measurement.

HOW WE MEAS PANTS 2The trouser Waist measurement is obtained by laying the garment flat and measuring from edge to edge inside the waistband and doubling this measurement.  It is common to allow 1/2″ wearing ease so a size 34 will often measure 34 1/2″.

The trouser Seat measurement is obtained by laying the garment flat with pleats open, and measuring from side to side around the level of the base of the fly.  Double this measurement.

This trouser Thigh is taken 1″ below the crotch, and doubled.

The Knee is measured 14″ below the crotch and doubled.

The Bottom (or Hem) is measured at the very bottom of a finished trouser or 6″ above the bottom of an unfinished trouser and doubled.