Guide to Suit Alterations - Costs and Considerations for Pants
After our lengthy article on suit jacket alterations, you’ll be relieved to know that pants are less complicated and so there isn’t a huge variety of options when it comes to alterations. Nevertheless, with a few tweaks, you can instantly go from scruffy to polished, making suit pants alterations a worthy affair. We’ve prepared a guide with the most common trouser alterations and how much you should expect to pay. Once you’re able to identify the issues and notice a recurring problem with your trousers, you might be interested to know that the benefits of custom-tailored suits extend beyond saving you the trouble of alterations.
The general principles of jacket alterations apply to pants as well:
- It’s easier to take in than to let out
- The greater the level of complexity, degree of craftsmanship and time required to perform the alterations, the greater the cost
- Tailors can do a lot, but they can’t fix everything!
Crop your pants to just the length you want
Problem: Too Long
Can it be fixed?: This is the most common and simplest alteration. Pants can be shortened or “hemmed” however much you like. In fact, most off-the-rack trousers are purposely made too long so that they can be shortened to a length of your liking.
Problem: Too short
Can it be fixed?: How much the pants can be lengthened depends on the amount of excess fabric tucked away at the bottom. Higher-quality pants have unfinished hems, which allow for a generous amount of lengthening. If you so desire, you can also turn the extra material into cuffs.
Problem: Waist too tight/loose
Can it be fixed?: Taking in or letting out the waist of your pants is certainly possible. There’s more room to take the waist in than to let it out, as there is only so much extra fabric at the seams. Take note, however, that the best outcome is achieved if the seat of your pants is also altered. For example, if you reduced the waistband, there will be excess fabric covering your rear end that need to be removed and vice versa.
Problem: Crotch too tight/loose
Can it be fixed?: This alteration shouldn’t pose much trouble at all, and it’s a worthy one to make you feel comfortable in your pants.
Are your pants too tight to sit in?
Problem: Thighs too tight
Can it be fixed?:To a certain extent, pants that are too tight around the thighs can be let-out and loosened. The price on how many sides the letting out will occur from (two or four), and from which areas.
Problem: Pants too loose
Can it be fixed?: Unless you have a pair of pants that are so large they’d have to be completely re-cut, tapering or slim-lining your pants is a relatively easy affair. Consider also from where you’d like your pants tapered - the thigh or below the knee - as this affects the cost. Perhaps it’s not a matter of tightness but style? Pant legs can be tapered down to your ankles to your liking for a slim look.
Problem: Rise too high/low
Can it be fixed?: How you like your rise - low, mid or high - is mostly a personal preference. However, the same “mid-rise” pants can look quite different on two different people because body shape affects how high or low the waistband sits. If it’s too low, it might be difficult to walk comfortably. It requires a lot of work to lower or raise the waistband. Beyond moving a few centimetres in either direction, the balance of your pants will be affected and things like pockets will need to be moved as well.