clothingconnoisseur

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I recently purchased 4 new suits during Paul Stuart's massive sale this summer. Two were a size 46R and two were 45R - all Paul fit. When I bought them, I had just lost about 15 pounds and had gone down from a size 48R on the Paul fit. The two 46R fit perfectly and only needed to shorten the sleeves and pants and the 45R were a little snug in the waist of the jackets I could wear them without buttoning the jackets and I knew that would be an easy fix so I decided to wait on fixing that. I picked up the suits last week, about 5 weeks after purchasing them since I was away for the month of August and I lost about another 10 pounds since my purchase. The 45R suits now fit perfectly but the 46R are a little big.

I know that taking in the 46 to 45 is not a big deal but I am wondering how far I can go on these. Can I go to a 44 or even a 42? I don't care that much if it is expensive to have it done, given that I only paid about $4,000 for the 4 suits it would be a worthwhile expenditure. My weight loss was due to a permanent change in diet due to being diagnosed with pre-diabetes so I am not sure where my weight will level off. I have not been this size in about 15 years, I am 51 years old and if I level off here that is fine. However, if I go back to my weight from 25 years ago, I will be at a 42R and I am concerned that I will not be able to save my suits.

If anyone can provide advice on if this is possible and also a competent tailor if necessary, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
I recently purchased 4 new suits during Paul Stuart's massive sale this summer. Two were a size 46R and two were 45R - all Paul fit. When I bought them, I had just lost about 15 pounds and had gone down from a size 48R on the Paul fit. The two 46R fit perfectly and only needed to shorten the sleeves and pants and the 45R were a little snug in the waist of the jackets I could wear them without buttoning the jackets and I knew that would be an easy fix so I decided to wait on fixing that. I picked up the suits last week, about 5 weeks after purchasing them since I was away for the month of August and I lost about another 10 pounds since my purchase. The 45R suits now fit perfectly but the 46R are a little big.

I know that taking in the 46 to 45 is not a big deal but I am wondering how far I can go on these. Can I go to a 44 or even a 42? I don't care that much if it is expensive to have it done, given that I only paid about $4,000 for the 4 suits it would be a worthwhile expenditure. My weight loss was due to a permanent change in diet due to being diagnosed with pre-diabetes so I am not sure where my weight will level off. I have not been this size in about 15 years, I am 51 years old and if I level off here that is fine. However, if I go back to my weight from 25 years ago, I will be at a 42R and I am concerned that I will not be able to save my suits.

If anyone can provide advice on if this is possible and also a competent tailor if necessary, I would greatly appreciate it.
Since 'size' refers to every aspect of a suit, it's not that useful a delineator in judging how and where a suit can be reduced. Generally speaking, if you remain the same height and you're okay with present shoulder width, then your concern is with chest and waist, both of which can be modified to a large degree through side seam take-in, intermediate seam take-in and dart depth adjustment. Since my 42 has been sucessfully brought back to a 39, I wou,d think a 45 to a 42 would work equally as well. But you have to be satisfied with current shoulders.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
There's a clothier from NY who will no doubt chime with his usual claim that you can take a size 46R suit, dismantle it, re-cut it, and re-make it into a size 36R suit, but ignore him. As Peak & Pine has noted, there's not too much that can be done other than tightening up the waist. I had this done to an orphaned suit jacket that I got in a thrift store and it was not a lot but just enough to give the jacket some shape which it didn't really have before. Go to a good alternations person and you should be okay.
 

icky thump

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I recently purchased 4 new suits during Paul Stuart's massive sale this summer. Two were a size 46R and two were 45R - all Paul fit. When I bought them, I had just lost about 15 pounds and had gone down from a size 48R on the Paul fit. The two 46R fit perfectly and only needed to shorten the sleeves and pants and the 45R were a little snug in the waist of the jackets I could wear them without buttoning the jackets and I knew that would be an easy fix so I decided to wait on fixing that. I picked up the suits last week, about 5 weeks after purchasing them since I was away for the month of August and I lost about another 10 pounds since my purchase. The 45R suits now fit perfectly but the 46R are a little big.

I know that taking in the 46 to 45 is not a big deal but I am wondering how far I can go on these. Can I go to a 44 or even a 42? I don't care that much if it is expensive to have it done, given that I only paid about $4,000 for the 4 suits it would be a worthwhile expenditure. My weight loss was due to a permanent change in diet due to being diagnosed with pre-diabetes so I am not sure where my weight will level off. I have not been this size in about 15 years, I am 51 years old and if I level off here that is fine. However, if I go back to my weight from 25 years ago, I will be at a 42R and I am concerned that I will not be able to save my suits.

If anyone can provide advice on if this is possible and also a competent tailor if necessary, I would greatly appreciate it.
Same boat here.

In my opinion, maybe one size (from a 46 to a 44) but that's it.

I went from a 50 to a 42 and probably less (have not worn a suit since March). In the interim I bought a few size 44 J Press suits and I tried to have them taken in to a 42 and they just looked like crap. Not only did my waist and chest change but so did my shoulders, dramatically.

If you have a goal weight there's no reason you can't get there. I would really try to limit purchases until you get there.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Same boat here.

In my opinion, maybe one size (from a 46 to a 44) but that's it.

I went from a 50 to a 42 and probably less (have not worn a suit since March). In the interim I bought a few size 44 J Press suits and I tried to have them taken in to a 42 and they just looked like crap. Not only did my waist and chest change but so did my shoulders, dramatically.

If you have a goal weight there's no reason you can't get there. I would really try to limit purchases until you get there.
"I went from a 50 to a 42 and probably less (have not worn a suit since March."

You have walked the path that I am attempting to transit. I want to downsize, but I do not want to lose the shoulders, wedged back and defined pecs of which the wife is rather fond. You mentioned your shoulders and chest downsized. Were you doing any weight/resistance training during your weight loss journey? :icon_scratch:
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
It depends on how the suit was cut originally and where the suit needs to be taken in. Often they can be reduced one full size, but even then it's not always possible.

I know a superb alterations tailor named David Leung on Lexington Ave between 92nd and 93rd St. He is good enough to know when you can't take in a garment and will advise against poor alterations.
 

clothingconnoisseur

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It depends on how the suit was cut originally and where the suit needs to be taken in. Often they can be reduced one full size, but even then it's not always possible.

I know a superb alterations tailor named David Leung on Lexington Ave between 92nd and 93rd St. He is good enough to know when you can't take in a garment and will advise against poor alterations.
Thanks for the feedback. I also picked up a sport jacket today at Mitchell's while I was in Westport in a size 42R that I am having let out a bit in the waist - currently a 38 waist based on the 3 pairs of Incotex pants I picked up while I was there. The jacket is a brand I never heard of before, Munro. It was a great fabric but priced at $950 I am not sure if it is full canvass, half canvass or fused. It doesn't really matter much since I loved the fabric and fit.
 

icky thump

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
"I went from a 50 to a 42 and probably less (have not worn a suit since March."

You have walked the path that I am attempting to transit. I want to downsize, but I do not want to lose the shoulders, wedged back and defined pecs of which the wife is rather fond. You mentioned your shoulders and chest downsized. Were you doing any weight/resistance training during your weight loss journey? :icon_scratch:
Some, let's say 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times per week. I can't do heavy weight any more, too many injuries. Now, basically Nike Fit Club workouts with 10-15 lb weighs (all I could find).

But keep in mind, I am down just about 10 sizes (probably could fit into a 40 for some brands). There's no way to drop that much weight without trimming from everywhere.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Some thoughts: First, buying clothes, especially suits, in the middle of a weight loss programme is dicey. Since this has already happened, the question becomes how to move forward.

I would suggest that alterations not be done until you have reached your weight goal and stabilized. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and lost close to 30 pounds in four months, and have continued to lose some weight since then. I think I am fairly stable now, but I have had to take in a lot of trousers, and some suit and sports jackets. Fortunately, I have an excellent tailor who has done a great job.

Second, large changes won't be possible in a jacket without ruining its line. One to to two inches at most at the waist (side seams), perhaps an inch at the back to alter the chest (back seam) -- that's about all one can do. You can change the length by about half an inch to an inch -- this is very tricky since pocket position and button stance will all be altered to some degree. Skill is key here. Sleeves, of course, are easy unless you have surgeon's cuffs. Shoulders can be picked and altered, but it is exceedingly difficult. My tailor did it once for me years ago (a Harris tweed jacket bought on a sale), and I was astonished at how well it came out. That was when I understood how great this chap was!

Disassembling a garment and re-cutting it into a differently sized garment can be done by a skilled tailor, but for most garments it is too costly a venture. Aeons ago, in India, my tailor re-cut some of my Dad's baggy worsted wool trousers for me, and refashioned them to fit me. Tailors were not expensive then in that society, and they were willing to experiment. A much better solution would be to pass that garment on to someone for whom it will be a proper fit.
 
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Theoden

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Exactly, it seems that as I'm losing weight, it's not too smart to buy "investment pieces" that you will need to toss out. I'm guessing shoes, watches are worth the investment since you'll keep those. I did pick up shorts and a few polo shirt to treat myself as a reward for the weight loss, but they are not major investments. In a pinch I can pick up inexpensive khakis until I level out.
 

Troones

Senior Member
I lost significant weight a couple of years ago, then put it all back on within a year when work life got stressful. Then I lost my job at Christmas, right before Covid became reality for the world. I gained even more. I read that surveys found that 40% of people had gained weight due to the stress of the pandemic situation. So I decided enough was enough and busted my butt to get back in shape. I've lost 30 lbs since early July and I'll keep going. And this time I'm determined to keep it off. I know the traps and won't fall into them again.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I lost significant weight a couple of years ago, then put it all back on within a year when work life got stressful. Then I lost my job at Christmas, right before Covid became reality for the world. I gained even more. I read that surveys found that 40% of people had gained weight due to the stress of the pandemic situation. So I decided enough was enough and busted my butt to get back in shape. I've lost 30 lbs since early July and I'll keep going. And this time I'm determined to keep it off. I know the traps and won't fall into them again.
The very best of luck to you. Managing weight can be a difficult task, especially as we grow older. As a psychologist, I know that a major part of weight management is mental -- it can be a roller-coaster emotionally as well as physically!
 

TKI67

Super Member
The very best of luck to you. Managing weight can be a difficult task, especially as we grow older. As a psychologist, I know that a major part of weight management is mental -- it can be a roller-coaster emotionally as well as physically!
That is so profoundly true! In late 2019 my wife joined Noom. I tagged along, reading the educational materials, tracking intake and exercise. Around Christmas I did not appear particularly overweight at 5'10" and 195 or a tad less.

When the pandemic arrived I took advantage of the time to expand my cooking repertoire to make things both enjoyable and weight management friendly. We both walk about three miles each day. I run the uphills, but my 71 year old knees with a history of sports injuries do not run well on flats and are in serious danger running downhill. I have taken to doing planks since pushups hurt my shoulders, which also have a legacy of athletic mishaps.

Now at 153 and almost done with my tummy, exercise is easier and more fun. Most importantly we have both really reinforced the positive aspects of the way we now eat. Simply put, we now have a much more healthy emotional relationship with food.

All of the other approaches to dieting simply focused on guilt and self-denial, both easy to use as justification for doing stupid things!
 
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