how long do suit alterations take

The Perfect Fit: How Long Do Suit Alterations Take?

There’s so much to say about the benefits of a perfectly-fitted suit. Not only does it project an air of confidence and class to any onlookers, but it makes the wearer feel similarly dignified and stylish. However, the alterations required to have such a perfect suit could leave you without it for some time. 

When taking a suit in for changes, you will likely wonder, “how long do suit alterations take?” In this post, we’ll answer that question and a few more, including “how long to get suit tailored” and “how long does tailoring take.”

How Long Does Alterations Take for Suits?

Many factors decide how long a tailor takes to make alterations to a suit. While there is no one size fits all answer, you can make a relatively safe estimate based on your situation. Two of the main elements that decide the length of a suit alteration are:

  • The tailor you take the suit to
  • What alterations your suit will receive
  • What time of year you’re making the alterations

While other aspects can change the time expected for a suit alteration, these are the main ones. How long do tailors take isn’t a set timeframe. 

In a popular mainstream department store, you can expect a long wait depending on the store’s backlog and the number of tailors they have. Depending on the time of year, at a popular store, you could expect to wait up to six weeks to complete your suit alterations. 

A smaller store will likely score you faster results at a cheaper rate. A smaller store with less volume can likely alter a suit within a few days, depending on what time of the week you give them the attire. Not only is it faster, but you’ll likely get better and more personalized results at a small business tailor. 

When Should I Get My Suit Altered?

When asking, “how long does suit alterations take?” you may wonder if your suit needs altering in the first place.

Whether your suit needs to be altered or fixed is up to you, but two of the most common causes for tailoring are if it fits improperly or is broken or torn in some way. 

If a suit is near-perfect but needs minor sizing alterations, you could choose to wait for a more severe problem. However, if the ensemble is damaged, it may be best to have the issue sorted out before you need to wear it again. 

Depending on the business, you also may have the option to have your suit alteration rushed by paying a premium on top of the alteration fee.

What If I Decide to Alter a Suit Myself?

Even for experienced tailors, tailoring involves many details and is time-consuming. However, if you decide to take matters into your own hands, be ready to spend a lot of time getting things right.

With tailoring being such a sought-after profession, it’s no surprise that the cost of making alterations to a suit can be exorbitant, so it makes sense to want to do some modifications on your own.  

While some tailoring is reasonably simple to do yourself, many changes will require a lot of time and patience to get right. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you are up to making your own alterations to a suit. 

If you can stay with it, “how long do suit alterations take?” could be faster for you than at a tailor, but it depends on your experience and how busy the business is.

What Are Some Common Suit Alterations?

Professional tailors have seen just about every issue a suit could have. While some problems may be more outlandish, some are near-everyday fixes. 

Suit alterations can take more or less time depending on the kind of fix that’s needed. Consider this when determining how long to expect a suit alteration to take. 

Here are a few common alterations that tailors make to suits. 

Shortening a Pants Length

Too-long pants are annoying enough even when wearing something casual like sweats. In the case of suits, too-long pants are a much more alarming problem. 

Stepping on pants is uncomfortable enough, but the last thing you want is to trample on your expensive suit. A quick shortening of the pants will fix this problem.

how long do suit alterations take

Adjusting the Waist Fit

While a belt can solve any issue involving a pant waist being too large, it scrunches up the fabric and looks improper. Though, if a suit’s midriff is too small, that’s immediately noticeable.

A waist is one of the most variable things on a person, hence the need for belts. So if you buy a store-bought suit, chances are you’ll need this adjustment for a perfect fit.

Adjusting the Shoulder Fit

Few things can make a suit look bad more than poorly-fitting shoulders. A good fit will involve a secure covering over the shoulders with no loose fabric.
However, a suit that’s too tight around the shoulders will be a very uncomfortable fit. 

Shortening the Sleeves

If you’ve ever seen children at a formal meeting, you may have seen young boys with suits with sleeves that go to the tips of their fingers. The easiest way to make yourself look younger or less professional is to have formal wear with sleeves that are too long for you.

If you’d prefer not to look like a child in a suit, a tailor can shorten its sleeves to fit your arms appropriately. 

Changing the Overall Size

While an outfit may not fit specific areas of the body, sometimes a suit can become too big or too small for a person. If a person gains or loses weight, their suit may not fit them as it used to.
A professional tailor can adjust these sizes but only so much. Typically, they can only alter the size of a suit by two sizes or less.

Fixing Buttons or Changing Button Placement

Breaking a button off is one of the most common damages any outfit will experience. Fortunately, this is a simple fix that any tailor can handle. If you’d rather have the buttons placed in different spots or have alternate buttons altogether, a tailor can change that.

How Much Does a Suit Alteration Cost?

As with everything else, a suit alteration’s cost depends on a few factors. So like the question “how long does it take to tailor a suit”—it depends. Of course, where you take your suit and what kind of alteration you request will play a role in the final price.

Because there is no set “suit alteration price,” it can vary greatly. A safe estimate is that you will pay between $30 and $400 for a modification. If you pay the rush fee for faster service, you can expect to pay an extra 50%.

Pros and Cons of a Tailored Suit

Few other pieces of clothing can match the elegance or sophistication of a perfectly tailored suit. However, this quality does come with a few strings attached over a store-bought option. Here are some of the pros and cons of getting a tailored suit. 


A Perfect Fit

No store-bought suit will fit you as well as a perfectly tailored suit. If a flawless fit is most important to you, then a professionally tailored suit is your best option.

You Can Get Exactly What You Want

While store-bought suits come in numerous choices, you’ll seldom find a perfect one. When you get your suit tailored, you control every minute detail, from the color, the pattern, the fabric, and more. A tailored suit can display your personality and fashion sense to a T.

A Great Choice for Most Situations

Tailored suits are highly versatile and are a good fit for many formal gatherings. Whether you’re a groomsman or applying for a job, a superbly tailored suit will help you stand out.

They Hold Up Better

As the direct product of a tailor, a tailored suit is well-made and durable. Tailors will use their expertise to make a suit built to last, ensuring it fits your body just as you want.


Tailored Suits Are Expensive

As great as tailored suits can be, there’s no question that they are much pricier than off-the-rack suits. If you want the quality and custom options of a tailored suit, expect to pay for the privilege.

You Have to Wait for It 

If you have a job interview tomorrow and don’t have a suit, good luck getting one tailored in time. While there are a lot of excellent qualities to a tailored suit, having it fast is not one of them.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Suit Tailored?

If you’re looking to get a new suit, you’ll need to go through the whole process from start to finish. “How long to tailor a suit” is a common question at the beginning, and it’s important to know, especially if you’ll need it sooner rather than later.

Depending on the changes you need, the tailoring process can take as little as a few days to as long as six weeks. Getting a fully tailored suit will typically take longer than making minor alterations to the one you already own. 

Many small-business tailors will be willing to commit to a deadline, so don’t be afraid to ask. Just keep in mind when you’ll need your suit and whether or not it may need changes afterward.

What Is the Process for Tailoring a Suit?

Buying the Suit

The first step in the process is to buy the suit that you’ll have tailored. Many suits start on a rack as a store-bought option as they are affordable and easy to find what you want.

Finding Your Measurements 

The essential aspect of getting a suit perfectly tailored to you is getting your measurements. You’ve probably seen it in a movie or TV show before, but the tailor will come out or bring you into a dressing room and take all of your relevant measurements. 

These measurements include:

  • Height
  • Chest Circumference (both over and underarm)
  • Shoulders
  • Waist
  • Coat Length
  • Inseam and Outseam
  • Thigh

Once these measurements are complete, the tailor will have what they need to proceed with your suit. They can also offer you a quote at this point. 

Modifying Your Suit

After taking your measurements, the tailor can begin working on making the suit fit perfectly for you. If the outfit was a decent fit, the tailor has less to work on than if many of your measurements were incongruent. 

For example, changing the overall body of the suit is much more challenging and time-consuming than moving buttons or shortening the pant legs. 

Further Fittings

You may think that one fitting is all you need for a perfect-fit suit. While this is sometimes the case, many will have to make further alterations to achieve a flawless look and feel.

A second or even third fitting may be in order depending on how accurate the first fitting was and whether or not your body changed in that time. 

Typically, multiple fittings will happen right before a wedding to ensure a perfect fit. 

From start to finish, getting a perfect suit takes a while, but it’s well worth it. Just ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep it as clean as possible for years to come. Keep in mind that you can’t clean all your clothing the same way.

The Perfect Place for Your Suit Alterations

How long do suit alterations take? As it turns out, not that long with our expert team at Martinizing Dry Cleaners. We’re ready to provide you with unmatched service and an excellent suit for your big day or just another outfit to have around. 

If you’re ready to get started with the best in the business, call Martinizing Dry Cleaners at (925) 270-4459 for professional suit alterations. And don’t forget, our services don’t stop at suits. Martinizing Dry Cleaners give just as much care and attention to your wedding dress and other formal wear, too!