Suit waistcoat fit: to eat or not to eat...

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Anthony_Eden, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Dear fellow members,

    Today I have a pretty trivial or essential question on fit: what is the proper fit of a well tailored waistcoat (part of a 3-pieces suit) in the 20-30's with beautiful waist supression?

    I am no newbie in this but I recently am hesitating between 2 measurements. (My suits are made to measure, not bespoke, high waisted pants with braces, and short waistcoat)

    Here is my experiment.
    1/ In the morning, the waistcoat (tailored slim and snuggly but with enough room), is perfect fit. Both standing and seated. Double or single breasted.

    2/ After lunch problems start. Becomes tight at waist. Relaxing the back cinch doesn't help much because there is not enough excess fabric (on some I ordered a rommier cut but it "bunddles" and is not very flattering). Sitting is uncomfy. I unbuton the inside button on the double breasted.

    Becomes better in the afternoon after a while, and then same trouble (even more) after dinner.

    3/ In general sitting in front of desk is OK, but if your back is not upright and your position more relaxed, it is uncomfy at stomach. So it forces you to "behave".

    4/ Double breasted feels tighter than single breasted after meal (even with the same waist measurements).

    So my question is quite simple: is it normal? My tailor says that's life but still I am wondering.

    Or should I next time get a larger size at the risk of having a less sharp line?

    Thanks for your piece of advices,
     
  2. Canadian

    Canadian One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Get a larger size. What you are describing is a waistcoat that to me, sounds too small.

    There is no hard and fast rule about whether a waistcoat must be double or single breasted, and if they fit properly, either option is fine.

    A sharp line works with clothing that fits. Don't go MTM without a perfect fit.

    C.
     
    Edward likes this.
  3. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    8,970
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    I would get measured after dinner.
     
  4. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    In my experience, tailors, suits-for-fashion wearers, and working stiffs have dramatically different perspectives on fit. This is because, when suits are a workaday uniform you wear for 12+ hours, you tend to place a premium on comfort!

    To communicate this to a tailor, I tell them that I am willing to sacrifice a perfectly trim fit for comfort and utility. Then, I explain that I like ease built into the waistband, seat, thighs, vest, and jacket waist to allow for comfort, "cargo" and extra layers when it's cold. It is amazing how just the addition of thick sweater, bulky wallet, or smartphone and accessories can screw up the fit of an "aggressively" tailored garment.
     
    Mathematicus likes this.
  5. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I agree with Guttersnipe. I've worked in a large IT firm form a few time and everybody wore suits and obviously there were some very fashion-conscious people that wore skin-tight trousers with virtually no ease at thighs, knee, ankle paired with the usual extra-short jacket with huge armholes, undersized torso and high button stance. These colleaugues were continuously complaining about the discomfort of wearing suits every day and usually questioned me for wearing my jacket most of the day, frequently even when seated!
     
    Michael A likes this.
  6. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Hi, thanks for your advices. Yes I think there are too small now. Maybe I put on some weight a little too...

    I will go to see my tailor next week and ask him to enlarge the waistcoats by 4cm at chest and waist. Hope it will do. A silly question is how will he do it ? Like adding bits of fabrics on each sides? Or recutting all the backs ? (unlikely I guess because too much work). Because unlike trousers, I guess there is no excess fabric left for that operation.

    Another incident puzzling question is I measured my different waistcoats and they are all different chests and waist sizes. And strangely, with the same measurements, some feel tighter than others.

    Best,
     
  7. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Alterations on waistcoats are usually quite easy: as there is no spare lining in the majority of the cases, one usually adds some strips at the sides. Replacing the back can also be done, but only in more extreme cases.

    Regarding the fit issues, my only guess is that chest measurement for a waistcoat is usually taken at armpits, but this point is highly variable in height. Waistcoats with higher armscye will have a chest measurement closer to the actual body girth, while the lower the armscye is placed, the narrower this measurement should be. In practice, however, one often sees waistcoats with very low armscyes and wide pit-to-pit measurement, which reflects in a baggy fit.
     
  8. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,969
    Location:
    New Forest
    My brown pinstripe, three piece suit, shrunk at the dry cleaners, as did a lot of my other clothes, of course I've stayed as svelte as ever. The single breasted, waistcoat, or vest, become a tad snug. The back of the waistcoat is a gold satin, exactly the same as the jacket lining. To expand it, my wife found an exact match of material, she then cut the waistcoat straight up the centre of the back, after first removing the tightening belt and buckle. She then sewed in a new panel about an inch and a half wide. Once done, she cleverly hid the join by creating a box pleat, like the ones you see on a fitted shirt, all the way down the centre. The finished appearance looks like it was made like it from new.
     
  9. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

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    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Good Lord, I have to find such a wife ;-) I am the one sewing the lost buttons but I must confess that my sewing talents stop there!
     
  10. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Hi, a little update here : I went to my tailor and he told me i put on some weight and that +2cm at waist was needed. He didn't wand to add the striped fabric on each side, and suggested for 50 EUR to recut the whole back of each waistcoat. What do you think about that?
     
  11. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,969
    Location:
    New Forest
    What your tailor suggests is similar to the alteration that my wife did for me, and that worked very well. So you have two choices, cough up 50 Euros and have the work done, or lose weight.
    Joking aside, it's not easy to maintain a constant weight as you get older and as you have discovered, alterations can be expensive. It's worth considering, especially with trousers, to buy pants with a hidden expander. That alteration that my did to the waistcoat pales into insignificance when you compare it with the work she did to expand my trousers.
    She unpicked the whole waistband, took out the zipper fly, unpicked the entire length of the crotch seam, opened out the overlap that the tailor had left when making the trousers, then she sewed the crotch seam back up. She then unpicked the back of the removed waistband and opened that up, much the same as the crotch seam, before sewing it back up. Then she refitted the fly zipper before she finally sewed the waistband back on. The dry cleaner did a brilliant job of pressing out the creases and there was no discolouration or fade showing, but what a job, remember I have two pairs of suit pants, and it could have all been prevented if I had the foresight to have asked for waist expanders.
     
  12. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Good morning !

    Just a little update, I got my waistcoats back from the tailor, and I am quite happy with the alterations... On some waistcoats he added two stripes of fabric on the side, on one other, he could fnd some extra material (by letting out some more fabric of the back lining). So I can breathe again !!!

    I also have a silly question: I have the impression that to be worn with suspenders (instead of side adjusters), the suspenders fitting requires the waistcoat to be slightly roomier, maybe 1-2 cm at the waist. Usually the cinch can do the trick. Is that so or am I overthinking?

    Best,
     
  13. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    8,970
    Location:
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    Do you mean 1 or 2 cm due to the suspenders coming down to the trousers in 4 places? If so, then yes, the cinch should take care of it, assuming the waistcoat doesn't just barely fit without it being cinched at all.
     
  14. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Over the hills and far way
    Exactly so ;-) (Sorry English is not my first language so sometimes my messages are a bit convoluted :) I say that because I observed this morning that I had to loosen the cinch of my waistcoat (and usually it is the contrary because when out of closet, last time used was evening and I use to enlarge the waist after dinner already)

    I guess all good tailors know that already and there is no use precising it when ordering a made-to-measure suit ? (I usually ask for side adjusters + suspenders buttons)
     
    scottyrocks likes this.
  15. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,970
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    Gotcha. I don't go for bespoke much.

    When I buy off the rack, I allow myself a shred of extra room that can be cinched up and then released as needed.
     
  16. carlm21

    carlm21 New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    nice post thanks
     

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