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Get your jeans altered

13 December 2010

Few people get their jeans altered, even if they would do so with a suit or dress trousers. A few reasons spring to mind. It may seem incongruous to try to perfect the fit of such casual trousers. It may be assumed that the designers of jeans know what they’re doing. Or it may be presumed that a tailor cannot alter jeans.

Let’s handle the first two together. Jeans, like all readymade trousers, are designed on a standard block that it has been calculated will fit the most people – or, perhaps realistically, that the fewest people will complain about. As to the design, some men may specifically want the low-slung shape that dominates the jeans market, but in my experience they are the minority. Most men like the styling of jeans but find the waist too large for the fit they want elsewhere. Hence the ubiquity of jeans with belts.

They should have their jeans altered. Taking in the waist will do little to alter the styling of the jeans, as long as it is not extreme. And it’s pretty hard to make extreme alterations on jeans, because after a couple of inches the back pockets collide. Leave a decent gap between your back pockets and you’ll be fine.

Which brings us to the third myth: any decent alterations tailor can alter jeans. As with any alteration, I’d prefer a proper tailor (one that makes things as well as taking them apart) but all of them should be able to do it.

The only problem will be that the thread may not match. It will be very close in colour (usually orange) but perhaps not as thick. That doesn’t bother me but I’m sure there are denim junkies out there for which it would be anathema. If it bothers you, a good haberdasher should be able to source something closer. A high-end jeans maker may supply spare thread or even offer to do the alteration themselves.

Other advice I would have is to make sure jeans are worn in before you have them altered. This is particularly true of raw denim. Pictured are Albam’s regular leg jeans.