How to Reduce or Increase the Size of a Vest (Easy Tips) Update 05/2022

A vest, sometimes known as a waistcoat, is a suit-wearing garment worn primarily by males. A well-fitted vest enhances your overall appearance, whereas an ill-fitted vest merely makes you look shabby.
So, what are your options for dealing with an ill-fitting vest? Is it possible to make a vest smaller or larger? The quick answer is yes; vests can be tailored to your exact measurements. We’ll go through where you may make modifications and how to alter vests made of various fabrics in this article.

Can You Alter a Vest?

While vests can be adjusted, there aren’t as many options as there are for other men’s clothes like coats and jeans. In comparison, the design of a vest does not necessitate a lot of fabric, and there isn’t much canvas for you or a tailor to work with if you wish to make changes.
How A Waistcoat Should Fit | Top Guide To Men's Vests
If a vest is too big or too small for you, however, certain changes can be made to make it fit you exactly. Here are three crucial guidelines to follow when modifying vests:
  • The vest should fit snugly against your body without becoming uncomfortable.
  • The front of your vest should always cover your pants’ waistband.
  • Between the hems of the vest and the jeans, the shirt you wear under it should never show.

Can You Get a Vest Shortened?

A vest’s length can be reduced if it is too lengthy for you. It is, however, a difficult undertaking to undertake. This is due to the fact that the waistcoat features various design components, including as buttons, buttonholes, and pockets, whose symmetry and balance would be severely disrupted if the length were changed.
Do not attempt to adjust the length of your vest if it is too long for you. It should be taken to a tailor. Most tailors might not be up to the task, either, because this is severe work that could jeopardize the vest’s overall integrity.
When there isn’t much work to be done, only change the length of your vest and approach a skilled tailor. If the adjustment needs substantial surgery on your vest, you will not only have to pay a lot of money, but it may not be worth it because the outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Nobody wants a vest that appears to have been poorly constructed.

Shorten Vest Length

If you need to shorten your vest by more than an inch, it’s usually best not to do anything because you’ll probably be disappointed with the outcome. It will undoubtedly change the look of the vest, and not in the way you want.
How a Waistcoat Should Fit
If you only need to shorten your vest by an inch or less, follow these procedures –
  • To begin, turn the vest inside out and measure from the hem to where you want the new hem to go. Mark this location with chalk. After you’ve altered your vest, this is where it will hang. Make a mark all the way down the vest’s hem.
  • Fold up the bottom hem where you want the new vest length to be, as indicated by your markings. To be clear, the fold’s crease should be at the points you’ve shown.
  • Cloth pins are used to hold the folded fabric in place. While you’re marking and pinning the new seams, remember to turn the vest inside out.
  • Sew along the pinned hem with a needle and thread or a sewing machine, removing the pins as you go.
Remember that this is just a basic way for reducing the length of your vest. You might not acquire the desired result, especially if you have no sewing experience. It is recommended that you go to a qualified tailor you can trust for the finest results.
Tailors commonly shorten vests from the shoulder seams since the bottom hem has a unique cut. It is often less complicated and less expensive as a result of this. It’s crucial not to go overboard with these kinds of changes since it’s all too simple to mess up the proportions. The vest line will look out of place if you eliminate too much length from the shoulders, for example.

How to Alter a Vest to Make it Smaller

If your vest does not fit properly and is a little too big for you, the first thing you should do is see if it has a back strap that can be adjusted. This strap allows you to simply modify the fit by cinching at the waist. If this isn’t enough for you, or if utilizing the strap bunches up the cloth in your vest, you can have it changed to make it smaller and better fit you.
You’ll need to take in the sides of a vest to make it look smaller. This is the simplest and most straightforward method. All you have to do now is follow the instructions below –
  • To begin, use a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of your hips. This circumference is normally taken at the little section of your waist, just above your belly button. Then take a measurement from your shoulder to your hip bone.
  • Nest. Take measurements from your vest’s bottom hem. Also, take a measurement of the front of the vest, from the shoulder seam to the bottom hem.
  • Subtract the first step’s measurements from the second step’s measurements. If your waist circumference is 40 inches and your vest is 43 inches, subtract 40 from 43 to get 3 inches remaining. This is how much cloth you need remove from your vest to make it smaller.
  • Turn your vest inside out and use chalk to draw the new seam lines. Remember that instead of 3 inches (or whatever amount you came up with), you should take in half of 3 inches on each side. This means you must divide 3 by 2s to get one and a half inches.
  • Sew along the newly designated seams with a needle and thread or a sewing machine. Make sure you sew on the exterior fabric as well as the interior lining.
  • Cut away any excess fabric when you’ve finished sewing. Your new vest is now smaller and more comfortable to wear.

Can a Tailor Make a Vest Bigger?

If a vest is too small for you, you can have it altered by a tailor. However, this is one of the most difficult vest changes to perform and one of a tailor’s last resorts. This is due to the fact that the great majority of vests do not have much extra material or fabric incorporated into the sides. Because there is little to no seam allowance, letting out the sides of a vest that is too small or tight for you is impossible or nearly impossible.
Even if there is some seam allowance and you find a tailor ready to make the adjustments you require, you will have to pay a lot of money because it is labor intensive. The tailor will have to disassemble the garment and reassemble it. Such drastic modifications are likely to throw off the balance of the vest’s various design features, jeopardizing its overall structure and integrity.
You may modify the fit of your vest by adjusting the strap or chain that is usually found at the back. If your vest has an adjustable strap or chain, you can loosen or tighten the body to make it more tailored to your size.

How to Alter a Suit Vest

A suit vest is an essential piece of clothing for any man’s formal or evening ensemble. A suit vest can be adjusted by a tailor to fit you better if it doesn’t fit you properly, that is, if it isn’t suitably snug against your body.
When it comes to suit vests, the major aspects that may be changed are the body and the length. Most suit vests can be easily taken in on the vertical side seams, but they are unlikely to be let out due to the lack of seam allowance.
Your tailor may need to work on the armholes as well if you want to tighten your suit vest and the seams are taken in a lot. This is because the armholes will almost certainly need to be changed to accommodate for the way the side seams will lay after they have been altered.

How to Alter a Puffer Vest

If you have a puffer vest that is too big or too small for you, the best and easiest way to adjust it is to take in the side seams (to make it tighter or smaller) or to let out the side seams (to make it bigger or bigger) (if you want to make it bigger).
If you need adjustments done to your puffer vest, you should take it to a tailor because it is a difficult material to work with. Polyester is used to construct most puffer vests, and the puffy design makes changes more difficult than usual.
If the seam allowance on the sides of the puffer vest isn’t enough, your tailor may recommend taking in or letting out the darts.

Altering a Leather Vest

There are various changes that can be made to aid you with a leather vest that doesn’t fit you properly. You can even change your leather vest yourself if you have sewing experience. Working with leather may appear difficult, but if you have intermediate sewing abilities and a good sewing machine, you should have no trouble with the material.
Changing the shoulders and armholes of a vest can be difficult and dangerous. Make sure there’s no work to be done in these areas if you’re intending to alter your vest yourself. Furthermore, if your leather has a special lining or insulation system that you are unfamiliar with, you should take it to a tailor.
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Alter a Fleece Vest

Taking in or letting out the sides (to vary the size), changing the shoulders, and so on are all ways to adjust a fleece vest. Altering a fleece vest with an inner fabric lining is more difficult because you don’t want the lining fabric to tighten or bunch together. This can also alter the way your fleece vest looks on the outside.

How to Take in a Denim Vest

You can adjust a denim vest yourself or take it to a tailor if it doesn’t fit properly. If you’re going to alter it yourself, make sure you have a good sewing machine or a needle that can easily stitch denim cloth.
If your denim vest is too big for you, simply take in the side seams as described in the section “How to alter a vest to make it look smaller.”

How Much Does it Cost to Tailor a Vest?

The cost of changing a vest varies greatly depending on how much work is required and where and how it will be done. For example, simply taking in the side seams to make it tighter and better fit you is simple and requires no effort. As a result, it will be substantially less expensive than altering the vest’s length or letting out the sides, both of which involve significantly more skill and effort. Furthermore, vests with lining will be more expensive to change than those without.

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