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Weight Loss and What To Do When Your Menswear Stops Fitting

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Losing weight is wonderful, but it can impact your wardrobe. Shirt sleeves get longer when your shoulders get smaller, collars look like your swimming in them and pants start falling off your waist. There are a few strategies you can employ or purchasing a set of new clothes. Here is the skinny on weight loss, ill-fitting menswear and what your next moves should be to address the issue.

Dress Shirts – There are several choices you can opt for when dealing with dress shirts that do not fit anymore because you lost weight. Please keep in mind the following suggestion we make are going to be permanent, not temporary. The boldest pick you could make is to take each dress shirt you own and recut it. Normally the wise way to go if you go this route is to hire a professional seamstress. Shirt collars can be also be recut, but the faster solution is to move the collar button to tighten up the shirt fit.

Sport Jackets and Suit Jackets - Jackets can be altered to fit when someone loses weight by making them smaller. The dilemma for a tailor is adjusting the garment in correct proportions so the jacket looks good and not out of kilter. Each jacket component including shoulders, lapels, and pockets, are made to a specific size. Tailoring the jacket will change the layout of where each component is sewn, which will impact the proper balance of each one. If the tailoring is not done with proper balance and symmetry, the jacket will appear completely off kilter and be ruined. The smart rule of thumb is to never alter a jacket down more than 2 sizes. Shoulders are particularly hard to alter and for big men jackets, mistakes are easy to make that are impossible to undo. In that situation you are probably best off buying a new jacket unless you have spent a large sum, such as $2,000, on the suit so the tailoring cost for labor and time to alter the jacket is worth investment.

Trousers Altering trousers is limited to the back pockets of the trousers because when you pull in the backside to reduce the size, it will change the pockets position to the center of the back of the pants. Not good. You can spend more money altering on the sides, but it will increase the cost dramatically. To reduce your costs, look at purchasing trousers with an elastic waist band or straps on the side. Think about buying a premium belt or two with a buckle that can be adjusted to make is smaller as you lose weight. Once you get to your ideal weight, buy a suit, and include a set of two trousers, with one bigger by two sizes. By having buying trousers in two different sizes you will have the pants needed to accommodate up to a 30-pound weight gain. The need for trouser alterations due to weight gain go out the window when you have spare trousers in a bigger size.

Shoes – When you lose weight your shoe size will go down. Check your feet to see if they are narrower and thinner overall. Once this happens you will have to spend money on new dress shoes. Hold off on buying new shoes until you reach your goals for weight loss, so your shoes fit perfectly.

Summing Things Up - Each situation is different when it comes to dealing with your wardrobe when it comes to weight lost. Be sure to stop into your local menswear store offering tailoring to discuss your options and see if it makes more sense to alter your clothes or to buy new ones that will fit better.

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