Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Alterations Express Staff
Winter is coming… And this inevitably means pulling out your winter jackets, coats, and reliable outerwear or even buying new pieces for the season! And just like every other piece of clothing in your wardrobe, your outerwear can and should be tailored too! Here are some tips for coat and jacket alterations.
Pro Tip: Before you start wearing your winter jackets and coats again for the season, make sure to get them professionally dry-cleaned. Especially if you did not get these items cleaned before storing them, dry cleaning is a must to help preserve the shape and quality of your coats throughout the winter months. Dry-cleaning jackets and coats can also allow you to get more use of your
Type of Outerwear
The type of coat or jacket is extremely important when considering alterations. Most outerwear can have alterations performed. However, there are some exceptions. Any jacket or coat with a down-filled interior (puffers, ski jackets, or parkas) is very difficult to alter. However, this type of outerwear can have repairs completed on its exterior (buttons, zippers, and lining). Types of outerwear that are easier to alter:
- Wool Coat or Jacket
- Quilted Jacket
Keep in mind that all jackets and coats are different, and alterations are considered custom work for each garment. So, if you have a piece of outerwear that you love and need to be altered, take it to your preferred seamstress or tailor to see what they can do.
Alterations for Jackets & Coats
Altering the sleeves of your coats and jackets is very common and a relatively easy alteration to have done. It’s also a very important area to have tailored. Sleeve length is essential to get right because it is extremely easy to tell when they aren’t the proper length. For proper sleeve length, make sure to have your outerwear altered so that, while your hands are at your sides, the end of your sleeve just begins to hit the top of your hand. Check out the graphic below for a depiction of proper sleeve length.
Image via Primer
Alterations for jacket and coat sleeves can range from $30 to $55 depending on a couple of factors: type of coat or jacket, if the outerwear has a lining, and if the sleeves have cuffs, vents, or buttons. Learn more about alteration prices here.
Buttons, Zippers, & Repairs
Our coats, jackets, and outerwear hopefully last throughout many winter seasons and, as a result, go through a lot of wear and tear. Inevitably, this means that your outerwear will need a few repairs as well. Luckily, repairs to jackets and coats are extremely common and relatively convenient to mend. If your coat or jacket has buttons, consider investing in new ones. Not only will this make your outerwear look brand new, but you’ll also get better coverage from inclement weather with newly sewn buttons. Broken zipper? This is also an easy fix and will ensure that your jacket is wearable for the next season.
Lining replacement on jackets and coats is also a very common repair. Replacing outerwear lining is extremely important to preserve the integrity of the garment and ensure that your outerwear protects during the winter months. The lining can tear for a partial repair, or you can replace the entire lining of a coat or jacket. Lining provides necessary insulation and is an important part of maintaining outerwear shape and quality.
Most seamstresses or tailors provide these alterations on a wide range of coats and jackets; however, some linings may be eligible to be replaced. We recommend bringing in the garment to your alterations provider for them to take a look at the jacket or coat and evaluate the repair. Keep in mind that the cost of lining replacements and alterations is also more expensive than other coat or jacket repairs. Depending on the garment, lining replacements for coats can cost $90 or more.
Shorten, Lengthen, & Taper
Hemming coats and jackets can be a bit more complex. It is possible to shorten or lengthen a coat. However, this is very dependent on the type of garment, the material, and the garment’s construction. Most wool coats are eligible to be hemmed, as well as peacoats and overcoats. These items can be shortened or lengthened in most cases. If your outerwear has seams on the sides and the back of the garment, they can likely be tapered as well. Tapering your jackets and coats can create a more complementary shape to the garment and, overall, provide a more flattering fit for your outerwear.
Hemming a jacket or coat can cost anywhere from $30 to $55, depending on the garment and the alterations. Tapering a piece of outerwear can cost between $25 and $50, depending on the length of the coat.
Overall, alterations are very necessary for you to maintain the quality of your winter wardrobe. Jackets, coats, and outerwear are meant to be worn throughout many seasons. And these garments do see their share of wear and tear. If you embrace alterations and pay the minimal cost for repairs, your outerwear is sure to last!