Like most seasoned professionals, tailors are completely immersed in their world. They use jargon that is confusing to the lay person, which can be intimidating.
We’re not saying you need to learn everything before you go to the tailor – some things are better left explained by the professionals. It’s just a lot easier for you and your tailor to communicate when you’re both starting on some kind of common ground.
Chances are a good tailor will already know what needs to be done to alter or create your suit, but it will never hurt your chances of liking the finished product to be as specific as possible.
For example, you may be able to get away with “I want this suit to fit better,” but every tailor has their own vision of how a suit should fit perfectly. Instead, use these three terms, which can be used for pants, jackets, and shirts:
Let out: You want more fabric here, or for this particular part of the garment to fit looser.Taken in: You want it to fit closer to the body, or you want there to be less fabric in this part of the garment.Break: You might want to use this term when talking specifically about your pant hem. “Break” refers to how your pants will drape over your shoes, and how much extra fabric is there. Current fashion calls for a slight or no break, as this fits along with the slimmer suits today’s man wears.
With these three terms under your belt, you’ll likely sound like you know what you’re talking about, even if you really haven’t a clue.