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Hello everyone,

I have a question on jacket alterations. If a jacket is too long, I understand that it can be shortened. But if the jacket has side vents, will this pose an additional problem? If a tailor shortens the jacket from the bottom (takes off about 1.5 inches), I imagine that the side vents will be affected as well. So, is it possible for a tailor to do this without ruining the vents? Please help me out if you can. Thanks!
 

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Hello everyone,

I have a question on jacket alterations. If a jacket is too long, I understand that it can be shortened. But if the jacket has side vents, will this pose an additional problem? If a tailor shortens the jacket from the bottom (takes off about 1.5 inches), I imagine that the side vents will be affected as well. So, is it possible for a tailor to do this without ruining the vents? Please help me out if you can. Thanks!
I've had a few side-vented jackets shortened by about this much and it's always worked out just fine.
In fact one of those jackets had excessively deep/long side vents, and I feel it ended up the better for the alteration.
 

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Not sure if this is any consolation, but jackets from the '60s had somewhat shorter vents by today's standards. They seem to work just as well.
 

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Not sure if this is any consolation, but jackets from the '60s had somewhat shorter vents by today's standards. They seem to work just as well.
Truly. Check out Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard; Belmondo's jackets have really short side vents and he looks incredibly cool (even though the jackets are huge on him, and he wears his tie too short).
 

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If you're having the jacket shortened because you're a "short", the short side vents will tend to make you look shorter.
 

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Unless the jacket in question has a freakishly long "skirt", I'd think twice about having that much lopped-off becasue it will disrupt the balance between the bottom of the jacket, button stance, and pocket location. Maybe a half inch would work, but I'd examine closesly beofre you have it snipped.
 

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most of the time shortening a jacket 1/2" is the most that will look right. unless the pockets and vents are very high.
whatever the bottom is shortened will bring the pockets that much closer to to the bottom. that will also shorten the vents that much.
also the bottom button will be too close to bottom of the coat.
 

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If it is unwise to shorten by more than .5 inch, when is this ever a good use of money? It seems unlikely that many jackets can be shortened .5" and go from "too long" to "just right"... the jacket will probably still be "too long" ... unless it was already "close enough".
 

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If it is unwise to shorten by more than .5 inch, when is this ever a good use of money? It seems unlikely that many jackets can be shortened .5" and go from "too long" to "just right"... the jacket will probably still be "too long" ... unless it was already "close enough".
Depends how close "close enough" is: 1/2 inch off a jacket can make a perceptible improvement. The difference between L and R and R and S is usually one inch, and that makes a crucial difference.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the length of the side vents. My understanding is that they almost always begin even with the lower button and the pocket flaps.

Interestly enough, I asked for high pockets and a shorter vents on the Chan suit I ordered about a month ago. I guess we'll see how that works out.
 

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Watch an episode of Get Smart if you want to see some short side vents. At least James Bond wore real side vents in the 60's in a few movies.
I'm not clear on what you're saying... short vents are not real vents? There is shorter and too short. Some of those almost 4" long ones from the '60s take it a bit too far as with the 1 1/2" narrow ties.

I didn't really like the side vents (or any vents for that matter) on some of Connery's dinner jackets. Kind of dated them more than if they were vent-less IMO. I liked the rest of the style, with the turned back silk cuffs and slightly narrower shawl collar. Smart look.
 

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Since the pants will usually show wear first, I frequently cull my suits. With some of my favorite ones I have shorted the jacket, deconstructed the shoulders and wear them out with chinos, chords or jeans. Last year I found a great iron-on decal that I had the tailor press onto the back of a blue pin-stripe jacket that looks really cool when out on the town.
 

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My understanding is that a jacket of any vent format can be shortened successfully.

They key points to monitor, would be that you probably don't consider more than 1 1/2" in shortening, and that you make sure that the bottoms of the front pockets are still a suitable distance from the new bottom of the jacket - around 9" would be sensible, I would say.

The rear vent would of course be shortened as well. However, a shorter vent can often look rather neat, and if the jacket was generally too long for you in the first place, then the vents will have been too long as well.]

Go for it!
 
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