How to Tailor a Tuxedo Jacket

by Kristie Lorette ; Updated September 28, 2017

While tailoring a tuxedo jacket can seem like a challenge, it can be a great way to save tailoring costs for those who have a knack for sewing. A tuxedo jacket usually fits like most suit jackets, so the adjustments are very similar. Careful measurements and close attention to detail can make for a well-tailored tuxedo jacket that fits snugly and complements the wearer. By following a few simple steps, you can tailor a tuxedo jacket so that it fits perfectly, and in the process avoid the extra cost of professional tailoring.

Take measurements for the sleeves of the jacket. Tuxedo sleeves should fall right around the middle of the wrist bone to leave room for the shirt to be seen just past it. It is usually recommended to have about 1/2 inch of shirt sleeve showing past the tuxedo jacket.

Rip the seams from the cuff and mark the new measurement with pins or with fabric chalk. Measure the length of the sleeves again before sewing the new seams down to ensure that the sleeves are even on both sides.

Iron the seam down, and then hand-stitch or use the sewing machine to secure the new seams. Fit the jacket again once the seams have been sewn down but before trimming any seams. It’s important to make sure the fit is good before trimming seams. Have the wearer try on the jacket with the shirt that will be worn to see the full effect.

Take the measurements for the hem of the jacket. A tuxedo jacket should just cover the backside. If the jacket is too long, use pins or fabric chalk to mark where the new hem will need to be. Measure carefully to ensure an even measurement around the back.

Rip any seams in the back hem, and iron down the new hem. Use a sewing machine (or hand-stitch, if you prefer) to secure the new hem. Fit the jacket again to make sure the hem is even and the jacket falls in a good place.

Trim all seams up to 1/4 inch once you are comfortable that the fit is exactly as it should be.


  • Any type of tuxedo or suit jacket requires a fairly competent level of sewing ability. If you are unsure of your own sewing skills, consider taking the jacket to a professional tailor. Measuring and altering the fit of a tuxedo jacket around the shoulders can be a challenge if the back of the jacket has to be refit. The seam running down the back of the jacket will have to be ripped and re-measured, and the sleeves might have to be removed and refit. Only proceed with this part if you are very experienced with tailoring.


Photo Credits

  • measuring tape image by Sarah J Duckfield from

About the Author

Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.