Button Front Shirt – Drab to Fab

Retail doesn’t love Well-Built Gents


When I turned my attention to alterations in January, I expected to see a lot of gents in the very tall and very short categories. What I didn’t expect was that those gents dedicated enough to achieve the physique that the media promotes, are similarly discriminated against by the retail industry for having ‘non-standard’ bodies.



Shirt Alterations

Since maintaining the clothes you already have is the most sustainable thing you can do, Antonio and I enjoy goofing around with old clothes to see what can and can’t be done. We previously took a pair of pants from a size 42 down to a 32, and recently tried our skills on a rather baggy button-front shirt.


We started out with some basic alterations, and stitched the back’s box-pleat down entirely. This gave us a good idea of where we wanted more shape.


Our main aim was to work exclusively on the side-seams to get a good hug around the chest and biceps.

IMG_4231 - Copy

In a flash of tailoring insanity, I decided to unpick the side seams entirely and see if pinning it in this state could give us a new approach to this rather common alteration.

Indeed being unrestricted by an attached side seam led to some unique cut-aways in the seam allowance that I’d never have attempted otherwise.


We wanted also to avoid altering the shoulder (or sleeve / bodice intersection) to see what kind of effect it would give.

In hindsight I think we should rather have bit the bullet and altered the shoulder. There’re a few ‘stretch marks’ around the chest that I’m not happy with, caused by the shoulder being around 3cm too broad.


Fortunately Antonio looks great in pretty much anything, which is of course why I use him for my mad tailoring experiments ;)


I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy goofing around with tailoring. We alter so many shirts each week, and I look forward to introducing new and innovative ways to maintain clothes for as long as possible.

The Studio is at 625 Levinia Street, Garsfontein, and open every Thursday from 10am to 10pm. You can also subscribe to this blog by hitting the follow button, and join the monthly newsletter here for fashion scandal and exclusive designs.



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