If you or one of your friends is a well-endowed man, there is a standard alteration available to make pants fit better. It is one of the ONLY alterations I am aware of where being physically bigger in a specific place is not a problem. Today’s request is from one of my long-term friends and his wife: I’m going to talk about something any decent high-end tailor or alterations shop can do for you, and it was the single MOST requested alteration I got selling menswear besides hemming pants. The tailor’s nickname for this alteration is the Scoop. I’ve included actual pictures of this being done for a better explanation. It is mostly requested by frustrated wives trying to fit husbands for corporate events where the men need clothes that fit well. The second commonly requested occasion is for weddings. It is an important but not commonly done alteration because it requires decent sewing skills.
Let me just say that roughly 10-15% of men are above the bell curve and, as a result, ready-to-wear brands such as Levi, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, and Seven, don’t fit because the brands are too small. Michael Kors is hands down the WORST offender here for small package size. I lost track of fuming men at Belks who claimed you couldn’t put a cigarette down there. It was a running joke between retail girl friends in college of why the guy they went on a first date with didn’t get a second. Yeah, if you’re a man who likes dating women… do yourself a favor and don’t buy Kors.
Actually, while most men figure this out due to pure physical discomfort (they buy larger sizes and wear a belt as a hack), the issue comes to a head with wives or girlfriends who try to put their husbands or boyfriends in nice clothes for an evening function. It also comes up when a man has to wear a specific outfit for an event and is not allowed to select his own clothing.
Well-endowed men generally wear either baggy rapper jeans, Wranglers, Dockers, Nautica, or Ralph Lauren. But sometimes they want another option or need to fit a suit for an event. Weddings. The service industry. Or the military dress uniform. Given the fact that I’m married to a bell curve guy, I thought I would help out some of my other friends. If you look at the picture right, you can see a pair of pants I altered with contrasting thread for reference. I’ve also included a drawing for reference for people who want to understand what’s being altered; for example, if you’re a tailor and interested in adding this to your skillsets.
If you need this done for your upcoming event, you need to get your clothes altered by a master, not a novice. Find a classically trained tailor; some of the best are often British or Jewish. Someone who makes custom suits for a living understands how to make fitted clothing that moves extremely well. Or an experienced older dry cleaners that does pant “seat” alterations will sometimes also know how to tackle this.
There are two ways this is asked in business. The tailor does not want to offend clients, so they often ask in a roundabout way, “Do you have a preference for side?” or, “Is there anywhere that pinches on you or feels tight?” This is YOUR clue that the person selling you menswear is experienced enough to know what you need. You then follow up by saying, “Why yes, I have a movement problem. Things are tight here. I’d like a scoop done in my pants. Is it the same price as your seat alteration?” The average price around here is $30-60, max $100. Be aware that this is called different things around the world, but the alteration is the same.
For most people, the standard alteration is 1” all along the front which works out to an extra 1-3” for most men. If you need more than 1”, substitute “VERY tight,” for “tight,” which is 2”. If you need more than 2”, you may want to consider having a gusset added for movement as it’s more attractive visually.
I hope this helps you Jon…cough. Hope this answers your questions and maybe the pictures amuse you.