Can a Leather jacket be Tailored or Altered?

Is it possible to resize a leather jacket? Can you tailor a leather jacket so that it fits you perfectly?

These questions are quite common among leather fanatics and fortunately, leather jackets can be tailored.

One major problem people often face when buying a leather jacket is sizing. Oftentimes, the jacket will fit well in one area but not the other.

For instance, it might fit perfectly on the shoulders but feel too wide or too small and uncomfortable around the torso.

While shopping for the correct size is highly recommended, it might not be possible to find one that is similar in style. So the best solution is to make the necessary alterations.

However, there are a few factors that determine whether or not a leather jacket can be tailored such as the type of leather and the design of the coat.

Can you tailor a leather jacket

Can you tailor a leather jacket?

Absolutely yes, you can tailor a leather jacket to size without altering its style or design. There are several types of alterations that you can make on your leather jacket such as shortening the sleeves or taking in the sides to create a slimmer fit.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that leather is a durable material that is difficult to sew and make changes to once it’s been cut.

Therefore, any alterations made to a leather jacket should be carefully planned and executed by a skilled tailor to ensure that the jacket remains both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

When to alter, resize or tailor a leather jacket?

You can have your jackets tailored when;

What to consider when making leather jacket alterations

1. Cost

It is important to consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a jacket before buying it.

If you buy an oversized jacket, altering it can be quite expensive. A certain level of expertise is required and the appropriate tools must be used.

So to alter the jacket, you will need to find an experienced leather crafter, and they don’t come cheap.

2. Type of leather

Another important factor to take into account is the type of leather used to make your leather jacket.

Some leather craftsmen find it easier to work with real leather than faux or PU leather.

This is because real leather is softer and more flexible to work with compared to faux leather.

If you buy a faux leather jacket, you might have a difficult time finding a tailor to make the alterations.

3. Alterations to be made

Consider the kind of changes you want to make. Some alterations are more difficult than others; hence, more expensive.

For instance, reducing the waist of the jacket might be easier to do than shortening the sleeves.

The more difficult the task is, the more expensive you are likely to pay the tailor.

4. Availability of an experienced leather craftsman

As aforementioned, leather clothing alterations cannot be made by a fabric tailor.

You need to find a skilled leather tailor so that you don’t get your leather jacket damaged.

Professional leather tailors are not easy to find but a quick search on Google can lead you to the right tailor near you.

5. Design and style of the leather jacket

The intricate details on your jacket should also be considered.

Some details can make it very difficult to modify the jacket without changing the style or design.

For instance, it can be difficult to make alterations to a ribbed leather jacket or one that has many pockets.

Also, most leather clothing has a lining or insulation system so alterations need to be done by an experienced tailor.

How to alter a leather jacket

Generally, leather alterations tend to be quite complicated depending on the changes being made.

Some alterations take as much time as making a new leather jacket while others are simple and straightforward.

If you don’t have much money, some of the changes that you can make to a leather jacket include;

  • Reducing the waist
  • Shortening the sleeves
  • Fixing the shoulders
  • Making the jacket smaller along the side seams

The above modifications are easier to make because they do not require you to add any material.

On the other hand, some adjustments might require extra material. This can make the alterations to become quite complicated and costly to perform.

Some of these modifications include;

  • Lengthening the sleeves of the jacket
  • Making the jacket larger
  • Changing the lining of the leather jacket
  • Making the jacket longer
  • Removing the zipper of the jacket

How to shorten a leather jacket

Yes, you can shorten a leather jacket by tailoring it to any length you desire.

Shortening simply involves hemming the coat to your desired length.

  • First, open the hemline by removing the stitching.
  • Measure the hem and ensure you leave enough hem allowance before cutting off the excess fabric and lining.
  • Fold the hem like it was before and press it down using a warm iron.
  • Finally, sew the hem into place.
  • This is a simple DIY but if you are not sure of what you are doing, have the coat shortened by a professional tailor.

Ways to tailor leather jacket sleeves

Leather coat sleeves can be tailored as well. Actually, it is one of the most common alterations done by both men and women.

People with longer arms may need to make the sleeves longer while those with shorter arms may need to make the sleeves shorter.

If your leather jacket sleeves are too long, making the sleeves shorter might not be as complicated as making them longer. You simply need to undo the initial stitching, and cut and hem the sleeves to the desired length.

Lengthening the sleeves, on the other hand, might require some extra fabric. The modification might be a bit complex so it’s better to have it done by a leather tailor.

Important things to note before altering your leather jacket

1. You can make your leather jacket shorter or smaller but not larger. This is because there might not be enough seam allowance to increase the size.

2. If you increase the size of your jacket by making it wider, the needle holes from the original stitching will show through. These holes do not disappear over time as they do in fabric.

3. You are likely to cause irreparable damage if you decide to modify the jacket yourself.

Leather jacket alterations cost

The cost of altering or tailoring a leather jacket ranges from $25 to over $100 depending on several factors as stated above.

For instance, hemming a leather jacket costs no less than $65 while the side seams cost about $70. If you want to shorten your leather jacket, you might pay as high as $100 and above.

Leather jacket alterations near me

Since leather jackets are hard to tailor or alter as stated earlier, you need to find an experienced and professional tailor to do it.

You can find a good tailor near you by doing a quick search on the internet or social media.

Alternatively, call or visit the store where you bought your jacket and request them to recommend an experienced leather tailor.


To conclude, you can tailor or alter your leather jacket if it is oversize or it has stretched over time.

Before doing the alterations consider the type of leather used to make the jacket, the cost, the kind of alterations, and the design and style of the jacket.

Also, consider the availability of an experienced leather craftsman in your area. This is because you need to make sure that the modification is done by a professional leather worker so as not to damage the jacket.



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