Can a Leather Jacket Be Tailored?

Can a Leather Jacket Be Tailored?

There’s nothing quite like the feel of a leather jacket. It’s tough, rugged, and screams “cool.” But what if you don’t have the perfect fit? Can a leather jacket be tailored? The answer is yes – but it depends on the type of leather jacket you have and the tailor you go to. In this epic guide, we will answer all of your questions about leather jackets and tailoring, so that you can make the best decision for your needs.

Why Would You Want to Tailor a Leather Jacket?

Tailoring is the process of altering or making clothing to fit the individual body shape and size of a particular person. It can involve taking in or letting out seams, adjusting hems, adding pleats and ruffles, and moving buttons or zippers. Oftentimes, it also involves creating custom designs and patterns that suit an individual’s figure or style. Tailors use their knowledge of fabrics, measurements, fittings, and sewing techniques to create a desired look that fits perfectly on the customer’s frame.

Adjusting the fit 

There are many reasons why you may want to tailor a leather jacket and one of such reasons is because it’s difficult to find one that fits perfectly in the stores. Leather jackets are usually available in a limited range of sizes, so it can be hard to find one that fits perfectly. By having a leather jacket tailored, you can make sure that it fits perfectly around your body and compliments your figure. Tailoring a leather jacket involves adjusting the fit of the garment by altering or removing pieces from certain areas. For example, if there is too much material under the arms or across the chest, you can remove sections for more room.

Why Would You Want to Tailor a Leather Jacket?

Fixing tears and holes 

Noticing a tear or a hole in your leather jacket can be upsetting. Fortunately, it doesn’t mean that you have to throw away your beloved garment. In most cases, tears and holes can be repaired by a professional tailor so that the jacket looks as good as new. The process of fixing tears and holes involves cleaning the damaged area and applying a patch of leather to cover up the hole or tear. The patch is then sewn onto the jacket with special stitch patterns designed for leather garments. This results in an invisible repair that won’t interfere with the look of the jacket.

Customizing the design 

Sometimes, you may want to customize the look of your leather jacket. This could include adding patches, embossing a logo or image onto the jacket, changing the color of the leather, or adding some extra pockets.

These customizations can be done by an experienced tailor who is familiar with working with leather garments. They will use their knowledge and skills to create a unique design that reflects your individual style and personality. [1] [2] [3]

Factors That Determine If You Can Get Leather Jackets Tailored 

From this, we can conclude that tailoring a leather jacket is possible, but there are some factors to consider before deciding whether it’s right for you. It’s important to consider these in mind before starting the process to avoid disappointment.

Type of leather 

The most important factor to consider when deciding if you can tailor a leather jacket is the type of leather used. Different types of leather have different characteristics that affect how they respond to heat, stretching, and sewing. For example, lambskin leather is considered one of the softest and most pliable materials for tailoring, while cowhide is more rigid and requires much more specialized skills to tailor properly.

Not all leather is equal, and cheaper leather may not hold up to a tailor’s alterations. So you should make sure any leather you are considering for tailoring is good quality and will last after alterations have been made.

However, what matters the most here is the finish of the leather. In general, finished leathers like faux can get their coating ruined if they are overstretched during the tailoring process. On the other hand, unfinished leathers like suede or nubuck usually respond better to cutting and stretching, making them more suitable for tailoring. For the same reason, we don’t recommend getting an artificial fur-coated leather jacket tailored.

Your personal skills 

The second factor to consider when deciding if you can tailor a leather jacket is your own skills. Tailoring a leather jacket usually requires more expertise than tailoring other garments, so it’s important to assess your level of knowledge before embarking on the process. You need to have extreme attention to detail as well as patience and a steady hand. If you don’t feel confident in your own skills, it’s best to consult a professional who can help you get the desired look for your jacket.

Factors That Determine If You Can Get Leather Jackets Tailored 

Style of your jacket 

The third factor to consider when deciding if you can tailor a leather jacket is the style of your jacket. In general, simpler styles with less intricate details are easier to tailor than more complex ones. Additionally, many leather jackets come with zippers and other hardware that can be tricky to remove and replace without damaging the leather. If you want a tailored look but don’t feel comfortable tailoring it yourself, there are professional services that specialize in customizing leather jackets.

Availability of tools 

The fourth and final factor to consider when deciding if you can tailor a leather jacket is the availability of tools.

Tailoring a leather jacket requires specialized tools that may not be available in most households, such as heavy-duty scissors, needles, and thread specifically for leather. If you don’t have these items on hand or don’t feel comfortable using them, it’s best to leave the task to an experienced tailor who has the necessary supplies and skills.

A sewing machine is also a must-have tool for leather jacket tailoring. The machine should be able to handle heavy-duty fabric and materials, as well as have several needle sizes available.

Your budget 

The fifth and final factor to consider when deciding if you can tailor a leather jacket is your budget. Depending on the extent of the alterations, it could get expensive. Professional tailors charge by the hour, so depending on how much work needs to be done, it might end up being quite costly.

If you don’t have the budget for professional tailoring services, there are other options such as online tutorials and DIY guides that can help you adjust and alter your leather jacket without needing too much experience or money. However, that too requires some spending on the necessary tools like special thread, needles, scissors, etc., as we already mentioned. [1] [2] [3]

Style of your jacket 

Which Elements Of The Leather Jacket Are Difficult To Alter 

Unfortunately, not everything is possible when it comes to altering a leather jacket. Some parts of the leather jacket are more difficult to alter than others and may require an experienced tailor. So it’s important to consider the difficulty and risk factors of each alteration before making any changes.


Altering zippers can be a tricky alteration to make. Depending on the type of zipper, the gauge size and the material used, it may not be possible to shorten or lengthen the length. The teeth of the zipper may also be too fine for hand stitching so any alterations will need to be done carefully with a sewing machine.

Usually, zippers aren’t intended to be removed and replaced. If a zipper needs to be replaced, the seam will need to be cut open, the old zipper removed, and then a new one inserted in its place. This alteration is best left for experienced tailors as it can damage the leather if done improperly.

Collar & lapel 

Altering the collar and lapel of a leather jacket is relatively easy as long as there are not too many complex curves or shapes involved. A good tailor should be able to shorten or lengthen the collars without any difficulty. However, depending on the complexity of the design, it may be difficult to alter them in any other way such as changing their shape or size.

Manipulating with a collar also requires the use of special machinery, you can’t expect to make a perfect alteration if you just try and cut the collar with scissors. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that the tailor you choose has the right equipment and expertise to carry out alterations on leather jackets.

Finally, bear in mind that any alterations made to the collar or lapel may not be reversible so think carefully before committing.


Altering the shoulders of a leather jacket requires a high level of skill and is best left to an experienced tailor. This alteration can be tricky as it involves changing the shape and size of the shoulder area which requires precise measurements and attention to detail.

Unfortunately, altering the shoulders usually means that some of the material will have to be cut away or added in order to achieve the desired look. As such, this alteration carries a higher risk than other alterations as any mistakes could damage or ruin your leather jacket. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re working with an experienced tailor who has successfully carried out this type of alteration before.

Which Elements Of The Leather Jacket Are Difficult To Alter 


Altering the sleeves of a leather jacket is not always as straightforward as it may seem. The length can easily be adjusted using either hand or machine stitching, depending on the material and complexity of the design, but if the sleeve comes with decorations or buttons on it the job becomes harder. You should bear in mind that alterations to the sleeve shape may not be possible due to the rigidity of the leather.


The pockets on a leather jacket too are generally straightforward to alter and can be moved or removed with relative ease. However, if the pocket is cut or stitched into the main body of the jacket then this will become more difficult and may require an experienced tailor. The same applies to any zips that are fixed to pockets, as these too must be carefully removed without damaging the surrounding fabric.

One thing you should take into consideration when altering pockets is that they often support the underlying structure of a garment so it’s important not to make any changes that could affect its overall shape or fit.

Length of the jacket 

The length of a leather jacket is not only hard to change, if you want to make your jacket longer it’s impossible. If you want to make it shorter, in most cases this will involve cutting away some material and can be done with either hand or machine stitching. However, bear in mind that this alteration is difficult to reverse so consider carefully before committing.

Finally, if your jacket has a hemmed bottom then it may not be possible to alter the length at all as doing so can cause the fabric to buckle or sag due to its rigidity. In such cases, a professional tailor is likely needed for any alterations. [1] [2] [3]

Important Tips Before Altering Your Leather Jackets 

If you have decided that you want to alter your leather jacket then there are a few important tips to bear in mind before you start.

Avoid trying to tailor leather jackets by yourself 

The first and most important tip is to avoid trying to tailor a leather jacket by yourself. Leather jackets are made from very thick and rigid materials which require special tools and machinery to be manipulated successfully. Trying to alter the fit or design of a leather jacket without these resources may result in damaging or ruining it completely.

And the last thing you want is ruining your precious leather jacket just trying to tailor them by yourself.

Find an experienced tailor 

The second tip is to find an experienced tailor who knows how to work with leather. This can be either a professional from a local tailoring shop or someone who specializes in leather alterations. It’s important that you pick someone who has successfully carried out this type of alteration before, as the wrong person could end up ruining your jacket.

A good tailor should be able to advise what changes can and cannot be made and provide you with real results for your desired outcome. They should also have access to the necessary tools and machinery required for any complex alterations such as those involving the collar or lapels of the jacket. 

It’s also a good thing to ask around for recommendations from friends or family who have already had alterations made to their leather jackets. This way you can be sure that the tailor you choose is experienced and reliable.

Go to the tailor personally 

While asking for recs is of course great, the best way to ensure you get your leather jacket tailored correctly is to go to the tailor yourself. This way, you can see firsthand if they have the right tools and machinery for the job and explain exactly what changes you want to be made.

It’s also important to discuss the cost of any alterations with your tailor before going ahead so that there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay for them.

Important Tips Before Altering Your Leather Jackets 

And finally, it’s always a good idea to bring along a few images of how the finished product should look so that everyone is on the same page from the start. [1] [2] [3]


How can I alter a jacket that is too big? 

If your leather jacket is too big then you can have it taken in by an experienced tailor. This typically involves reducing the size of the panels and stitching them back together so that the fit is snugger. The tailor may also need to adjust the sleeves or pockets if necessary, depending on how much material needs to be removed.

If possible, it’s best to leave some extra fabric in case you decide to make any adjustments at a later date. However, bear in mind that taking in a jacket will usually mean cutting away some material that cannot be undone easily.

How much does it cost to tailor a leather jacket? 

The cost of tailoring a leather jacket depends on several factors, such as the type and quality of the leather, the complexity of the alterations required, and whether you have any special requests. As with other types of clothing, it’s best to get an estimate from a tailor before committing to having your leather jacket tailored. Generally speaking, simple alterations will likely be more economical than complex changes.

In general, expect to pay anywhere from $ 50 to $ 100 or more for professional tailoring services. Additional charges may apply if you require special stitching or use high-grade leather materials. It’s also important to note that some tailors may charge extra for using their own tools and supplies, so make sure you ask before you commit to any services.

How can I alter a jacket that is too big? 

Can a tailor work on a leather jacket? 

Yes, a tailor can work on a leather jacket. A skilled tailor can alter the fit of a leather jacket while maintaining the integrity of its materials and structure. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some alterations may be difficult or impossible to make due to the nature of leather.

For example, certain modifications such as taking in a shoulder width or adding additional pockets may require more fabric than what is available on the jacket itself. Additionally, because leather jackets are typically more expensive than other types of outerwear, tailoring should always be done with extreme care and precision to ensure that no damage is done to the garment.

How do you resize a leather jacket? 

Whether or not you can resize the jacket depends on whether you want to make it longer or shorter, and how much work the tailor is willing to do. Generally, if you want to make a jacket shorter, it’s possible for a tailor to take in the bottom hem or trim off excess fabric from the back. However, if you want to make it longer, there will usually be more difficulty since leather doesn’t stretch as fabrics do and it’s nearly impossible.

Can you alter the sleeves on a leather jacket? 

Yes, you can alter the sleeves on a leather jacket. This involves cutting and reshaping the material around the arms to create a more tailored fit. It is important to note that this type of alteration may require special tools or techniques depending on the type of leather used in the jacket.

Can you alter the sleeves on a leather jacket? 

When considering sleeve alterations for your leather jacket, it is best to consult with a qualified tailor who has experience in handling leather materials. A professional tailor will be able to assess your individual needs and provide advice on how best to modify your jacket without compromising its integrity or structure.

Useful Video: Make Leather Jacket Smaller- Tailoring to Shrink and Alter Size


Leather jackets are favorites for many fashion-forward individuals, so it’s a good thing that tailoring is usually an option for them! Whether you’re looking to let out the length of your leather jacket or take it in at the waist, a tailor who specializes in leather can provide you with exceptional results.

However, keep in mind that tailoring a leather jacket comes with some potential risks. For one, you should never attempt to tailor a leather jacket on your own, as you could end up damaging the material and ruining its look. Additionally, take into consideration that natural leather tends to be more expensive than faux leather, and therefore may cost more to tailor.

It’s also important to do your research and find a reputable tailor; otherwise, you might end up with less-than-expected results. Also, be sure to ask the tailor about any special care requirements for maintaining the integrity of the leather.

And keep in mind which elements can actually be tailored. The most difficult parts to tailor include the hem, sleeve length, and collar. One thing you can’t do is extend the length of your jacket, but you can shorten it most of the time.

In conclusion, while a leather jacket can be tailored in many cases, it’s important to take into account certain factors before starting the process. But if you find the right tailor and follow all the instructions, you can expect to get a perfectly tailored leather jacket that will last for years. So go ahead and start tailoring your leather jacket today!