Leather Jacket Alterations.. Can you take the shoulders in?


Aug 26, 2008
so cal
i recently bought a great leather jacket at 60% off. the only problem is, it's a little too big. everything fits great except the shoulders. they're a little big. since this was the last one, i can't exchange it for a smaller one and i really don't want to return it.

would an alteration place be able to bring in the shoulders on a leather jacket? i've had sleeves taken in, but never the shoulders. does anyone have a recommendation for an alteration place in los angeles?

Jul 14, 2008
how can it fit great everywhere but the shoulders? i'm trying to imagine this.. most things that are too big in the shoulders are usually too big everywhere.

that being said, the shoulders/chest is the one area i won't alter for a top. it changes the whole shape of the jacket and is a mess. you're better off find a coat/jacket that fits great only in the shoulders/chest, and not so great everywhere else.


couch potato-ing
Jun 11, 2007
i'd return the jacket. i don't think alter a leather jacket is a good idea.
Sep 13, 2007
The prairies of the Midwest
Well it all depends. How heavy is the leather? What kind of lining does it have? If it's a heavy sherpa-type lining forget it. If the leather is lightweight and the lining is light you have a chance. But that depends upon the construction of the jacket and the type of seams it has. Does it have double-stitched seams like the kind on bluejeans? If so forget it.

I'm a sewer and do all types of jacket alterations for myself and family members (though never professionally). There are some leather jackets that would be alterable in the sleeves/shoulders, some not. For instance I got this gorgeous suede jacket on ebay for a song, but it's a bit big in the shoulders and there's no way it could be altered. Not a chance. Too heavy. Sherpa lining.

So you really need to talk to a good tailor to find out.

If it can't be altered what you might try is sewing small shoulder pads into the shoulders to give them a bit of lift and shape. You can find them in any sewing store for under $10. I did that with one jacket and it actually did the trick.


Jul 17, 2006
Southern California
I had my YaYa leather jacket taken in at the shoulders. It was about $110 to remove the shoulder pads and have the shoulders fitted and taken in. It definitely can be done, just make sure you go to a tailor that is very reputable and works with leather...I called a high end boutique in town to find who they sent their items to for alterations. They highly rec'd a particular tailor, so I took it to him and my jacket turned out perfect!


Dec 16, 2008
Lulette - who was the tailor you used? I live in Southern California also and need my leather jacket sleeves taken up. Thank you!


Aug 9, 2007
Los Angeles
I called today and they're only open M-F 11-5:30 :sad:
Santa Barbara is too far for me to make it after work :sad:
Any other recommendations located within LA???