Can You Tailor A Leather Jacket

leather jackets tailor

Can you tailor a leather jacket? Leather jackets are a fashion staple that has been around since the 80s. Even after more than 4 decades, the leather jackets didn’t lose their touch. Leather jackets are still considered one of the finest fashion clothing, every man should own. A leather jacket made from real leather is hard to come by and as the years grow the leather adds a patina, which gives it a unique and aged look. If you are stuck with an oversize, leather jacket of your father, and don’t know what to do then, the smartest decision will be to alter your leather jacket. 

Leather jackets can be altered only by a professional tailor, who will transform your oversize leather jacket into a perfect fit for your body. This includes the sleeve measurement, shoulder fit, zippers, collars, pockets, etc. 

In this article, we’ll discuss whether your leather jacket can be tailored, or not.  We’ll also discuss, should you make leather jacket alterations, or will it damage the leather? In addition, which leather jack can be tailored. 

Can you Tailor a leather jacket?

Yes, a leather jacket can be altered, to make it fit according to your body shape. This includes tailoring every area of the leather jacket which includes: adding length via sleeves, hemming cuffs, and waistband; removing widths by tapering sleeve hems; altering pockets; replacing zippers with new ones, etc. 


Although altering a leather jacket is a very time-consuming process, and also not every tailor is suitable to alter a leather jacket. Also, altering leather jackets requires special machinery which is not easily available. 

How Much Does It Cost To Tailor A Leather Jacket?

Leather Jacket Alteration costs primarily depend on the type of leather jacket, and the modification it requires. Generally, the cost of altering a leather jacket ranges between $50-$250. Furthermore, the price of a professional tailor also varies, as this is time consuming and difficult process. The price range increases, if you tend to shorten your leather jacket, to make it to body shape. However, if you want to only replace the zipper, the cost is lower.

Can You Tailor A Leather Jacket At Home?

No, you should not alter a leather jacket at home, as tailoring requires special machinery like an industrial-grade sewing machine. The sewing method is difficult and can be only done by a professional skilled tailor. However, you can optimize your leather jacket at home, by replacing the buttons, etc. But you do not alter a leather jacket to make it smaller at home, as it damages the leather, and ruin the jacket.

Read Also: Which Looks Better: Leather Jacket vs Rider Jacket

When Not To Alter Leather Jackets? 

Despite being possible to alter leather jackets, there are some reasons why you should avoid altering leather jackets. 

Faux Leather Or Artificial Leather

Leather jackets made from faux or artificial leather should be avoided. These types of leather are very thin, very less durable, and prone to damage with very little force. Suppose your leather jacket is made from faux leather. In that case, altering the jacket will do you no good, as, during the tailoring, the jacket might sustain large damage, very difficult to alter(due to thin material), and 2-3 years the jacket will not be in condition to wear because of a lot of wrinkles, and losing its texture, pattern, etc. 

In addition, the tailoring leather jacket is very expensive. The process will be more expensive than the jacket itself, and if done then the jacket will be worn out after 2-3 years. 

Unskilled Tailor

Not every tailor is able to stitch a leather jacket, as it has a difficult design, like buttons, design on the back, which affect altering shoulders Fit, etc. Choosing a skilled tailor who has experience in altering leather jackets is hard to find. In addition, the special machinery required to alter leather jackets is very expensive, thus very few tailors have that kind of machinery. 

If you are trying to tailor your leather jacket yourself, then you have to consider the type of skill it needs, and will you be able to do it without ruining the jacket. 

Read Also: Who Makes the Best Leather Belts

Can All Leather Jackets be altered? 

No, all leather jackets are suitable to get tailored, as there are a couple of factors that determine whether a leather jacket can be altered or not. Check out the factors of your leather jacket following all the factors, then you should alter your leather jacket. 

Real Leather

If the jacket is made from real leather, then only the leather jacket should be altered. The reason behind this is that real leather is more durable and versatile, and altering it will not damage the leather. However, any other man-made leather-like faux or vegan leather is comparatively very thin and less durable, thus they are easily damaged in the process. 

Also, the real leather jacket can last for more than a decade, while any artificial leather loses its structure, texture, and its quality in 2-to 3 years. 

Leather Style

Whenever you alter any garment, you can lose its style and design in the process. Like making regular jeans into distressed jeans, with just a few cuts and holes. So, whether a leather jacket can be altered, also depends on the style or design of the jacket. 

Generally, leather jackets are classy and come with very little design. Unlike a leather blazer jacket, a biker jacket comes in different styles. Some even have a big logo on the back, which can be impossible as doing that will remove the design of the jacket

Parts like pockets, zippers, flaps, ribbing, etc can be easily altered unlike other parts for leather jackets.

Furthermore, if the jacket comes with a special layer inside for durability or any other feature like insulation, then this will create a big hindrance when altering a leather jacket. 

Tailor Skill and Experience

For a simple design leather jacket, it can be done by a regular tailor with minimal skill in altering the leather jacket. This Can be like, buttons are removed, the zipper is damaged, or a small area where the thread is loose, etc. Then a regular tailor will have the skill to cover all these areas and stitch them perfectly. 

However, if the alteration is big, like making it small to fit you properly, then it should be done by a professional leather jacket tailor. 

In addition, it is better to always go to a professional tailor for stitching a leather jacket, as a leather jacket is expensive, and a slight change can lose its value in an instant. As, the leather fabric is a quite an expensive, and sensitive material that is easily damaged. 

Industrial Sewing Machine required

When tailoring a leather jacket, it needs to be done with special machinery that deals with leather fabric, such as an industrial sewing machine and other machines to reattach or similar.

For this, you need to find a skilled tailor, also who has access to a special grade machine, which can sometimes be a time-consuming process. 

Price: Tailoring Leather Jackets Can Be Expensive

A professional tailor can charge from $10 to $50, for garments made from polyesters and cotton. 

However, leather jacket alterations are quite expensive, where the tailor can charge from $50 to $250, depending on the type of alternation you are doing. 

Despite looking expensive, this coat is reasonable in the long term. This is the reason why you should always alter a jacket made from real leather, as they are expensive. Where a faux leather jacket’s price is similar to or even less than the alteration cost. 

Read Also: Best Brand for Men Leather Wallet

Do tailoring leather jackets damage them? 

The damage a leather jacket will sustain will primarily depend on the skill level of the tailor. In addition, the quality of the leather will also determine whether it will be more damaged or not. 

If you choose a highly skilled worker, with high-quality material, then your leather will not be damaged in the process. 

The tailoring process is similar to the making of the jacket, as both require the same type of sewing machine. 

However, if the alternation is done with a regular sewing machine, the fabric may be damaged in the process. Also, it will be hard to alter the leather jacket with a regular sewing machine, will cause it to tear, etc. 

Which Part of Leather Jacket can be altered

Mostly all parts of a leather jacket can be altered to desired shape and size. Let’s check out the leather parts where you should avoid alterations. 


Generally, the zippers are the first ones to get damaged in an old leather jacket. Despite looking simple to replace a zipper on jeans, it is difficult to replace a zipper on a leather jacket. Zippers are mostly not removable, on a leather jacket as it is done by an expert tailor. To replace them, you need to find a professional tailor and it cannot be done at home. Zippers are sewed with several layers of stitching. Sometimes, to replace a single zipper, the entire area around the zipper should be removed. 

Collor & Pockets

This category is one of the toughest areas to alter a leather jacket. This requires an industrial-grade sewing machine, and the person must have enough experience with working the machine so that he will not damage the shape and design of the leather jacket while altering it. 

Shoulder & Sleeves

Similar to collar and pockets, this requires the same type of machine and skills, to alter. It is extra tough, as the tailor must alter them to your body shape, without damaging the designs and style. 


The easiest part of a leather jacket that can be altered is the seams, it requires very little time. 

Before making modifications to your leather jacket, you should always think about whether it is a good decision. It is an expensive process, and sometimes the design may be varied, and the material is durable as you think it is. 

Read Also: How to wear a leather jacket without looking like a Biker?

Crucial Tips Before Altering Your Leather Jackets

Whenever you are about to tailor a leather jacket, it’s a wise choice to know the pros and cons of doing it. 

  1. If you have a sentiment for the leather jacket, like it’s your father or your high school jacket, then you can customize it to make it fit you now. 
  2. Ask a professional, whether the material is good enough for alterations or not. 
  3. Also, find out about the cost of tailoring a leather jacket. 
  4. Sometimes, a leather jacket alterations can take more than 4 weeks, due to the difficult alterations process. So check the time limit, and when will it be completed. 
  5. Always, choose a verified and experienced tailor for your alterations, as the process is very complicated and only be done accurately by a professional tailor, who deals with this. 
  6. A slightly oversized leather jacket doesn’t require modification, as it isn’t worth the price, to make it an extra slim fit. 


All leather jackets can be tailored, to make them wearable and made modified to your body shape. However, always check out the type of material your leather jacket is before alterations, as not all materials are good for being tailored. 

Hi, gurbi is a fashion blogger, designer, and fashion consultant. He is 25 yrs old man who love the world of fashion.