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What should I charge to make this?

Flax | Posted in General Discussion on

Has anyone made a tux before? I have made a suit once, but not a tux. I have a customer that wants a quote on what I would charge to make them a tux. I am a poor judge on what kind of time it would take me.

Can anyone give me some good advice on what to charge? I would expect that they would buy the fabric and pattern. so I need help on the labor part.



  1. objector1 | | #1

    I charge 15 to 20 dollars per hour, that is just for my time.  Any extras that need to be purcahesed are added on to the total time.



  2. mainestitcher | | #2

    I made a coat with satin peaked lapels and I think it cost nearly $900, and it was a costume-y kind of thing with no hand stitching, pad stitching, no felt undercollar, no real tailoring details.  I did make the pattern myself, that would account for some of the charge.

    Generally. custom made costs two to five times off the rack. 

    Beware Trimfabric, which seems to have good deals on fabric - many of their pieces are seconds that don't hold up well.

    1. User avater
      Flax | | #3

      The situation is that a young man wants a red pinstripe tux for prom but all he can find is a Zoot suit. Well he doesn't want a Zoot suit, so I have been asked what I would charge to make one. I know that it would take a lot of time and at 16-20 something an hour it doesn't seem logical to me at all. I am pretty sure the kid wont go through with it. but I guess I have to come up with an estimate of what I would really want if I did make it. So if anyone finds a red pinstripe tux for rent -please don't hesitate to mention it.

      1. mainestitcher | | #4

        I get requests for things like this from time to time - people think one can make clothing cheaper than buy it.  Last time I heard something like this, a man wanted to reproduce a coat from "The Matrix" for a Halloween event.  When told what it would cost, he opted to find something from Goodwill.

        Half decent fabric costs a pretty penny nowadays. 

        Remember the song "House of the Rising Sun?" "My mother was a tailor, she sewed my new blue jeans...."  I think that's about the last era it was cheaper to make than buy:  was that the early seventies?

        I look at the dresses I alter at the bridal shop, as an example. If I had to buy satin, lace, lining, underlining, boning, twill tape, grosgrain ribbon, carbone rings for the bustle, beads, sequins, fake pearls, horsehair braid, zipper, buttons, nylon netting, and tulle, I couldn't make some of those dresses for less than the retail price. 

        Tux: fashion fabric, lining, pocketing, interfacing, interlining, (or the special chest pieces you buy) shoulder pads, sleeve head, wigan for the sleeve hem, twill tape for the lapel, undercollar felt and interfacing, zippers, buttons.  Waistband curtain.  You could leave most of these out, of course, but it wouldn't look like something one would wear out in public.

      2. MaryinColorado | | #7

        My son had a tuxedo custom made for him.  I'm waiting for his return call and will let you know what I find out.  Mary

  3. sewchris703 | | #5

    $600-$700 sounds fair to me for labor and hidden costs.  But he will probably pay at least half, up to equal that amount, on the fabric, etc.  So it could end up costing him well over $1000 for a suit that he will only wear once.


  4. Teaf5 | | #6

    My son asked me to make a shiny green spandex tux for his prom and even went to fabric stores with me to check out fabrics. Then his date caught wind of his plans, and he realized that she'd be happier if he went with the classic tux with a lovely tie and vest that matched her dress. For about ten minutes in the tux shop and $125 dollars, everyone was satisfied completely.

    The moral of this story? Kids change their minds frequently, and it's unlikely any of their parents would be willing to pay very much for a passing fancy. Maybe you could suggest that he rent a tux and have you make the tie, cummerbund, and vest out of the outrageous fabric.

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