Hiring a tailor can be a simple way to ensure the items in your wardrobe are a perfect fit.
After all, there is an unlimited number of different body shapes and types out there. At the same time, the options we have available to purchase off the rack are limited at best.
Having your clothes tailored is certainly not a new process. In fact, at one point in history, it was the only way to purchase new garments. But in many respects, it is a long forgotten art form that can work to your fashionable advantage.
Do you have a blouse that is too large?
Or perhaps you have a dress that is a bit outdated?
Hiring a tailor can be the solution to having a wardrobe that flatters not only your body type, but your personal sense of style.
Here are a few factors to consider before hiring a tailor.
1. Speak to a Number of Different Tailors
Do you have an alteration idea for a favorite item in your wardrobe?
You might be excited about a stylistic modification you would like to make, only to have a tailor tell you that it is not possible.
Does that mean it cannot be done?
In fact, a tailor may refuse your job simply because he or she is busy, or because what you want done is time-consuming. You also need to consider when hiring a tailor that not all of them have the same skill level.
Continue to reach out to tailors until you find one who can do the job for you.
At this point, establish the price to have the alteration done. Does that price seem unusually high? If so, price shop. Find other tailors who can do the job and get their estimates. If you find that all the estimates are in the same range, the price is probably reasonable.
2. Don’t Pin Your Own Garments
Consumers often think they are doing a good thing by pinning their own garments. As it turns out, it does not save much time for a tailor, and you are risking getting the measurement wrong.
For instance, let’s say you accidentally pin the legs of your pants a half inch too high. Your tailor will have no way of knowing the difference, and you may end up with pants that look like you are expecting a flood.
If you are hiring a tailor, let him or her take the measurements and pin your garment. After all, this is part of what you are paying him or her to do.
3. Know What Materials Can Be Easily Altered
If you are unsure of whether or not a material can be easily altered, it is best to do some research before hiring a tailor. You could also call a tailor to ask his or her professional opinion.
A few obvious examples include:
- anything beaded
These materials are more difficult to work, especially leather. Any garment made from leather cannot be done with pins since they will make pinholes in the hide. Leather has to be altered with expert precision as the tailor has just one chance to do it correctly.
Because these materials are more difficult to alter, you can also expect that hiring a tailor will be a more expensive undertaking.
4. Tailoring Does Not Have to Be Expensive
Although hiring a tailor does not have to be expensive, it certainly can be. Before hiring a tailor, give careful consideration to what you are thinking of doing.
As a perfect example, let’s assume you have a jacket that is three or four sizes too large. In order to alter it properly, the tailor will need to take the entire jacket apart and then bring in each area in proportional amounts. This ensures that the jacket remains the same size.
In essence, he or she has to remake the entire jacket, which is both very time consuming and expensive. This could cost you hundreds of dollars.
If you are on a budget, consider taking items to a tailor that need smaller alterations. If you are looking for significant changes, it may be more cost-effective to simply go purchase a new item.
If you are shopping for a new garment, try not to purchase anything more than two sizes too large. Garments beyond this guideline are likely to be very difficult for a tailor to alter in a cost-effective manner.
5. Carefully Inspect Vintage Items
Shopping for vintage clothing items can be great both for style and budget. Just be sure to inspect any potential purchases for damages, scuffs, scrapes, or tears, and more importantly, where on the garment they are located.
For instance, a tailor may be able to hide or remove a tear near a hemline; however, if you find the affected area in the center of the front or back, hiring a tailor is not going to help.
Vintage clothing items can really flatter your body shape or size, and can significantly complement your wardrobe. But remember to carefully inspect everything before buying.
6. Tailors Are Not Mind Readers
It would be wonderful if a tailor could simply read your mind!
As we know, that is not the case.
Tailors are human beings like the rest of us, and they need you to clearly articulate what you want done to a garment; otherwise, their best guess is what you are going to get.
When hiring a tailor, give him or her as much detail as possible. The ideal scenario would involve you bringing an image or sketch of how you want the item to look once the work has been completed. This is not altogether different than taking an image to a hairdresser prior to getting a makeover.
Hiring a tailor can be an incredibly inexpensive way to sharpen your entire wardrobe.
It is crucial however that you set your expectations realistically. Further, make sure to find a local tailor with decades of experience and a money back guarantee, such as Love Your Tailor in Toronto.