Having your clothes altered is a great way to turn garments from okay to absolutely fabulous and get a perfect fit off the rack! However, the key to success lies in finding a tailor or seamstress that can take up any challenge and give you what you want. Below is a guide about what you can have altered and what makes a good tailor from a master craftsman that will make your clothes fit like a glove, every single time!
What does a good tailor do:
1. Hens pants and jeans – This is the most usual clothing adjustment that most people ask for. You may either lengthen or shorten your pants and is a very simple alteration that doesn’t require any particular skills (FYR: Here’s how a tailor hems jeans).
2. Hens Skirts & Dresses – It may be that your preferences shift or hemline trends have changed, and you need to adjust your skirts and dresses to make them more modern and appealing. If your garment is a straighter shape, things are easy, and there’s no problem shortening, for example, a maxi dress to above knee length!
3. Takes in Waistlines on Skirts & Pants – You may have a pear-shaped body figure, which means that your waist is smaller in comparison to your hips. Your curvaceous physique will need some waistline alterations on the jeans and pants, so they fit perfectly on you. Of course, the same applies to skirts, too.
4. Shortens tops – For women with a relatively short torso, it is pretty common to need their tops shortened because they are too long. If you can’t tuck your top in (i.e. you want to wear it with a skirt), a good tailor will alter the garment to your preferences.
5. Shortens Straps on Tank Tops – Instead of yanking up necklines and pulling too long straps that fall back up on your shoulders, you can have the straps of your tank tops or even dresses adjusted to the optimal length for just a few dollars.
6. Tapers Pants – For some people, finding the right pants is an arduous task for many reasons. If you see yourself falling into that category, a tailor will save your day. For example, you can narrow some of your wide-leg jeans and pants if you want a straight-leg figure or do any other modification so that your pants are always in line with your preferred pants style and, of course, more flattering! If the tapering starts at knee length, the modification is not severe and can be easily handled by a good tailor.
7. Takes in Sides of Dresses, Jackets & Tops – This is a common (and fairly easy) alteration for people with a narrow torso and broad shoulders that, in most cases, have to size up to get a good shoulder fit. This leaves them with slightly large garments that don’t look too flattering on them. Having the sides taken in a couple of inches is all they need to make their garment fit nicely.
Other alterations a tailor can make to your clothes include:
- Pants pockets sewn shut or removed.
- Skirt waistbands changed.
- Snaps added.
- Sleeve hems taken down, and more.
What does an exceptional tailor do?
All the above and much more! A professional that has mastered the art of tailoring can handle nips and tucks that are considered tricky and always produce the desirable results no matter what. Some of the many challenging tasks that telltale a great tailor are:
1. Shoulder alteration
It takes a great level of skills and expertise to either let out or take in the shoulder area because the tailor is called to change the whole look of a garment so that it fits better. However, since there’s always the risk of it no longer looking right, the garment needs to be handled by an expert craftsman. This is very important for the gents that wear suits as they need them to fit like a glove and highlight their best features rather than wear suits that make them look sloppy.
2. Narrow or Shorten an A-line garment
Although tapering a straight skirt or dress is quite simple, doing so with a flared or an A-line garment increases the difficulty level significantly, leaving much room for mistakes and flaws. The slope of the line has to be just right so that the dress or skirts doesn’t look “off”.
The same goes to shortening a more flared silhouette. Again, for straight dresses and skirts, shortening is an easy task. But, if you want to shorten a flared or A-line garment more than 1-2 inches, you may change its line so dramatically that it won’t look right at all on you.
3. Raise a neckline
While taking up a neckline is usually done successfully most of the times, you can easily end up with results that are less than ideal if your modification involves removing the sleeves (i.e. when you want to take a dress up the shoulder line) and then re-sewing them. Since it is a costly alteration, it has to be delivered by an expert so you can have guaranteed results at all times. Otherwise, it would be nice to just settle with wearing a camisole under the top to make the neckline more flattering or buy a top that fits your better in this critical area when you go shopping.
Anything from zip replacements on clothes, handbags or purses to modifying the style (or even color) of a leather garment or accessory should only be handled by a professional with particular skills and all the necessary know-how required when working with leather, so it gets a new lease of life.
Rule of thumb:
If a garment needs a lot of changes to it or if you have lost a lot of weight and your clothes need to be taken in about one size, it’s best to purchase new clothes. If, despite that, you choose to have the existing garments tailored down, do your homework well to find a highly skilled tailor to deliver the work that needs to be done.
Interested in learning how to alter your own clothes and more alteration tips? Feel free to browse our blog! We’ve lots to talk about!