If you ever watched the famous TLC show, “What Not to Wear,” you will have heard Clinton Kelly talking about the importance of tailoring your clothes. Most people can’t buy everything right off the store shelves and have it fit perfectly. Instead of dooming yourself to being a fashion victim, consider having your garments tailored so they fit you absolutely perfectly and you can stroll down the street not being worried about being caught by the fashion police. Here’s what you need to know about having your clothes tailored.
1. Made to Measure
Tailoring is historically something that men did to ensure that their clothes looked professional and ready for the office. In the past, women sewed their own clothes so they could make them fit exactly right each time. Obviously, you don’t have time to make garments yourself so women are entitled to tailoring these days. Tailoring can make the difference between a blazer that appears to have 80s style shoulder pads and a blazer that makes you look powerful and ready to take on the world.
2. First Impressions
The way your clothes fit matters and can help you make a great first impression or keep people feeling like you are the best-dressed person in town. Wearing something that doesn’t look like it fits can kill your look and leave people giving you second glances, and not in a good way. That’s why you need a tailor on your speed dial, no matter whether you wear women’s clothes or men’s clothes.
3. To Fit or Not to Fit?
When you try on clothing, make sure the item doesn’t pull anywhere. Tailors can do a lot of magical things, but they aren’t miracle workers and can’t make an article of clothing bigger. However, they can alter a garment that is a bit roomy in certain areas. For example, if a shirt fits everywhere but your bustline, a tailor can pare it down a little bit so it lays just right all over. Likewise, if you find the perfectly-fitting pair of pants, but they are too long, a tailor can hem them so they look professional and conform precisely to your body.
4. The Big Question(s)
Tailoring doesn’t always come cheap so ask yourself some questions before you decide to engage the services of a tailor. Do you absolutely love the garment in question and would wear it all the time if you had it cut to fit you just right? Sometimes the price of tailoring can exceed the price of the item, but if it’s something you will get a lot of use out of for many years, you can call it a good investment. On the other hand, if the item is cheaply made and tailoring wouldn’t solve puckering fabric or a mismatched pattern, tailoring (nor the actual garment, for that matter) will be worth it.
5. Tailor-Made Just for You
There are a lot of great things that a tailor can do for you and your wardrobe so that there’s no question that you’re the best-dressed person around. The basic alternations include things like hemming pants, a skirt or a dress, shortening sleeves and taking in a waistline. These services are generally affordable and won’t cost you a ton of money. Other, more detailed services that a tailor can do for you include replacing zippers, buttons or snaps, adding hoops inside a garment to hold underclothes in place, change armholes for a better sleeve fit, make a new neckline for a garment, custom fit a pair of jeans and remove pleats. A good tailor can also move a waistline, add lining to a sheer garment and add buttonholes. As you can see, a tailor can do a whole host of things to help your clothes fit you like a second skin.
6. Experience Speaks Volumes
When you choose expensive clothing, it pays to invest in a good tailor to make them fit you just right. You don’t want to invest in a top dollar piece of clothing only to have people giving you second glances because it looks lumpy or saggy. However, when you do spend that kind of money on your wardrobe, you don’t want to pay for less than stellar tailoring. Make sure the tailor you choose has experience working with luxury fabrics and can show you examples of her handiwork before you leave your most precious articles of clothing in her care.
7. It’s a Lost Cause
Now that you know what a tailor can do for you, here’s what that person simply cannot do. You should never buy a sweater or other knitwear garment thinking it can be altered. Most of those garments will never look completely smooth when altered so it doesn’t pay to buy something that doesn’t fit right off the rack. However, a tailor can repair knits so if you have something with a hole in it, bring it in so it can be rewoven.
Vintage fabrics and delicate items like chiffon are not always good candidates for tailoring either. They are much too easy to damage or ruin so keep that in mind when you are clothes shopping. Some tailors are also reluctant to work on designer items that have very defined lines because it can be hard to keep them in good shape when changes are made to the structure of a garment.
8. Seeing Double
One more fabulous thing that tailors can do for you is to reproduce a garment you already own and love, but that might be wearing out. Bring the garment in and your tailor will help you choose a similar pattern and fabric so that you can keep on wearing something you love best.
9. Address the Issue
When it’s time to choose a tailor, make sure you choose someone with good reviews. Word of mouth is a great thing when it comes to finding someone to alter your clothing. Ask to see examples of your tailor’s past work so that you can confident that you’re getting what you’re paying for and that your clothing won’t be ruined when it comes back to you. In the end, you’ll never regret the magnificence that is perfectly fitting clothes.