Have you ever seen a really great piece; but it was just slightly too big, or small, or wide, etc, etc? Maybe the price was even perfect, yet the fit was lackluster? No need to walk away, let’s talk tailor.
A quick and often affordable trip to the tailor can turn your off the rack purchase into a custom, perfectly fitting piece you will confidently wear for years! I talked about this waayyyyyyy back when; but this post will go into more detail.
A TAILOR? THAT’S FOR FANCY CLOTHES?
Not true! Nowadays a tailor can transform any wardrobe. Not just the new items either! Take in some pants, tops or jackets if you went down a size or two (don’t try to make a size 8 a size 4, the finished product just won’t look the same), and they can get you a custom garment for a fraction of buying new! They might even fit better than the first time!
HOW CAN THEY HELP?
A good tailor knows their way around the construction of all types of clothes. Here are some of the ways they can help with your wardrobe (again, I’m get alot of great advice from InStyle’s Secrets to Style book! These are some of my fave tips from them and from having tailoring done to my own outfits over the years):
- A quality garment will have a generous hem. While they can be taken up to shorten, they can also be let out to give more length. The only thing is, often the hemline is a semi permanent line pressed into the fabric, so have the tailor confirm whether that can be pressed out for a clean look.
- Sleeves can be taken off! Maybe your favorite blouse with the perfect neckline has damaged sleeves. Take ’em off and make it your new favorite summer top!
- Armholes aren’t always perfect, right? If they are too low, there is a way to tighten them on the side seam. Another way is for the tailor to lift the garment at the shoulder seams. This takes more work and will cost more because this will also require the neckline to be adjusted.
- Widening the armholes is trickier and best done on dresses that are clean and simple lines and without collars or lapels.
- Got the perfect top; but the neckline doesn’t flatter you? (Not sure what I mean? Check out my post about sweater necklines HERE to help). A tailor can change a round neckline to a U-shape or a V! SWEET!!!!
- Dresses can be tailored at the waist; but just remember, this will alter the way it drapes and falls. Raising it up will change the way the skirt looks, and the length of it, so just keep that in mind. Of course, raising the hem is always an option. Find out the perfect length of skirt on your body type and you can make anything off the rack custom!
- Pleats can be taken out…hallelujah!! (whoops, did I say that out loud?) I find those to be either dated, or trendy. A flat front is classic and will stand the test of time. My work pants have now become my church pants, since I don’t need to wear them as often, and they still look as great as they did a decade ago.
- Trimmings and surface details can be removed. Embellishments are less likely since they leave a mark where they were sewn on.
- Beaded dresses…..the answer is yes; but this is ALOT OF WORK depending on where the beadwork is. It may need to be removed, the garment altered, then the bead work sewn back on. This is a ton of labor for the tailor so you must make sure you get an estimate and are willing to pay that price FIRST.
FEELING CRAFTY? DIY A NEW WARDROBE!
Here’s some examples I found while Googling images of altered clothes, and turns out there are women who make a living creating gorgeous clothing from what they already have!! Check these out:
Find out how to create this look RIGHT HERE
OMG, who knew you could do THISSSS with an oversized T?!
This look at a whole bunch more HERE
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT ITEMS TO TAKE TO THE TAILOR?
Did you get an item that was slightly too big; but the price was amazing (because you were shopping with intention and scouring that sale rack?) If you can see yourself pairing it with a number of your existing clothes it’s value goes WAY UP! Is it a fabulous item you already own; but doesn’t quite fit anymore? All of these are great choices to talk to a tailor about.
Perhaps you follow the rule of fitting the largest measurement you had first? If you have broad shoulders or a large bust, fit that and THEN take in the sides. How about bottoms that fit our hips and can be darted in the back to give a snugger waist fit and hemmed to be the perfect length?
We still want to show off our feminine side; but it’s not typical for everyone to be able to just shop off the rack in every store!
FITTED; BUT NOT TIGHT
I love a fitted button up! That said, if you find that you had previously bought more boxy styles, take them to a tailor! The fitted style is more feminine, tucks in and slightly untucks evenly without alot of material on the sides; but does NOT gape at the buttons.
Here’s how a button up should look (whether tucked in or left out to be worn casual with jeans. Photo from stock photography on Google). Notice the seams under the bust to bring in the sides and the darts near the underarm of the sleeve to pull the fabric close to the body; but not make it tight. Perfection!:
This is a top that, while fitted on the sides, is not the correct size across the bust, giving a disheveled and interrupted look, and it’s probably not very comfortable either:
The same goes for jackets. If you get them tailored, make sure you can close the front buttons so they lay flat. Otherwise, it may end up looking like you are busting out of that jacket!
E FOR EFFORT ON THIS TAILOR JOB
Not only that, want to hear something funny? I had bought a super cute all white, 3 piece suit that was basically a white on white tuxedo with satin details. The vest was a bit boxy, so I took it in to be tailored on the sides. All while I was still nursing Devon. Are you mom’s laughing yet?
If you are nursing mom, you know that often one side of your “milk factory” can be larger than the other. Yep, I guess I was a bit engorged on the right side that day, because when I got it back, it was slightly off center. GAH! And when I went back to normal, which was NOT well endowed, the neckline of the vest didn’t lie flat to me. LESSON LEARNED! #facepalm
I hope this is helpful to you! Maybe give you some ideas of how to refresh your existing wardrobe with a trip to your local (and trusted) tailor! Let’s make those Style Dollars work for us, right?!