Here’s the secret…. you ready?
Okay, so maybe tailoring your clothes isn’t that much of a secret.
But let me ask you something? How often do you go get your clothes that fit like crap tailored? My guess; not often. But guess what… you’re not alone there, because most women hardly ever think about tailoring their clothes for better fit.
For some reason, we women believe that if a piece of clothing doesn’t fit well, it must mean there’s something wrong with our bodies. Let me know if any of these sound familiar; my boobs are uneven, my hips are too wide, my arms are too big, my calves are too big, and the list goes on and on. Here’s the thing though… none of that BS is true!
Truth is, the overwhelming majority of clothing out there will NOT fit your body well.
Let me repeat that; the overwhelming majority of clothing will NOT fit your body well. And you know what else? This fact has nothing to do with your size and everything to do with FIT. It makes no difference whether the tag on your dress has the number 4 on it or the number 14. There are many nuances to your body that are unique to you. This means it’s your responsibility to ensure that you make your clothes fit you, instead of you fitting into your clothes.
Think of it this way – the goal of these clothing companies is to sell as many pieces of a garment as possible – the only way to make that happen, is to create clothes that fit as many different body shapes as possible. This means most clothing is designed with little-to-no tailoring, which in turn creates a bunch of shapeless, boxy & unflattering clothing options for you to choose from in stores. Trust me when I tell you, it’s not you, it’s them!
Okay, so now that I’ve established the importance of tailoring your clothes, let me help you decide when you should invest in a tailor, and how to find one that knows what their doing.
But before I get to that, I just want to mention something quickly. When you’re out shopping for new clothes, it’s really important that you focus on how a garment fits instead of the number on the tag. If you need to size up in something in order to tailor it down, don’t trip yourself up over the bigger size. Focus on what you need to do, to make sure that garment fits you the way it should.
The numerical size of a garment has no bearing on how that piece will fit, so please try your best to release any need/desire you may have about wanting to wear a particular size, or any disappointment in the size of a garment when it DOES fit well. No-one knows what size your clothing is but you. What is noticeable however, is when your clothing fits like crap. Also, you can always just cut the tag out of a garment if you’re that triggered by the number ;)
Pep talk over, let’s move on to my tips on Tailoring, shall we? ;)
Tip #1 – When Should You Tailor Something
Here’s a list of some of top fit problems that can be fixed by a tailor:
+ Pant hems are too long
+ Pant hems are too short [if they have enough fabric in the seam (seam allowance) to let out] + Dress or skirt is too long
+ Dress or skirt is too short [if they have enough fabric in the seam (seam allowance) to let out] + Sleeve length is too long or short
+ Sleeves are too baggy/loose
+ Adjust the length of a strap
+ Bodice of a top is too loose/not enough tailoring
+ Waistband of pants are too loose
+ Shoulders of a blouse or jacket are too wide
+ The thigh area of your pants fit too wide
+ You want to create a more rounded or V-neck, neckline on a top
+ You want to create a rounded hemline on a top
+ You need to fix or replace a zipper
+ You need to replace buttons
Tip #2 – How to Find a Good Tailor
There are a few ways you can go about looking for a tailor that does quality work.
One way is to use an app like Yelp to check out who the top rated tailors are in you area are.
I’ve personally used Yelp several times to find a tailor and have had great experiences! Not only are the written reviews great, but seeing images of past tailoring work done is a huge bonus.
If you aren’t able to find any listings in your area on Yelp, or don’t have Yelp at all, you can call some popular retail stores and ask them which tailors they use, or refer their customers to.
A third option, is to ask your family and friends (or even social media) who their favorite tailors are.
Here’s a quick tip when you do a find a tailor. Start off by having them tailor something easy, like a pant or dress hem. If you’re satisfied with their quality of work on the hem, feel free to start taking garments that require more detailed tailoring work.
And it’s always good to ask what their policy is, if you’re unhappy with any work they’ve done. You want to know that they’re willing to re-tailor something if you’re not happy with it the first time.
Tip #3 – The Cost of Tailoring
The extra cost of tailoring is probably one of the biggest reasons most of us don’t get our clothes tailored. So let’s do some math real quick:
Let’s say you found a blouse that you absolutely loved. You try on one size and it’s too small around your chest area. You try on the next size up, and it’s definitely too big. Let’s say the cost of that blouse is $80. Again, you really love it, so your options are to a.) buy the smaller size and constantly fidget with the buttons down the front to make sure you’re not too exposed, or b.) buy the larger size that gives your torso zero shape and makes you feel frumpy.
Regardless of which size you buy, here’s what’s probably going to happen; you’re only going to wear that blouse 1-3 times total, before it’ll hang unworn in your closet for years. Why? Because if you’re uncomfortable in a garment in any way at all, subconsciously (or consciously) you’ll always avoid choosing it. So basically, you paid $80 to wear that blouse maybe twice, and never wear it again.
But there’s another option! What if you chose to buy the larger size blouse and spend an additional $40 to get the bodice tailored down to your body specifically? You’ll have an almost custom-made blouse for $120 that you’ll wear over and over again. So if you wear that blouse 10 times in a year, your cost-per-wear for that shirt is $12. Way cheaper than the previous scenarios’ $40-$80 cost-per-wear right?
Here’s an example of tailoring costs from a tailor here in NYC to give you a general idea of white different tailoring work costs.
*Remember, these prices will vary based on where you live, as well as other factors, but I wanted you to have a starting point for reference.
And now, it’s confession time pretty lady! When was the last time you took something of yours to get tailored? If it’s been awhile, talk to me about what’s been holding you back?