One of the ways to get amazing fitting clothes that make you look amazing? Tailoring. Buy things that fit your widest part, then have them altered to fit every where else. Tailoring has been on my mind lately- not just because it’s a great way to have clothes that fit, but because of the post-pandemic world. No one knows exactly what the world will look like- or what we’ll be wearing. One article I read floated the idea that what we may see are clothes that are sold in more general sizes, meant to be tailored to you after you purchase them. And I have to say, I love this idea! I’m reposting my orginal thoughts on tailoring and adding in some links for what you can have tailored- or tailor yourself!
I’m in the process of having some pants tailored. As in, almost remade. It’s been a long process, there are times when it’s felt too long. However, every time my tailor and I get closer to the finished product, I can’t help but get excited. I also have to remind myself that working with my tailor is a process and that a great tailor is a great investment! You are getting so much more about my “new” old pants, but first, let’s chat tailoring.
One of my very first posts was centered around “great investments”, one of which I thought was a tailor.
(See the original article here) And I still hang onto that thought. If you’re investing in your closet, a great tailor is a must have! Yes, for mends like buttons, zippers, holes, and hems you might be able to do the work yourself; however, I find that a professional often does it faster and better, and ensures that the item that needs mending doesn’t spend the rest of its life on my closet floor.
But a tailor is so much more. A great tailor can remake a garment for you–nip or let out the waist, or various parts, tighten or loosen, lengthen or shorten. You look best in clothes that fit you best and a tailor can help you get there!
This number needed to be slightly let out in the bust–and even with the pleating, no problem for a great tailor.
This dress (seen here) was taken in at the waist, and the back slit was lengthened.
The great news about a great tailor is that they can really transform a garment into something special. Which is amazing for all those things that you try on that just need a little something done. However, tailors aren’t always miracle workers and much like any important relationship (I’m looking at you, hairdressers) communication is key. So how can you best work with your tailor? Glad you asked!
If something is 2 sizes too small and has no extra fabric in it, your tailor cannot make it your size. However, there may be times when your tailor has to tell you “no”. Certain fabrics, certain cuts and drapes, they just don’t mix. What you envision may not be doable. So ask questions like “Can we do this?” “What will this look like?” “What are my options here?” A great tailor will be honest and lay out your options, and may even have some suggestions that you didn’t even think of!
Let them know YOUR Preferences
I like my waists high and nipped. I think, for my body type, it looks best. I also like my sleeves to come down to my wrists. My tailor knows me and works with me to get the looks I like. But, even when we try things on it’s on me to be vocal–I like this, I don’t like this. Your tailor can’t please you if they don’t know what you want.
Fittings. More than one Fitting
Ok, some things don’t need a fitting–much less two. But some really do. If you’re altering a garment in a major way I would suggest more than one fitting to make sure everything is perfect. And move in it–raise your arms, turn, sit down–all of it. Make sure that the fit and movement are what you want. And talk to your tailor about what you’re seeing, and ask what they’re seeing!
Most of this comes down to talking to your tailor–about likes, fit, etc. The more honest you are, and the more they are honest with you, the better fit you will get!
Here are a few articles about what things are easy to tailor (and even how to tailor some things yourself!):
Useful Links on Tailoring Your Clothes
The Power of Tailoring
Which Alterations are the Easiest
How to do Alterations
Taking Measurements for Fit
And Alerations 101
I hope these tips help! Happy Tailoring!