One of my no-fail solutions to making my clothes look more expensive is tailoring them. Although I buy designer pieces from time to time, most of my purchases are from fast-fashion retailers. This usually results in clothing with boxy cuts that don’t always fit. Since we all have unique bodies, a tailor can customize a piece flatter your body shape. I often get compliments on the altered pieces I wear – and not just for the style, but because they hang naturally, accentuating the right parts of my body. You would be surprised at just how powerful a good fitting blouse or pair of trousers can be. Taking the extra step to alter your clothing can ensure a good fit every single time. Since it can get expensive, it probably doesn’t make sense to tailor every item. But if it’s something you know you’ll wear repeatedly, then it’s probably worthwhile. Whether you know your way around a sewing machine or have your tailor on speed dial, I wanted to share my clothing alterations tips and how it can transform the pieces you currently own.
Take In or Let Out
Almost any garment can be altered to suit your body type. Whether you need to take in or let out a blazer or pair of trousers, these alterations will ensure you look your best when wearing it! Letting out the fabric simply means you are making the garment a little bigger by utilizing the fabric from the seams. Whereas, taking in a piece means you’re gathering the fabric in further, allowing the garment to better contour to your body. This also includes armholes and sleeves. That being said, it’s always best to buy a garment that fits the widest part of your body (whether that’s your shoulder or your bust) because waist can always be taken in to create an hourglass shape.
Line Sheer Garments
A seamstress can add a liner to a sheer garment or unlined garment. This is absolutely amazing for dresses that are too light and are on the cusp of being see-through or for lacy tops that reveal a little too much. Lining items adds another layer of protection and durability, making a piece more wearable.
Given my petite size, I often come across really amazing pants and skirts that fit in all the right places except the length! There have been countless times where I find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly around my waist, but the length is off. Rather than hacking off the ends, I take them to a tailor to be altered. Shortening hems is an easy and affordable fix that makes everything look so much better when wearing them. Just remember to wash and dry them first since they tend to shrink a bit after the first wash. Having a shirt hem taken up can also make a big difference too since long tops can overwhelm a petite frame.
A neckline that is too large or wide often leads to constant fidgeting whenever it is worn. This, too, can be tailored to fit your body and make the garment infinitely more comfortable to wear. Depending on the neckline, a seamstress can take it in at the shoulder, gather more fabric to shrink the neckline, or add an additional fabric piece.
Outfit Details: Gucci Belt (wearing a size 70 – read my ‘Gucci Belt Sizing Guide’ HERE) | H&M Denim Jacket (wearing XS, similar here and here) | CamiNYC Black Cami (wearing an XS) | Asos Black Denim (wearing a 25 – size up) | Prada Cahier bag | Givenchy Sunglasses | Alexandre Birman Heels
Adjust the Shoulder Seam
Nothing frustrates me more than when I purchase a top or dress and realize the straps are not adjustable. A good shoulder fit is important since it can improve the look and feel of an entire garment. This alteration works best with a sleeveless or tank top style pieces. You can easily have any strap of a top or dress altered to fit your shoulders so it falls exactly where it needs to.
Replace the Buttons
An old jacket or blazer can feel new again when you replace the buttons. I often take my outerwear pieces with visible buttons to my tailor to update the buttons before wearing. While you can do this yourself at home, I prefer the precision of a professional.
If your closet is filled with fabulous pieces that don’t necessarily flatter your body, making some alterations can help breathe new life into it.