Full Disclosure: I get almost everything tailored.
Well, by everything, I mean everything that doesn’t fit me to my liking. Despite what number an item might read off the rack, pieces can fit you funky, in which case, I hop down to my neighborhood dry cleaner to get things adjusted, taken down, or taken in.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate! I probably paid about $30-$40 to get my Marni blouse (above) taken in to fit my curves. I also get snaps added to my button downs (so they won’t gap), jeans hemmed, and open backs/too low fronts sewn up to fit my fancy.
When you go into a store and see a mannequin looking fabulous, you might be inspired to buy the outfit. You try it on, but it doesn’t look as glamorous. The mannequin’s secret? Pins in the back that mold the clothes to curves, making them look great. Same with celebs. Their clothes fit them well, which is half the reason they look so amazing. The most important factor in making your clothes look good is fit (and a good steamer in the case of my Marni skirt below).
In the past I didn’t understand this rule, and would buy clothes a bit too small, and try to make it work, puckering buttons and all. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember my saga with this J.Crew jacket back in 2006.
What I can say when it comes to tailoring: it’s much easier to get something that’s too big for you taken in, instead of ‘letting out’ something that is too small. So if you really like something, get it in a bigger size, if possible, then get it nipped and tucked. To whit: my Issa dress below (previously spied on Nicole Richie) was about a foot too long, and too low cut to wear a bra comfortably (see the difference in fit between Nicole and I). A few snaps and a hem, and voila:
So how do you find a good tailor? For small jobs, I just go to my neighborhood dry cleaner! Read reviews and follow your gut. Most artisans with a modicum of sewing ability can handle your standard hem or snap.
If you want something a bit more involved and live in New York, I’d recommend Alterations Master at 2 W. 46th Street. You have to make an appointment and they can get pricey, but they do wonderful work. Tailoring is worth every penny!
At any rate, tell me your thoughts on tailoring.
And if you can recommend someone great in your town, leave it in the comments and share the knowledge.
*Please excuse the quality of the pictures, they weren’t meant for publication! But hope they helped illustrate my point.