When to Tailor Your Clothing & What It Costs

February 14, 2017
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When you choose an item to purchase, you are investing in your image.  As we’ve mentioned before, rarely do off-the-rack mass produced clothing found in most clothing stores fit your body perfectly.  Regardless of what the label says, FIT is the most important. You should feel comfortable, have some breathing space and be able to move.

Here are common off the rack problems a simple alteration will fix:

Too large of a waistband – Quality, classic slacks will stand the test of time.  Your garment shouldn’t have a saggy booty, gape in weird places, pull across your rear or crotch.  Invest in a pair that fits perfectly in hips and thighs then take ask an experienced tailor take in the waist for a minimal cost.  Rather than have 3-4 pairs of il-fitting slacks in your closet you’re not in love with, invest is 1-2 classic pairs and allocate your funds to tailor them so they look and feel great.

Too long of an inseam – I consider myself “average” height at 5’5″ but slacks and skirts off the rack are typically long on me. It’s great if I wear 3-4″ heels but that’s not practical with my lifestyle these days.  Hemming is another low cost, big impact alteration that will make a world of difference in how your slacks/skirts fit and allow them to be more versatile.

Sleeves are too long – Choose a shirt, jacket or blazer that fits your shoulders and fits/drapes nicely over the chest first.  If those areas fit perfectly but the sleeves are too long, shortening sleeves is a quick fix.  What you don’t want is your item to pull across your chest, stomach or shoulders and be too tight you’re unable to move your arms and shoulders.

Costs for basic alterations can vary but currently Classic Cleaners can tailor all of the above for you starting within this range:

  • Shorten or lengthen pant or skirt hem: $14-$16 (or $7-$8 a leg)
  • Taper unlined pant legs: $14
  • Shorten sleeves on shirt/coat/jacket: $18-$30
  • Take in or let out waistband of pants or skirt: $14-$20
  • Nip in fabric around hips on pant, skirt or dress: $18 and up
  • Replacing a zipper: $16 and up

If you love a garment and you will wear it often, it’s worth making it your own with minimal tweaks.  Even if you scored an item on sale, look at alterations as a way to make that item custom and priceless.

Still not convinced.  Use this easy formula when considering alterations:

Add the cost of the item to the cost of the alteration and divide it by the number of times you’ll wear the item.  You’re goal is to get to a 1:1 ratio or below.  This ratio number of one or below means you will invest in the garment no more than what you’re going to get out of it. For example, if you find a great pair of well made black pants you can wear year round for $80 and it costs $30 to hem and tighten the waist, your investment is $110.  Wear that pair of pants twice a week and your tailor ratio is 1:1.

Bring your items to our Knue Road location for a consultation and/or fitting during our normal business hours.