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Facts You Need to Be Aware of Prior to Going to Your Local Tailor

Getting the perfect fit right off the rack is like winning the lottery. Whether you wear suits or selvedge denim, this guide demystifies the process of tailoring and alterations.

If You Want it, They Can Probably Do it

Before you head to the tailor, get an idea of what you want. Getting an off-the-rack suit adjusted? Grab some magazine clippings, save a few images from the web to your camera roll, and make a list of your priorities. Ask them to show you how the different breaks will look before they stick in the pins. Sleeve length, chest fit, they can adjust all of these.

Just because They Can, Doesn’t Mean They Should

Listen to your tailor: He or she knows more than you do. They’ll tell you what will convey timeless style vs. what’s fashion-forward right now. They’ll also tell you what they can’t do; for example, it’s nearly impossible to adjust the shoulders of a jacket for a reasonable cost.

New Tailor? Ask to See Some Work

There are probably a dozen tailors within a twenty-mile radius of where you live, and you only need one. If you’re trying a tailor for the first time, it’s not inappropriate to ask to see some of his or her work, even if you’re only getting a pair of pants hemmed. Are the hems straight? Is the stitching subtle and consistent? Remember for you this is personal, but for them it’s business. If you don’t like what you see, thank them for their time, then tell them you’re going to shop around a bit. You won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Your Weight Will Probably Change

Weight fluctuates up and down by five-to-eight pounds each year for most people. Winter, people bulk up (which is a euphemism for, people eat more foods with gravy and comfort food). Spring and summer, people tend to slim down.

Consider your weight when you get your jackets tailored. You want the body of your jacket to be form fitting without being tight. If you button your jacket, and the lapels start to buckle outward, it’s too tight. If you’re normally a 32 waist, then get your pants in a 32. Don’t get the 31 or 30 because you plan on losing weight.

Set a Time Frame and Go Over the Order Together