Q&A Friday: When to tailor and when to skip?

image via jcrew

Question: When should I get an item tailored and when can I skip?

Answer: The answer to this question is truly a case-by-case basis because everyone has different body types and preferences to how their clothes fit. I do think a lot of young people skip tailoring because they think it’s too pricey / unnecessary, and that is simply untrue. You’d be surprised how little tailoring costs if you know how to ask for the right things.

  1. Go through your closet and figure out what items you would love more if only they fit a little better. There are many items I wasn’t wearing because I didn’t like the fit. After getting them tailored, I wear them all the time. Fit is everything – I’d rather have less clothes that fit well than tons that aren’t just right.
  2. Determine if it’s worth getting tailored. Will you wear it more if it fit better? Or is it something you shouldn’t have bought in the first place? Would the tailoring be too complicated to make it worth the price? It’s always better to tailor something of better quality than of poor quality. When I was younger, I went to get an item tailored (from forever21…) and the cost of tailoring was more than the item itself. That’s a good example of when to skip!
  3. Figure out exactly what needs to be done to make the tailoring process a simple as possible. If I need a pair of pants shortened, that’s going to be inexpensive and easier than getting the entire shape of the pants done. I once had a wide legged J. Crew pant turned into a skinny cut, and it just wasn’t meant to be done. It was expensive and they still don’t fit correctly. I shouldn’t have bought them in the first place because the tailoring was too complicated to be worth it.

To find a tailor that isn’t going to break the bank doesn’t have to be hard. A good estimation of a tailors price is the cost to get a shirt taking in at the side seams. It’s simple and should only be $8-$15 and be able to finish within a week. I usually negotiate a few dollars off every time I go to the tailor as well, so that helps overall with costs. The most important tip to consider – over communicate exactly what you want done. You can never be too thorough!

When to Tailor:

  • Shortening pants that are too long
  • Shortening a┬áskirt that doesn’t hit at the right spot for your frame
  • Side seams adjusted on a shirt that’s too boxy for your liking

When to Skip:

  • If you normally cuff pants, skip the tailoring
  • Shirts with long sleeves can easily be cuffed or pushed up
  • Anything too trendy might not be worth tailoring over time


Do you get items tailored or is that something you haven’t considered before?


1 Comment on Q&A Friday: When to tailor and when to skip?

  1. SarahMyzinski
    February 13, 2017 at 10:22 am (7 years ago)

    Great tips!! I’m going to call around and see what tailor has good prices using your guide. Thank u!


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