You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations
-Zig Ziglar, American motivational speaker and author
Life is full of twists, turns and unpredictable situations. Every day in our work and home lives there are various obstacles thrown in our path. In each situation we make adjustments or alterations to fit those unique circumstances. While we all know that nothing in life is perfect and we need to make alterations; why do we not apply that same thought to our clothes? Why do we expect clothes off the rack to perfectly fit our unique bodies? The way our clothes fit has a direct effect on our comfort, confidence and even temperament at times. For myself, when I wear an outfit that is my style, fits perfectly and is a size “me” I have an extra pep in my step. I leave home on a euphoric high, ready to take on the world and it seems as if there is no problem I cannot solve.
Another issue we have with fit is every designer or retail store has a different sizing model. Sometimes it is a few inches or even just a few millimeters; but the size 6 at J. Crew is not the same size 6 at Banana Republic or H&M. So why then are we always so caught up in the numbers? Right now you might be saying “How am I supposed to buy anything if I don’t focus on the size?” And yes, you have to use the numerical number to base your selection. However if you think you are an 8 (or want to be) don’t get caught up in the fact that you need a 12. If you have a goal of wearing a size 8 you can achieve that through proper diet and exercise. In the meantime, dress the body you have and alter your clothes to be size “me”. If you have to, remove the tags out of your clothes. Once you find the perfect fit that tag is meaningless anyway. Here are some tips to obtaining the perfect fit:
- Buy pieces to fit the widest part of you – Getting to size” me” starts with making the right purchase. Often I see ladies purchase pants or a skirt to fit their waist making their clothes fit too tight on their butt and vice versa. This is a no-no. Buy pieces to fit the widest part of you and then have them altered for the perfect fit.
- Visit your dry cleaner – Your regular dry cleaner is often a great source for simple alterations. Things like shortening shirt or suit jacket sleeves, hemming pants, general slimming of the arms and body of a suit jacket or seat and legs of pants, or the addition of darts to slim the body of a button-up shirt can all be done by the seamstress at your local dry cleaner. Test out the seamstress’ skill set on one inexpensive piece before handing over half your wardrobe.
- Visit a specialist – For more complex alterations, use a more skilled tailor. Some high-end stores may offer in-house tailoring while others can provide quality recommendations. Yelp is also useful in finding a reputable tailor in your city.
- Bring the items you’d wear with the clothes – When you alter clothes, bring the items you plan to wear with the clothes to ensure a better fit. Shoes, undies and bra (we’ve discussed this before) all affect how clothes fit or appear. If altering a coat or jacket, wear a sweater so you know how much room you need. Nothing is worse than feeling wrapped like a mummy, unable to move your arms.
- Be specific. A tailor or seamstress is providing a service and works with the instructions you provide. Be very specific about what you want or your pencil skirt may turn into a mini; your long pants into high waters; your button down into a corset.
If you have any questions or comments you’d like to share on tailoring, leave me a note below.