Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Alterations Express Staff
Ready-to-wear clothing and the fast-fashion revolution have created a huge need for alterations and tailoring. But how do you know what services you need to elicit? Can you visit an alterations shop, or do you need a tailoring expert? And what is the difference between alterations and tailoring?
- Definition of Tailoring
- Definition of Alterations
- Understand the Limitations of Alterations & Tailoring
Alterations vs. Tailoring
- To start, tailoring refers to providing a custom fit for a piece of clothing and an individual. A tailor is usually highly skilled and trained, usually involving an apprenticeship. The definition of to tailor: is to make (clothes) to fit an individual. Typically, tailoring is a term used to refer to major alterations performed on a garment, where a garment needs to be significantly reconfigured to fit an individual properly. A tailor is usually employed to handle complex alteration projects for suits or wedding dresses.
However, tailoring can also refer to the making/manufacturing of a custom-fit piece of clothing. For example, bespoke tailoring typically refers to the making of a suit based on the exact measures of a certain individual. Be sure to make this distinction when searching for tailoring services.
- Clothing alterations refer to manageable changes that need to be made to a garment to achieve the correct fit. Alterations usually reference:
- Adjusting Waists Lines
- Shortening sleeves
An alterations expert is also perfect for a simple fix like any clothing repairs or zipper replacements.
Understand the Limitations
It’s also important to understand the limitations regarding alterations and tailoring. Make sure that your garment fits you appropriately. A rule of thumb is always to buy or order bigger; tailors or seamstresses can easily take a garment in to allow for a better fit. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to get a garment to fit you correctly when it is already a size too small. But don’t buy too big to where a seamstress or tailor will have to remake the garment to get it to fit you properly. We usually recommend buying no more than one or two sizes bigger.
Garments that are manufactured today have very little excess material at the seams, so the extra material that a seamstress or tailor has to work with to let out a garment is very limited as well. So, please remember always to buy bigger (but not too big)!
Finding the Right Seamstress or Tailor for You
Finding the right seamstress or tailor for your particular needs is very important. We recommend doing some research on local providers and even trying some out with practice alterations. Also, make sure to keep in mind your needs as a customer. For example, if you’re looking for a sewist to help with your wedding dress alterations, you’ll need to find one with experience and a proven track record.
Another good way to find a trusted local alterations shop is to ask your friends, family, or even trusted retailers in your area. You’ll be able to find the perfect seamstress or tailor to fit your needs in no time!
Check out more of our blog content to get answers to all your alterations and tailoring questions!