As a fan of custom tailoring and clothing alterations, I could not agree more.
While an urban legend states that Einstein wore the same clothing everyday, in fact Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck’s book Einstein A to Z reveals that the famous genius wore beautiful silk vests, and dapper neckwear picked by his wife.
Mrs. Einstein I presume, fancied fine clothing and had a regular appointment with a special tailor to help swath her husband in fine clothing fit for a theoretical physicist.
For the well-dressed woman who is looking for a quick treatise on clothing alterations before hiring a tailor, read on for my best advice on tailoring and what you need to know before hiring a master clothing magician.
“Clothing alterations” are necessary to improve the shape and quality of any garment.
Minor alterations to an inexpensive item can upgrade the garment from cheap to fashionably expensive.
Whether you are swathed in silk from the deft hands of a Parisian couturier or need to hem a pencil skirt or a pair of pants, a simple nick and tuck upgrades an item of clothing instantly.
Do I need a tailor? Can I just alter my clothing myself?
Gone are the days of home economics in high school, where young and nimble fingers learned how to sew.
Now, freelance tailors provide custom alterations at upscale department stores, bridal salons and your neighborhood dry cleaners for your convenience.
If you have the sewing skills to alter your own clothes, be my guest.
But, I would prefer the trained hands of a skilled artisan reducing inches and expertly molding and shaping fabric over my body to my own amateur sewing skills.
A seamstress and master tailor provide alteration expertise based upon knowledge of the materials, their years of experience tailoring and the type of materials used to create the garment.
While these sewing artisans are a large part of the retail economy, an expert tailor can reduce inches without the use of dieting or wearing a girdle.
Recessionista Tip: Clothing alterations are essential when fitting a garment to a person’s frame. If you are a bargain-shopper, alterations are a budget-boosting alternative to buying a new wardrobe.
Are there different types of custom alterations?
Based upon the type of materials used to create the garment, clothing alterations vary.
Sewing professionals and people performing alteration services and specialize in the following categories: couture, bridal, custom, bespoke, suede and leather, restorations and museum.
Whether sewing by hand or machine, hours of training and apprenticeship under a master seamstress or tailor is required to master the sewing techniques for each category.
For example: French couturiers, like Christian LaCroix or Chanel retain a seasoned group of 125 artisans who know how to cut, sew and drape an exquisite piece of fabric without damaging the material.
What are the average costs to alter a garment?
Repairing torn sweaters, mending ripped jeans, adjusting the hems of pants and skirts, and replacing a broken zipper are considered simple clothing alterations.
According to RealSimple.com, “the average prices for alterations include: $ 7 to $10 dollars to hem a pair of pants, $19 to shorten a sleeve, and $23 dollars to shorten the sleeves on a jacket.
What happens if a dry cleaner damages my clothing during an alteration?
Choose your tailor wisely. By law, you are only entitled to the fair market value of the item before it was destroyed or damaged.
My final thoughts on clothing alterations…
With a few snips of sewing shears, minimal alterations can update an old dress or pantsuit effortlessly and inexpensively.
A quality seamstress is similar to a hairstylist and treasured makeup artist: their skills are golden.
Ask any well-dressed woman, and she will tell you that…