Want to start getting your clothes tailored? You’re in the right place! This guide will teach you everything you need to know.
Clothing Alterations 101
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Clothes Tailored
Here’s what we’re going to cover on this page:
- Which alterations can be done
- What can’t be fixed
- How much it will cost you
- How to find a good tailor
- Basic DIY alterations
Why get your clothes tailored?
Fit is the most important aspect of style. If your clothes don’t fit well, nothing else matters (price, brand, color, etc.).
They won’t look good on you.
So I ask you: Do your clothes fit? Do you want them to fit better? Go to the tailor and get them altered. This is the #1 way to improve your appearance quickly – without buying anything new.
What Can Be Altered
Most fit problems are very easy to fix at the tailor. Getting your pants hemmed, for example, is a simple and affordable alteration that any half decent tailor can handle.
But some problems can’t be fixed, and it’s important to understand when not to spend money on tailoring, and when not to buy something that doesn’t fit well in certain places.
Here are three visual guides that show you what can and cannot be altered on shirts, pants and jackets, along with the average cost of each alteration.
The above graphics and links go into great detail about tailoring each type of garment – jackets, shirts and pants – but if you just want a simple list of alterations prices, read on…
Clothing Alterations Cost
Here’s how much it will cost to get your clothes tailored:
|Jacket||Shorten sleeves (working buttons)||$40-60|
|Jacket||Shorten sleeves (faux buttons)||$20-40|
|Jacket||Take in sleeves (make them slimmer)||$20-40|
|Jacket||Take in jacket (make it slimmer)||$20-40|
|Shirt||Replace shirt collar||$30-40|
|Shirt||Replace sleeve cuffs||$30-40|
|Shirt||Shorten sleeves at wrist||$15-25|
|Shirt||Shorten sleeves at shoulder||$35-50|
|Shirt||Take in sleeves (make them slimmer)||$15-25|
|Shirt||Take in shirt (make it slimmer)||$15-25|
|Shirt||Shorten shirt length||$20-30|
|Pants||Remove belt loops||$5-10|
|Pants||Take in legs (make them slimmer)||$15-20|
|Pants||Taper leg opening||$10-20|
|Pants||Hem pants (make them shorter)||$10-20|
Of course, knowing what clothing alterations can be done is only half the battle. You have to find someone who can actually do these alterations…
Finding a Reliable Tailor
You need a tailor. And not just any tailor – you need a tailor you can trust.
After much trial and error, I’ve figured out a simple, surefire method for finding talented and trustworthy tailors. Read my guide to learn how to find your own tailor:
And remember: once you find a great tailor, be sure to spread the word by leaving great reviews on Yelp, Google, etc. This will help their business and help establish you as a loyal customer.
It’s not rare to get discounts and faster turnaround times once you build a strong relationship.
DIY Clothing Alterations
If you’re naturally handy or willing to learn your way around a sewing machine, you can definitely learn how to do most basic alterations yourself.
This is a great way to save some cash, and many people find DIY tailoring to be an enjoyable hobby.
We recommend starting with the basics. Feel free to check out these two guides (don’t worry, they have lots of pictures):
By the way, I created a free downloadable version of this guide, so if you want to save it to your computer or phone for reference, just fill out this form, and I’ll email it to you:
Download the "Tailoring 101" PDF Guide
Get all three clothing alterations infographics - dress shirts, jackets and trousers - in one convenient PDF file. Print it out or keep it on your computer/phone so you can reference it anytime. Oh, and it's totally free!