5 Alterations You Didn’t Know Your Tailor Could Do

You’ve probably made a few trips to a tailor in your life to take in (or let out) a dress or to shorten a pair of pants. (And if you’re petite, this errand is probably one with which you’re extremely familiar.) But these skilled artisans can do so much more than just hike up a hem.

Larry Huerta is Head Tailor at zTailors, a new company that literally delivers a pro to your home or office, so you can check that errand off your list without actually having to run it. He let us in on a few tweaks that will go a loooong way toward reducing that seldom-worn pile of clothes that just never feel exactly right whenever you try them on. (We know it’s there.)


Altering The Arm

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While it may seem pretty obvious that you can have your sleeves made slimmer if they’re too big, there are a host of options for sleeves that are too small as well. If your garment is too tight near the armhole, the tailor can drop it to create more room. He can also use the extra fabric allowance in the seam to loosen the arms a bit, or even remove the sleeves completely to transform it into a tank style.


Creating A Different Neckline

Absolutely love love a top or a dress but hate how the neckline doesn’t exactly flatter your flat chest (or large chest, or narrow shoulders, or broad shoulders...)? Reinvent it! Your tailor can work with you to switch up the neckline—say, removing the collar from a button-down or turning a crewneck into a boatneck—so it provides the most flattering silhouette, or just the right amount of modesty (or lack thereof).


Custom-Fit Denim

If you’ve ever scored an amazing pair of vintage jeans, you’ve likely realized they also often come with a less-than-amazing fit despite their irresistible cool factor. Don’t despair! A tailor can adjust almost every single aspect of your jeans until they look like they were made for you (because by the time he or she is done, they will have been). The only requirement is that the denim should fit you well through the widest part of your hips. (Don’t worry about the actual waistband since that can be altered as well.) The legs can be tapered to your personal specifications, the hems can be raised or lowered, and—here’s the best part—the seat can be shaped to flatter your curves. Consider this the end of “Mom jeans.”


Adding A Zipper

That dress that you always avoid because it’s just too much of a struggle to get into? Your tailor can add a zipper to it—problem solved. For an edgy look, ask for an exposed zipper. Or, if you’d rather not change the appearance of the garment, stick to a hidden side zipper. One small caveat: Because this addition requires a little extra fabric allowance from within the garment, this alteration works best on pieces that are also being taken in. And, of course, your tailor can repair a broken zipper, so you can bring that old skirt back out of retirement.


Removing Pleats

Maybe you’re still holding onto a favorite pair of pants from a few (ok, a lot) of years ago, when pleat-fronts were all the rage. Or maybe they’re a recent purchase but those pleats just aren’t doing great things for your hips. Ask a tailor to take them out entirely, or reconstruct them to create a sleeker, more modern look, and then adjust the front of the pant to lay more smoothly (read: flatteringly).