5 Alterations You Didn't Know Your Tailor Could Do

These skilled artisans can do so much more than just hike up a hem.

Larry Huerta is Head Tailor at zTailors, a company that literally delivers a pro to your home or office, so you can get a garment fitted without having to go anywhere. He let us in on a few tweaks to help reduce your seldom-worn pile of clothes that never feel exactly right when you try them on. (We know it's there.)

01 of 05

Altering the Arm

Tailoring supplies
ansonsaw/Getty Images

Obviously, oversized sleeves can be made slimmer, but there are also a host of options for sleeves that are too small. 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.

02 of 05

Creating a Different Neckline

Absolutely 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—to provide the most flattering silhouette, or just the right amount of modesty (or lack thereof).

03 of 05

Custom-Fitting Denim

You may have scored an amazing pair of vintage jeans with a less-than-amazing fit. 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 they're 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.

04 of 05

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.

05 of 05

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).

RELATED: Basic Sewing Kit Essentials Checklist

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles