Tailoring makes your clothes fit and fall as they were intended to. A nip here, a tuck there, and what was once mediocre becomes sublime. Tailoring adjusts everything from shirt sleeves and pant legs to inseams. It creates a fitted dream out of an unworn and unloved jacket or a made-to-measure showpiece out of that superior-quality Oxford cloth shirt in the back of your closet. A tailor can switch out that funky collar, giving your forgotten shirt new meaning with an updated treatment.
An experienced, skilled tailor can reimagine your existing wardrobe just by adjusting the fit. The night and day difference between off-the-rack clothing and tailoring is immediately noticeable, making you look and feel like a different person. So, tailoring is worth the price of admission and costs far less than purchasing something high-end.
But mistakes can be made. We’re going to talk about the mistakes men make when getting clothing tailored so you can avoid them. When you get tailoring right, you tap a resource that returns excellence in presentation, perception, and profile.
Fit For a King
Having clothing tailored can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, giving any piece of clothing a high-end appearance. Another option is customizable suits which are just as refined. Why spend a bunch of money on a suit or a fine dress shirt that doesn’t quite fit? It’s not going to look the way you envisioned it if left untailored or uncustomized.
Spending big money on clothes doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to look amazing, either. Taking the extra step of getting your clothes tailored to your body is what makes the difference and something you should never cut back on for a special occasion or event. Tailoring takes your wardrobe from lukewarm to hot, presenting you at your best. Fit is king because it makes you look like one!
A jacket found at a thrift store can trump a high-fashion jacket, simply because you’ve had it tailored. The cost of clothing has little to do with the way it looks on you. Fabric, construction, and tailoring that conform to your body type create the look of designer clothing, so even a $20 Goodwill suit can get you there.
Let’s look at the most common mistakes men make when getting clothing tailored, so you can enjoy the benefits of a tailored wardrobe while avoiding these potential hiccups.
Expecting Instant Gratification
One of the most egregious errors made by men when visiting a tailor for the first time is expecting instant gratification. But tailoring is a process. Depending on the task you’ve given your tailor and the type of garment you’re having tailored, a thorough, professional job can take up to four weeks for a suit. A dress shirt can usually be tailored between four days to a week, depending on how complicated the alterations are. Pants will take a day or two, depending again on how complex the job is.
Tailoring is “slow fashion” and worth waiting for. That shirt taking up space in the back of your closet might have the sleeve length altered at the shoulder or cuff. You might want it tailored at the waist, tapering the garment to better conform to the contours of your body. Rushing into a tailor the day of an event, spiffily groomed and with your special cologne already behind your ears is not going to work. Give your tailor adequate time to do the kind of work you showed up for to start with.
Choosing the Wrong Tailor
Not all tailors are created equal and not everyone with a sewing machine and a shingle over the front door reading “Tailor” is equal to the work. So, as you start on your tailoring project, don’t toss in the big stuff until you’ve seen that your tailor can manage the smaller stuff.
Start with minor alterations and work up to the more complex jobs, like suiting. Not all tailors can manage complicated tailoring, so check out the tailor’s minor chops, first. Drop off those relaxed athleisure pants to be hemmed and see how it goes. If you’re not happy with minor alterations, you’re not going to be happy with the work on a jacket or suit.
And as you do with everything else – go online and check that tailor’s reputation with customers. Ask around at work and with friends. Do your homework and you’ll find a customizing friend for life to keep you looking smooth.
Not Understanding Variable Pricing
Because every tailoring job has its quirks – as all human bodies do – tailors may seem vague about their pricing. For more complex tailoring, the cost is going to vary as the work has different needs.
When you’re at the point of asking for complicated tailoring to a suit jacket, for example, be aware that there is no set cost. Simply, construction can vary from garment to garment. While all suit jackets are on a basic template, there’s tremendous variety within that template. And that variety must be reflected in the variable pricing of different tailoring jobs.
Even putting a break on a pair of pants can be demanding. Taken into consideration for creating a classic break are the inseam, fabric, and other factors, like the type of shoes worn. Tailoring is basically retro-engineering clothing, so it’s only fair that tougher jobs demand higher pay.
Not Leveraging the Magic of Tailoring
A lot of men seem to think that presentation isn’t that important. But think about it. When you’re dressed well in clothes that fit, you feel good. You know you look good. When you’re as smooth as silk, you can feel it and so can everybody else.
Your presentation is a golden ticket to being who you want to be in life and tailoring can help you get there. Why splash out on an expensive suit that doesn’t fit perfectly? Buy something affordably priced – or even something vintage – in a good quality fabric and have it tailored. You’ll get so much more bang for your buck that it’s almost scandalous! And just between us, not leveraging something as magical as tailoring is like leaving money on the table. And that’s not your style!