Frugal Fashion: When to Use a Tailor & How It Saves You Money

September 23, 2015

Frugal Fashion Tip- Using A Tailor Is Actually A Great Way To Save Money! How to make sure your warrobe is perfect

Zina here, and I’m going to make the case that the best investment you can make in yourself and a great wardrobe is to spend a few extra dollars in going to a great tailor.  How many pants or jackets that you’ve already paid for would get more usage if they just fit better?  If that sounds like you, read on!

One of the biggest decisions I’ve made this year is getting my clothes tailored more. I know, expensive right, right? Wrong. After reading that Eva Longoria’s secret to looking good was getting everything tailored to fit her petite frame, I became curious.

I’m barely 5″4 and frequently have trouble finding pants that fit well. Sometimes I’d go and get them hemmed, but I always hated paying more for tailors on top of original cost of the pants.  It was while I was getting my wedding dress altered that I fell in love with my tailor. She’s a sassy first-generation Italian woman who runs a tailor shop with her mom. I liked her so much that I took in a few items that I liked, but wanted to get better fitted.  She charged me a fair price and once I saw how much more I liked my clothes, I decided to start going to her regularly.

If you have an unusual body type and have trouble finding clothes that fit you, you may be spending more than you think already, simply spending money on a wardrobe that doesn’t fit you.   If you find that you frequently go to a full closet and feel you have “nothing to wear,” you may be investing too much money in time in an array of pieces that don’t flatter your figure, instead of a few key, go-to pieces that fit like a glove.  It may be scary to invest in a tailor, but when you have clothes that fit your frame, you’ll feel better and be less likely to hit the online sales because you’re feeling frumpy or frustrated with your wardrobe.

Here are some tips on knowing when to use a tailor:

For Easy Fixes

I’ve been hunting for a pair of red jeans online for months. Since I’ve been working crazy hours, spending hours in the mall is not how I want to spend my free time. But shopping online means you have to try on and return a lot of stuff.

Finally I thought I’d found a pair of jeans that worked, except they were a couple inches too short. The problem? They also had a zipper at the bottom of the pants. I was so worried my tailor would tell me it’d be a $40 fix, bringing my reasonable $30 Rag & Bone jeans up to $70.

Fortunately she said it’d be a $15 fix. For easy things like getting your pants hemmed, it’s worth going to a tailor. Long pants that drag past your shoes will only fray and tear and make you look sloppy. I was always aghast at the women I worked with who had pants that didn’t fit properly. Didn’t anyone know a tailor in town?

For When You’ve Lost Weight

When my husband and I were searching for a suit for him to wear to our wedding, we ended up ordering one online. Unfortunately, by the time he had to get it tailored, he’d lost weight and the suit didn’t fit as well.

For only $60, the tailor was able to take in the suit and made it fit him perfectly. He would’ve needed to get some alterations anyway so it wasn’t a huge price difference.

If you’ve lost weight and want to keep some of your pieces, getting them taken in is a good option.

For When You Bought It Cheap

Our neighborhood had a flea market a few months ago where I scored a dress from Urban Outfitters for only $3. It was a beautiful strapless black floral dress, perfect for the beginning of summer.

Unfortunately it was a size too big. Whatever, I thought, I’ll get it taken in. It cost $40 to get it fitted, but now I love it.

If you buy something at Goodwill that doesn’t fit perfectly, consider getting it tailored. Since you’ve saved money on the initial process, you have more to spend on getting it perfectly altered.



7 comments so far.

7 responses to “Frugal Fashion: When to Use a Tailor & How It Saves You Money”

  1. This is such great advice. I’ve used a tailor for my pants and denim. People still ask me where I buy such nice-fitting pants. I think that kind of shopping is painful for virtually everyone for different reasons – length, waist band, etc. It makes my clothes last a lot longer. Plus, I figure I’m a grown up, so I probably shouldn’t walk around with frayed hemlines at work 😉

  2. Beks says:

    Great post! I had to get a bridesmaid dress tailored several years ago, because I ordered a bit too big, but ended up losing a LOT of weight. For $30, I got a nice looking dress, and look really nice in the photos. Plus, the lady who did it was very friendly, and proud to hear I’d lost the weight, despite never seeing me before in her life! Definitely worth your time to find someone you like.

  3. I love a good tailor, but unfortunately, I don’t have one to go to since moving to a smaller town. It’s amazing what wearing a piece of clothing tailored to you does for your confidence.

  4. I have a dress hanging in my closet that was my grandma’s from the 50’s. I’ve been meaning to take it to get it fitted to me for MONTHS – thank you for the reminder!

  5. Monica says:

    As a short legged girl, I’m all for using a tailor. Although my mom taught me how to alter the length of pants, my skill set (or lack thereof) is nowhere near the wonderful quality of a good tailor. Also, you’re supporting small business! 🙂

  6. Betsy says:

    I need to get my pants taken in after loosing 22ish pounds really badly but they all want $40. It’s tough call for me since I didn’t even pay that much for the pants when I first bought them new! I don’t ever buy work pants at $60, I wait until a really good sale.

  7. Crazy Socks says:

    Some very usefull information in this post…thanks and good karma coming your way.


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