When purchasing a garment, three things are essential: fabric, style, and fit, with fit being the most important. Nothing worse than an ill-fitting garment, When purchasing a garment, three things are essential: fabric, style, and fit, with fit being the most important. Nothing worse than an ill-fitting garment, but off the rack clothes are not made for our individual body types. Yes, there are brands and silhouettes that seem to cater to us, but half the time, the clothing we love needs a tweak. A hem here, shorten the sleeves, nip in a waist here, and take up the shoulders of a sleeveless top or dress is a just a few of things I have my tailor do for my clients. These are the basics. Other times I need my tailor to do more than a tweak, I need lots of tweaks that sometimes border on reconstruction.
Recently I took my client, the brilliant Katie Farris, to alter numerous vintage dresses. She has been collecting vintage pieces for ages and couldn’t quite figure our why they weren’t working, so she brought me in to solve the issues. Some of them just needed the right styling, but most needed altering. We removed buttons, changed the bust, brought up, took in, added patches, and more to a series of fabulous pieces.
So often we are drawn to vintage clothing, but more often than not, something isn’t right. Sometimes it can be costumey and other times it fits a different decade of body types, but this is no reason to skip the vintage goodies. It can be saved by a trustworthy tailor. It is amazing how absolutely fabulous a vintage piece can be after a tailor session. I repeat, half the issues we run into with beloved vintage clothing can be fixed by a tailor. The only thing I recommend skipping, in general, is an item that is too small or a dress or top with sleeves that is too big in the shoulder. Unless you are working with a blazer or a top with a center seam on the back, a shoulder seam cannot be fixed smoothly. This tailor tip is actually in reference to all clothing.
In the three examples pictured, my tailor, Maria Louisa took up the hem and took it in under the arm of both these dresses for a more modern look. I will be featuring other pieces we altered in future posts.