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Going to a tailor

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pilot, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    So I've never had clothes altered much -- maybe a little when I bought a suit a few years back. I really don't know much about doing it and I'm prepared to ask some stupid questions.

    Anyway, I lost some weight over the last year and none of my old or transitioning clothes really fit anymore. They're not too bad -- all large when I now usually buy medium. But I'd sure like it if there was a way to ... shrink them a little, make them fit a little tighter. They are all just kind of baggy. None of them were really expensive, however -- mostly just button-ups purchased at Express for Men or Abercrombie.

    Can/will they alter a shirt like that?

    I also have a corduroy sports jacket I bought at Kohls last year. It's a 42 Long and it too is just baggy. Again, it isn't a really "nice" piece, but I don't like how any of them fit and unless this somehow works, I probably won't wear them much.

    Can they do surgery like that? Is it even worth my while? (It's probably $400 worth of clothes when new)

  2. They probably will be able to do something with the jacket, but I'm not sure if the shirts can be saved.

    How many shirts, etc., do you have? A good guess on alterations is about $10-20 per item, depending on how much they have to do to it.

    I am a hard-to-fit size, and I've found having my better clothing custom made is a good value for the dollar. There are various tailors who travel the U.S. from Hong Kong and Thailand, and they charge reasonable prices for pretty good work. Plus you can choose the fabric and the style and the accessories. Plus, if you lose/gain weight, alterations usually are free.
  3. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Try not to giggle when he measures your inseam.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I recently had a jacket altered and until I bargained him down (and I normally don't do this with people's services), the alteration was going to cost almost as much as the jacket. I didn't spend a ton on the jacket, but I wanted this particular jacket because it was different than everything I own and I kind of liked it. I tend to buy the same things 100 times. They didn't have it in my size, so I bought it a size up off the rack, thinking I could just get it taken in. As I learned, that sort of work is generally expensive--at least around here--and he did a mediocre (but passable) job. I can't imagine paying for that on everything I own.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Depending on your area, you might not need a tailor since these kinds of alterations are pretty run-of-the-mill stuff.

    In our neighbourhood there's at least one dry cleaner who does alterations (and relatively cheaply) on the premises and up the street there's a dressmaker--yeah, let the jokes start--who might also be less expensive than a tailor. Taking a shirt into a professional tailor for alterations is like going to emergency for a hang-nail.

    In the long run, however, it depends on how much you spent on the originals and how long you've had them. If your shirts are 2-3 years old and they were $40.00 a pop, not worth it
  6. ThomsonONE

    ThomsonONE Member

    Alterations to a jacket are expensive. The only simple things are sleeve length changes, taking one in at the waist, or a back collar trim. Anything else requires taking the jacket apart and rebuilding it. That's why when you go to buy a suit, the jacket needs to fit almost perfectly across your chest, or forget it.

    As for the shirts, the only thing that can be changed is to take them in at the waist. If you've lost weight this is worth it. If you have a relatively small waist now, have the shirts darted up the back.
  7. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Pilot they can, but it is pricey. I took gentleman's shirts in to my personal lady tailor for shrinking it and she also gave me a discount.

    And she did a fabulous job on the shirts.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Altering everyday stuff is doable but feasible is a whole different story. Go to a dry cleaner who usually does alterations and ask. But I found that I liked the new Lacoste (alligator) shirts which were cut shorter than my old Polos so I took 3 in to get shortened. Cheaper than buying a new Lacoste shirt but still cost about $10 per shirt.
  9. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    Anyone else have Andrew Dice Clay stuck in their head?
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Or say, "Yeah. That feels good."

    And they like it when you pat the top of their heads -- you decide which one.
  11. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    As far as the shirts, is there any chance you can do something like throw them in the washer on hot and then dry them for 2 hours and see if they shrink any?

    I learned from George Costanza that things in water tend to shrink.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Well, the thing is they're not going to base their pricing on what the item is worth, they base it on how much work it entails, and I'm guessing it's similar labor for a $20 Land's End as it is for a $300 Robert Talbott.

    Esquire's annual Big Black Book (which is actually red this year) has a good chart on what's worth fixing and what you should just toss.

    I've never had a shirt altered, I like them baggy -- that's traditional men's style; places like Brooks Brothers and Land's End now also offer "slim fit," but the traditional fit is a bit blousey.

    I screwed up once and bought some dress shirts that have sleeves a bit too long, but I just wear them in warm weather with the sleeves rolled up halfway up the forearm.

    I'm told that really expensive shirts last longer -- better fabric, better craftsmanship -- but I don't think I've ever paid more than $80 for one (it was half price, nice shirt, but I'd never pay full price for it) because you're going to be lucky to get 100 washings out of it. So I view them as disposable.

    On the cord jacket, I'd just wear a sweater under it -- it's a traditional look. I have a couple tweed sports coats that I bought a bit larger so I could do just that, and I have others that are the correct size that I wouldn't wear a sweater with. I went to a homecoming football game last month and my classmates kept saying "Aren't you cold?" They were wearing winter coats. I was wearing a thermal undershirt, buttondown, wool sweater and tweed jacket. My face was numb like theirs, but the rest of me was warmer than they were.
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