Any garment will look significantly better when it fits properly, according to costume designer and author Alison Freer. Below is an excerpt from her book on clothing alterations that are worth it. This piece was originally published in the Huffington Post. And remember, DELIA’S Cleaners can complete most of the alterations you’ll ever need.
Alterations To Consider
1. Add a shirttail hem.
“On most simple tops (even those with buttons), you can ask your tailor to add a curved, shirt-tail style hem instead of a boring straight one. This will create a more interesting, flattering silhouette. This alteration also allows you to tuck tops into clingier skirts or pants with only minimal bunching.”
2. Take in a shirt at the side seams.
“If you’re considering the purchase of a blouse you love with a fit that’s on the not-so-perfect boxy side, check to see if it has a straight seam on each side of the body. If it does, march right up to the register and pay, because taking a straight seam in at the sides is one of the easiest clothing fixes there is. However, keep in mind that it means you’ll have to make sure the shirt in question has enough room in the underarm to allow for a small chunk of fabric to be removed.”
3. Take up a shoulder seam (or shorten your straps).
“A good shoulder fit is important, as it can actually improve the look and feel of the entire garment. Taking a sleeveless garment up at the shoulder seam is an easy, inexpensive fix.”
4. Hem a pair of pants or jeans.
“The difference a simple hem on a pair of jeans makes in your look is priceless. Just a few inches off the bottom allows the pants to fall straight from your hips as the designer intended — resulting in a clean, sleek, fresh line from waist to floor.”
5. Add some darts.
“Darts can be useful to shape a pair of pants or a skirt or to slim down a boxy jacket. If you have broad shoulders, you may find that you need to buy your jackets a size or two up to have them fit well through the shoulders — but this almost always causes it to be too boxy through the waist.”
6. Slim down a sleeve.
“Cutting down a voluminous sleeve is another alteration that makes a huge difference in how a garment looks. When a sleeve is too loose, it usually means the armpit is too big as well.”
7. Taper a trouser leg.
“You can’t make a pair of wide-leg pants into a legging with this alteration, but you can have your tailor easily trim a bit of excess volume along the garment’s inner and outer seams, resulting in a more flattering, streamlined silhouette.”
8. Replace a terrible invisible zipper.
“The zipper that will give you the most trouble in life is an invisible zipper, which is practically embedded into the garment, rendering the zipper invisible once zipped up! Consider replacing plastic zippers with metal ones, as they are stronger and can take more of a beating. Be sure to bring the garment to the fabric store with you so you get the best match.”