Today I want to talk about alterations. They can save you time and money, but more importantly, they make your clothing fit better and make you feel more confident!
Altering clothes is a difficult process that takes years of training; luckily, alterations are something that good tailors know best. When altering clothing for someone else, it is important to reverse engineer the original manufacturing process so each garment looks like it was never altered. Pinning garments on the body is an art form that requires decades of practice before mastering. A good tailor should have all the right tools for this job – sewing machines and supplies like needles, thread, measuring tapes, and gauges – which can be expensive but worthwhile investments in order to do alterations properly.
THE ART OF FITTING
Fitting clothing to the human body requires years of experience to adjust for every nuance. Each piece of clothing is made differently, and will fit differently on different people. The goal is to make whatever garment it is look like it was made for you, not edited.
This takes time and patience, as well as a good eye for detail. The time spent fitting is one of the most important aspects of what a tailor does. He or she has to take into account the body shape, proportions, and even personality of the person you are fitting.
UNLOCKING THE FIT
Body language is arguably one of the most important aspects to consider when fitting someone. Even if you’re quiet and don’t speak up, a skilled tailor will see your stance shift, your shoulders droop, or even your facial expression change.
I was taught that when fitting people, they’re like locks, and every movement I make is a key moving each pin on the tumbler until the lock is ready to be turned. Your subtle body language and vocal input is taken into account as often as it’s given, and the unlocked door is when together we find that one perfect fit for you.
The beautiful thing is that not one person likes the same fit because not one of us shares the same body. Alterations make clothing personal, and once that perfect fit is found, it becomes a part of you. You walk or sit taller in it, feel more confident in a room with your peers, clients, or employer. A perfect fit isn’t something that should be taken for granted – it’s something to be treasured and loved.
A TAILOR’S EYE
I was taught to size people up at first glance, and I’ve perfected that ability through three decades worth of practice. Life choices are not one-size-fits-all, and neither is clothing. Small, medium, or large? 42, 40, or 38 jacket? Size 8 petite or size 14 maternity? That doesn’t begin to cover it. I have to take into account so much more.
Pants – do they have a belt or suspenders? How long is their torso and legs in proportion to each other, and how will that affect the full body visual?
Shirts – do they have wide or narrow shoulders? What’s the slope of their shoulder and shape of their chest, and how will that affect fit at the waist and bicep?
Jackets – do they have a high or low natural waist? Where is the optimal button position for closure for that area? Is the cuff opening large enough to fit a french cuff, or if they won’t wear that type of shirt, is it small enough to not look baggy?
Dresses – do they have a large bust or narrow hips? How much volume do they need in the skirt to create a flattering shape that is proportionate with their curvature?
Skirts – do they need above the knee, at the knee, or below the knee for an event or job? How much flare do they need in the hem to turn an A-line based upon their hip measurement?
Wedding Gowns – do they need to be taken in, let out, or shortened? Will a bustle work for them and where should it be placed? What style bustle is best for the gown while being sensitive to the person’s desires for how it looks?
There’s so much more that a tailor’s eye has to catch, and it’s all based upon the individual. Only then can we begin the process of actually altering the garment to fit that person and make them look like a million bucks.
BUILDING WHO YOU ARE
Even the most introverted person can feel beautiful in a room filled with their peers. While some of us don’t care what we look like and wear whatever we have available, you’re not that type of person, are you? Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this deep into today’s subject!
The fact is, well-fitted clothing is not just an art, it’s a confidence booster in a time where we could all use a little more. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and instead of seeing what you don’t like, seeing every little perfection and imperfection as a part of a beautiful whole.
Everyone is familiar with James Bond. His swagger, confidence and style is unmatched. How did he get to be that way? Women, martinis, spy gadgets – it’s all there. But what goes unnoticed by most is his style. Bond has brought to the table the most beautiful clothing that money can buy – and it’s not just Daniel Craig. It was Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan who have all donned the suits that make Bond look like, well, Bond!
My goal is to give everyone the chance to have the confidence that he exudes, and perfectly altered clothing can do that for almost anyone.
I believe the most important step we can all take to gaining the confidence we need to move forward in our lives with positivity and love is to simply love ourselves. Some of us need more motivation to love ourselves than others. I’ve spent years watching people get their clothing altered, and the formula ends with the same result; every single person walked away just a little more confident and happy than when they first met me.
What is it that builds your confidence? Is it a nice pair of shoes, or a new suit or shirt? How can you put your clothes to more use than just covering your body?
Clothing is a fluid art form that moulds and changes with every move you make. Do you want to be remembered for the clothes you wear, or the confidence that emanated from you? Why do you have to choose one or the other? Why can’t you have both?
The choice is yours. And a good tailor will help you when you’ve made it.
A CALL TO ACTION
Do you or someone you know need help with alterations that lives in south Florida? Send an email or a text directly to me and I’ll help bring out the greatness within them through confidence building perfectly fitted clothing.