Posts Tagged: alteration

Reader Request: DIY Alterations

diy clothing alterations

Reader Patricia had this request:

Can you maybe talk a bit about DIY clothing alterations? I’m not sure if that’s something you do with your own clothes often, but I know I’ve seen you recommend snipping off belt loops and the like… what options do you tend to utilize in terms of making off-the-rack clothing work better for you (either on your own or with tailoring, although I know you’ve already written a few great posts about tailoring)? Is it worth it buying something not-quite-perfect and making it your own? read more

Reader Request: When to Make Shopping Compromises

When to make (and when to avoid) shopping compromises. (Think hemming, tailoring, and alterations.)

Reader Monica e-mailed me this question:

You’ve mentioned before that you’re lucky enough to generally be able to wear most clothes off the rack in a standard size. I have my share of fit challenges, being that I’m tall with long arms and legs. My shoulders are proportionally wide compared to my torso, I’m short waisted… you get the idea. Off the rack, very very few clothes fit me just perfectly. Because of this, I’m constantly trying to determine what constitutes “good enough.” Are these pants long enough? Do I love this jacket enough to cope with the sleeves being slightly too short? Is this shirt nice enough that it’s worth altering? Is it better to buy this tee shirt in a smaller size that’s not quite wide enough for my shoulders, or the bigger size that’s too baggy on my torso? I’d be very interested on your take about these questions if you have any thoughts. I am still working on developing my judgement about these issues, and it seems to be a frequent source of confusion for me. read more

Ownership and Alterations

I’d wager that 90% of my fancy-pants designer stuff was bought used or on DEEP discount. And although I re-sell some items once I feel I’ve moved beyond them (or admitted to myself that they were mistakes), I’m perfectly comfortable altering just about anything I own without regard to how it will affect resale value. Or perceived value. Or cachet.

Here’s a very concrete example:

Long ago, I bought this Botkier bag on eBay and I got a good deal, but it was still relatively spendy. The eBay seller photos made it look dark pink, almost magenta, which was just what I was looking for. So imagine my surprise when it arrived at my doorstep looking for all the world like it’d been marinating in Pepto Bismol. read more