You have found the almost-perfect item for your wardrobe. It is almost-perfect because the style, fabric and color is spot-on, but unfortunately the fit is not. I am an advocate for only having items in your closet that fit your body perfectly, and a little help from a tailor can make this a reality. To help aid your decision in purchasing an almost-perfect piece, here are my tips from How to Win at Shopping on what your tailor can and can’t do:

A Tailor Can…

-Add top stitching back to the hem of your jeans after shortening.

-Maximize the amount of length in a pair of pants by dropping the hem to the longest possible length and finishing the inside with hem tape.

-Stitch down and remove the front pockets of your pants to create a smoother, slimmer effect.

-Shorten straps so that a dress or top raises to fit through the torso and has properly placed bust darts and underarms.

-Shorten sleeves. If your coat sleeve is past the knuckle or your blazer sleeve is past the wrist, they can be adjusted.

-Line a sheer garment with your shade of nude (the color most complementary to your skin tone) to enable you to wear regular undergarments under it.

-Add a hook and eye or snap at the point where your button-front blouse gapes.

A Tailor Can’t…

-Take more than two inches out of the back center seam of jeans or pants with back pockets. Otherwise, the pockets will be too close together.

-Let out the seams of a garment made of a fabric that will show stitch marks such as linen, velvet, cotton, or silk. The result would be holes in your clothes.

-Reduce something more than one size. The proportions and seams will not end up where they should be.

-Remove heavy shoulder pads from a jacket. The fabric will not drape or fit your shoulders correctly without them.

-Lengthen a jacket. Shortening may be possible, but there will not be enough seam allowance to lengthen.

-Repair a hole by stitching it closed. Avoid a lumpy outcome and ask for a recommendation for a reweaving service.

-Change the original design completely. Alterations are possible, but if transformation is desired, go for another garment or have something custom made.