I’m enjoying the look of wide trousers so I recently added two pairs to my wardrobe. As a result I had too many pairs of wide hemmed pants. I can’t wear wide legs too often in Seattle because the hems get wet in the rain. Tapered legs are a lot more practical, so I decided to taper the hems of two pairs of old bootcut jeans to restore the balance of hem widths in my wardrobe. 

After pinning both pairs of bootcut jeans to the newly desired tapered silhouette, I took them over to Chung, the lady who does all my alterations and who owns Madison Cleaners down the road from our house in Seattle. I adore feisty and exuberant Chung. She barely speaks English, but we totally understand each other. Her broad smile lights up the room and you can’t help but be completely captivated when she beams those pearly white teeth.

Chung and I almost always have a spirited “discussion” about the measurements of a planned alteration, because we both have strong opinions. In this case, I wanted my hems to taper to a half circumference of six inches, while Chung wanted them to taper to seven inches. We debated this for a while, our voices getting louder and louder, with both of us doing a lot of gesticulation. As always, we reached a compromise. Chung suggested we taper at six and half inches and I agreed. 

The results were great. Chung, who was a seamstress for 25 years in Korea, does a killer job. In six years of alterations there was only one time when I wasn’t completely happy with the results. And I find her prices very reasonable. This time she charged me $24 to taper two pairs of jeans.

Finding someone like Chung makes alterations so much easier. After all, they help you to achieve that all important perfect fit. If you don’t already have a go-to person, then ask around. By now, most of my clients and many of my friends have Chung do their alterations. As Phoebe says: “She’s the best!”