I’ve written about clothing alterations many times on YLF, and it bears repeating. When an item that you adore is a close-to-perfect fit, and alterable, the question is whether you’ll go to the effort and expense of the alteration. For me, it’s almost aways a resounding YES. 

If I choose the right size in a brand, silhouette, and cut that is suited to my body type, clothing items generally fit quite well. That said, items don’t always fit perfectly straight off the rack. Because I am a stickler for perfect fit and do not sew, I will spend the time, effort and money to have items altered. I’ve found that perfectly fitting garments are not only more comfortable, flattering and practical, but they amp up the polish of my style, and create better proportions.

Fits, silhouettes and sizes change with the trends, and these days, I’m finding that I have to alter more than I used to. If I’ve bought the item at Nordstrom, my alterations are free and top notch. Otherwise, I’m lucky to have found a competent tailor a block and a half away from our home. Her rates are reasonable and her work very skillful.

I’ve had these items altered over the last eighteen months to create a perfect fit. Some were an easy alteration, and others more complex.

  • Suistudio Plaid Pants: An easy hem shortening to wear with flats.

  • Boden Turquoise Coat: An easy sleeve shortening despite the lining.
  • Boden Plaid Coat: A more complex alteration because the lined coat was too wide, although great on the shoulders. I had the back and side seams tapered to add a little more structure to its fluid A-line fit.
  • Boden Polka Dot Dress: This was tricky because I had the dress altered a whole size down, and it’s fully lined. It now fits like it was made for me.
  • G-Star White Jeans: This was the trickiest alteration because I had the seat, hips and waist altered with double-seamed and top-stitched denim. I persevered with this big alteration because reasonably affordable sustainably and ethically produced white jeans made of thick, crisp, non-stretchy denim in a roomy fit are hard to find. With the rise, length and leg fit bang on the money, I had high hopes that the rest could be fixed. I bought the item on sale, which offset the price of the alteration.You can see the stellar results.

My weight is quite stable, so when an item is altered to fit, it tends to fit for the duration of its life in my closet. Showcasing clothing that fits perfectly also sets the example for clientele who aspire to perfect fit. These things definitely help me to justify the expense of my alterations.

Finding items that I love and fit perfectly off the rack is first prize. But when that doesn’t happen, I make alterations a priority and absorb the expense. How about you? Do you go to the trouble and expense of having items altered to achieve a better fit?