Fashion Tips on Tailoring for Women

A few tweaks can turn a frumpy dress into your go-to frock.

Photo: Jim DeYonker

Haute couture wardrobes can cost a pretty penny, but you don't need your own personal couturier to have clothes that are tailored to your body. A professional tailor can take your off the rack clothes and with a few tweaks, turn them into sleek pieces that not only look like they cost a million bucks but also make you look slimmer and more put together.

Buy Blouses to Fit Your Bust

There's nothing more embarrassing than showing up to work with a shirt that gaps at the bust, but for many large-chested women, finding button up shirts and blazers that fit properly can be a major problem. The key is to buy blouses and blazers that fit well in the bust area and don't allow any gaps or pulling -- even if they are oversized everywhere else. Your tailor can take in the shoulders and waist so that you have a perfect fitting shirt every time.

Take Up Skirts

One important thing to remember when buying skirts and dresses is that the hemlines are totally flexible. Everyone's legs are different lengths, so buy skirts and dresses that fit in the waist and then get the hems taken up to flatter your body. A general rule of thumb is that hems that hit right above the knee are universally flattering for gams of all lengths!

Narrow Your Sleeves

We all know that the color black and vertical stripes are always slimming, but did you know that more narrow sleeves can make you look pounds thinner as well? Simply bring your shirts, jackets and blazers to the tailor and have them taken up -- sleeves should hit at the meaty part of your thumb or higher -- and in for an instant slimdown.

Taking Out Seams

The most important thing to remember about tailoring is that you should always buy pieces larger than you need and take them in instead of buying clothes smaller and letting them out. You will need at least an extra inch of fabric to let out a seam or a hem, and most clothes that you buy in the store don't have nearly enough wiggle room.

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