- Finding a Tailor: If you buy something — say, a suit — at a high-end store, many will have in-house tailors, in which case you're set. Here in Atlanta, there is certainly a shortage for affordable, competent tailors. Most dry-cleaners can perform these services, but again, ask around. And when in doubt, ask at a store: most have go-to people who do their repairs, and they're invested in finding someone good. Not everyone is fortunate to readily know a designer or seamstress that works out of their home but word of mouth is always your best bet when finding someone to alter your wardrobe.
- Do your research and if you're not sure about a tailor or dry-cleaner, start off with something simple or not too expensive — it's a really crummy feeling to have those expensive jeans hemmed just that little bit too short.
Be vocal. You want gold "jeans" thread on the hem? Most places do it, but be sure to ask. A tailor can only work with what you give them. And if you want your skirt or pants a certain length and the tailor's incredulous, don't waver: you know what you want. If you're a real fit zealot, go so far as to buy your clothes a size larger so's they can be tailored right to your body. Keep in mind that not every shape is as easily altered as others — and trickier ones will cost you more. Here are some of the services a seamstress like myself can provide:
Sure, one can do a lot of this at home, but if you lack the skill or the time, don't feel bad: there's a reason these folks are in business. I have had clothes sitting in my closet for years, taken them to the tailor, lopped off maybe 3 inches, and fallen newly in love. Sometimes things you think are dowdy are just slightly too long. I know they say to go through your wardrobe and toss everything you haven't worn in x months, but I say go through with fresh eyes and see what can be altered to fit better first. Tell me, have you found Happiness Through Alteration? If so do tell!