I get this question from clients all the time: I have this great blazer that I just don’t think looks right on me. Should I just get rid of it? My answer to that is, “it depends”. You know my thoughts here. I’d rather you keep and re-love a garment (maybe with some alterations) than buy something new. This helps you stretch your hard earned dollars. As you know, I rarely open up my client engagements in this way. Having said that, I thought this one would be valuable in getting my point across about re-loving and re-using your exisitng items. My client, pictured here, had this blazer in her wardrobe. She freely admitted that it just didn’t fit right when she tried it on in the store but that she loved the pattern. She bought it anyways. Surprise, surprise. She’s never worn it. As you can likely appreciate, I hear that all the time. I took a look at the jacket and, yes, agreed with her that it didn’t quite work. It fit in the shoulders, the sleeve length was good and the hem was right for a boyfriend blazer. It was shapeless through the torso. As it was, the blazer did NOTHING to highlight her lovely shape. With some minor pinning, I showed her the potential in this blazer. She has a tiny waist and should really show it off. By adding darts to the front and back, her waistline would be highlighted. Added style tip: I suggested she also have small shoulder pads added in. This would add more structure to the garment and would visually create more of an angle between her shoulder, waist and hip. Do you have an old garment hanging around that you’ve forgotten about? Try re-loving it.
I truly believe in the necessity of a good tailor (I’m sure you’ve figured this out about me by now). I wanted to share this alteration with you because it’s something that I feel people wouldn’t automatically think to tailor… but I certainly would! Here’s a bit of background: I was looking for more of a dressy-casual summer dress that was more feminine and “light” looking (does that make sense??). I stumbled across this fun and flirty dress at Thread Hill, a great boutique in downtown Edmonton. I fell in love with the dress but realized that it needed some tailoring to make it work for me. Since I’ve been working with my tailor for a few years now, I usually do a mental run-through to see if a garment is worth tailoring. Here’s my mental checklist: How much is the garment? I usually ask this question to see if the additional cost of tailoring is worth purchasing the piece I’m interested in (i.e.- what’s my cost per wear after the tailoring job??). How much will tailoring cost? This can be difficult to answer since I don’t always know what the prices are for the tailoring job I have in mind. However, I do know my tailor pretty well (I see her on a monthly basis… I know, that’s nuts) so I have a good idea of how much she charges. Do I REALLY love it? If I like it, and am willing to pay the money for the new piece AND the tailoring, I usually ask myself if I’ll actually wear this custom piece. For garments that are basic or neutral, I usually lean towards “yes” but for those items that can’t be worn on a regular basis, I have a much tougher decision to make So, I decided to purchase the lovely dress – of course with specific alternations in mind. I decided to share each stage of the tailoring process with you! The lovely dress… as is. It’s WAY too big on me but definitely has a lot of potential (my tailor took these pics). Here’s some pictures of what my tailor intended to fix. You’ll notice all the areas that have been pinned. Here’s the final dress! It’s custom-altered… just for me. I love what she did to this dress. This is what was done to this dress: The back was taken in because it was too wide for my frame. This was causing the beautiful lace to fall off my shoulders and expose my bra… not cool! The waistline in the back was raised to align with the waistline in the front. Originally, the dress drooped in the back which made my butt look saggy (and it’s not… in case you were wondering). Extra material was removed from the back. Initially, there was too much billowing above the waistline in the back (more than what my preference is). As you can see, it didn’t take major work, on the part of my tailor, to take
I often talk – okay, preach – about the importance of having a tailor that you like and trust. It’s really my number one, super-duper style tip and now you know it! Here’s some quick background info on why I think utilizing the services of a tailor is just SO important: We come in ALL shapes and sizes: Not every human being was created the same (thank goodness for that…. how boring would that be). Not only are we of different races, ages, sexual preferences and more but we are also have different body shapes/sizes and, therefore, most off-the-rack clothing comes won’t fit us properly. This is usually the primary reason why one would go to a tailor – standard clothing off a rack wasn’t made for everyone! Take that garment to a tailor so that it can be customized just for YOU! The details are important: To ensure that your garment is highlighting the “right” things on you (your shape and your daily activities), take it to a tailor so that she or he can focus on some of those details that you just didn’t think were important. Here’ s a couple of examples: The waist of your dress is too loose and your shape is lost in it. A tailor can help by bringing in the waist which will create more focus at the smallest part of your midsection. The back of your dress shirt is billowy and tent-like. It looks like you’re 12 years old wearing your dad’s work shirt! A tailor can help by adding darts to various parts of the dress shirt to give it a more narrowed shape; this makes the shirt look neater when tucked in (which it probably needs to be for the office). We’re all unique, right? It’s only natural that we want to show our individuality and personality to those around us. A tailor can help you customize a garment so that your vision comes through, regardless of whether you got it at a massive chain store or your local vintage shop. This is the more fun and creative side of working with someone who knows what they’re doing! So, enough preaching from me! Since I do believe in tailoring most of my clothes, I thought I’d share one of my favourite pieces that I updated last year (when my tailor doesn’t see me for a week or two, she often wonders where I am… yes, it’s a bit of an obsession – I know!). This is the most work I’ve ever had done to a garment but it was totally worth it to me! Lazina’s restructured blazer So I bought this blazer (I got it during a MASSIVE sale at a local, high-end boutique) and knew that it wasn’t yet right for me… even though the sales lady thought it looked perfect and was “made for me”. It WAS made for me – just not the way it was at the time of purchase! I could see the potential