Alterations vary in price depending on the type of fabric and the changes needed. Simple alterations like hemming and adjusting waistlines $20 to $50, depending on the experience and specialty of the seamstress. More complex alterations like taking in the shoulders of a jacket usually start at around $50 and go up from there.
Altering formal gowns is more costly since they have more layers, linings, and fabric to deal with.
Simple alterations usually take a few days to a week to complete while more complex alterations take longer, especially if the shop is busy. Some alteration services offer same-day service for simple alterations like adjusting a hem or replacing shirt buttons.
Seamstresses and tailors all do alterations on clothing, but seamstresses also tend to alter other non-clothing items such as draperies. A tailor tends to work more on men's suits and coats but also works on women's pieces such as fancy dresses and ball gowns.
Both seamstresses and tailors work in dry cleaners, alteration services, and even higher-end fashion stores. Seamstresses also commonly work in bridal stores altering wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and ball gowns. Tailors often work in men's suit stores where they alter shirts, suits, and trousers.
Clothing alterations are typically minor changes that adjust the way an article of clothing fits. Major changes to the way the garment looks are not considered alterations, but typically refer to tailoring. For example, shortening a dress is considered an alteration, while changing the neckline and style of the dress is considered tailoring.
The most common alteration services include:
Minor fixes to a damaged garment like replacing zippers and buttons or repairing holes can also be considered alteration services.
Being prepared for your clothing alterations can make your appointment go smoother and your alterations turn out better. Always bring in clean clothes and wash and dry new items to ensure they won't shrink after an alteration, especially for cheaper clothes.
Other tips include:
Alteration services are a great way to use those quality pieces of clothing that just don't fit anymore. Here are some guidelines to help you choose a clothing alteration service:
When choosing a clothing alteration service, be sure to pick a professional service that meets your budget and timeframe. To help you make the right choice, be sure to ask the following questions:
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