6 Steps to Finding a Good Tailor

September 9, 2009 · 0 comments

in Fashion Tips

Black Pinstriped Short-Sleeved Bow JacketCertain types of service providers are worth their weight in gold. A good hairdresser, a competent doctor, a dependable electrician, and, yes, a good tailor. If you don’t have the time to make clothing repairs such as sewing on buttons, hemming a skirt, or redoing a zipper, a good tailor is a must. Plus, you never know when you’re going to need a custom outfit for a special occasion. Be forewarned. A good tailor really is hard to find. Here are some tips for finding one:

1. Word of Mouth
This is probably the most dependable way to find a good tailor, but the key is to start looking before you need one. If you need a suit altered or a dress custom made for a special occasion, you don’t want to desperately seek out the services of a tailor. Start looking now. Ask friends and the personnel working in fashion boutiques and department stores who they would recommend. Some department stores have their own tailors although you may need to buy something from the store to use their services. Also, contact the local dry cleaners in your area. Some cleaners have a tailor on staff or can recommend a good one.

2. Choose Someone Close to Your Home or Job
Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a good tailor who lives close to your home or place of work. For a complicated job, you may need to go in several times to try the item on. If you tailor is located on the other side of town, this can be a real hassle.  Unless you work in the city, avoid using a tailor located in a busy downtown area with limited parking. Always keep convenience in mind.

3. Make Sure There’s Good Communication
When looking for a good tailor, you may find excellent ones who don’t have a firm grasp of the English language. Although they may be quite competent, you may not get the results you want if there’s poor communication. Choose someone who understands what you’re looking for.

4. Test Them With a Simple Job First
When you finally choose a tailor, give them a simple job such as hemming a skirt or a pair of pants first. Don’t be tempted to give them a stack of clothing to alter on the first visit. Make sure simple jobs are performed competently and with attention to detail before asking them to alter your best dress.

5. Ask to See Samples of Their Work
Most good tailors will have samples of their work on hand that you can use to judge the quality of their work. Inspect their work carefully to make sure it show attentions to detail.

6. Other Factors to Consider
There may be times when you need a clothing repair job done fast. Find out what the average turn around time is on alterations, repairs, and custom made clothing. A longer turn around time may be a sign you’re dealing with a good tailor since he or she has lots of clients, but if you need things done quickly a busy tailor may not be the best choice.

Of course, you’ll also want to keep costs in mind. Try to get a copy of their fee structure and compare it to the rates charged by other tailors in your area. You may pay a bit more for a good tailor, but the difference shouldn’t be enormous.

Once you find a good tailor, let them know you appreciate them. Treat them with the care and respect they deserve. They can make your life so much easier.


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