Tailoring 101: Women’s

The average college girl has a multitude of tasks on her plate managing school, work, internships, social life and style. Yet, on the time schedule of an NYC college student, tailoring clothes to fit can be a pain. The perfect way to alleviate stress is to learn some basic tips on finding what is right for you and tailoring it for the perfect fit.


The first step is to shop for your body type. For finding the right jacket, focus on key characteristics. Shoulders should be snug without pulling and the edges of the seam should not stretch out farther than your actual shoulder. The length of the jacket depends completely on body type; a long cut would define the taller girl, while a short cut would flatter the petite. For long-sleeve jackets, the end of the sleeve should extend to the wrist bone. A jacket should be comfortable at your widest point, yet cinch in all the right places.


Jeans, on the other hand, are a closet necessity yet a nightmare to find in the correct fit. To find perfect jeans, forget about sticking to trends the of skinny cut, high-waisted and boyfriend and instead find what will make you look good.

jeans 2

For the curvy girl, jeans should have a smaller curved waistband and side seams. Look for tilted pockets and a mid-rise cut at the waist. Too low cut can become revealing and too high can shorten the frame.

For the athletic build, jeans that add a little shape to the bum are a must. The illusion of a curvier figure is found with jeans that are tight around the hips and waist and a boot cut shape that allows for looseness around the ankles. Straighter side seams also help to highlight and accentuate.

The petite girl is one that should look for high-waisted or higher-rise jeans to lengthen her legs. Jeans with a pinched waistband, slightly curved side-seams and a curved contour will add some definition to a small frame. Try and stay away from the overly baggy boyfriend jean as it will overpower a delicate frame.

On the other hand, the tall girl should look to enhance their long legs concept yet provide some definition to her frame, which can be done with low-rise jeans. The boyfriend jean is a good idea for the tall girl with longer limbs.


Tailoring Tips:

After the garment is bought, there are a few simple steps in DIY tailoring for slight alteration. Hemming, is an easy fix that can be done at home. Release the old hem and try on the garment pinning where the new hem should be. Make sure before you jump to sewing, you place the garment inside out to iron the hem line, creating a natural fold. Remember before you sew, a hem is normally around 1-2” in width. Taking-in clothing is a similar process. Remove the seam and pin where necessary. Restitch the new seam in the exact pattern and alignment of the old seam. Be careful when taking-in or hemming a garment so as not to cut too much fabric. Taking out a seam is one of the more difficult DIY tasks. If room is available, you can take out the old seam and re-sew a new seam closer to the edges of the fabric.

If you’re not crafty or have never seen a needle and thread, taking clothes to a tailor is the best bet.  To get the best deal for your dollar, see if the store where you bought the garment has their own tailor, as often stores have complimentary alterations. Stores like Levi Jeans, Lululemon and major department stores will likely all have their own tailor on sight. If not, visit a local cleaners to do the work for you at a moderate price.

What is most important is to remove the stress of alterations altogether by finding the right fit from the start.


Lauren Craddock is a contributing writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com. 


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