In my last post, about the difficulty of finding shorts that suit me, I noted that I'd picked up one pair at Goodwill but was having trouble altering it to fit me. What I didn't mention, but might have if I'd had a bit more space, is the possibility of calling in a tailor to do the alterations for me.
I've had trouble in the past finding anyone capable of handling alterations beyond the most basic hemming, but that changed recently, after Brian's old "good suit"—the one he's had since he completed grad school—became unwearable. Not only has he lost about 30 pounds since he bought it, but it's also starting to show its age, and so we decided to look around for a new one—and almost immediately found one at a Princeton consignment shop that we visited for our anniversary. (Yes, we spent our anniversary thrift shopping. I told you last year, we're weird.)
The new suit jacket fit perfectly, but the pants were too big in both length and girth, so we knew we'd need a competent tailor to make them wearable. After my previous experiences, I wasn't willing to trust them to anyone here in town, so I searched online and read the reviews on Google for all the tailors in our immediate area, and I found one who came pretty well recommended at a place called Albert Gerald. (The tailor is neither Albert nor Gerald; her name is Hilda, and she named her shop after her two sons.) She took in the trousers and hemmed them for a mere $35, bringing the total cost of the suit up to a little under $100—which turns out to be a pretty good deal, since I discovered upon checking the label that suits from this particular line sell for around $650 retail.
This experience inspired me to write an article about the benefits of tailoring and alterations. I discuss the many advantages of being able to have stuff altered, give some general information about what alterations typically cost, and explore the question of when it is and isn't worth paying to have a garment altered to fit. For more details, check out the full article: How to Find a Tailor for Clothing Alterations – Cost & Benefits