Stylist Vlad Tichen knows how important it is for clothing to fit well. Image by Max Lemesh.
Clothing alteration is important. In fact, it is probably the best investment you could make in your style. Don’t get me wrong: quality of make, design, material, colour palette – all these factors play an essential role when it comes to a perfect garment. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how well the said garment fits you, how it makes you look and, more importantly, how it makes you feel.
The simple truth here is that even an inexpensive article of clothing is going to look superb if it fits you well. That, of course, goes both ways. As a personal stylist, I’ve seen many examples that prove this point.
I remember that $6000 Brioni suit made of luxurious Super 180’s wool from my client’s wardrobe that used to fit him like a potato sack, because he “liked it when it’s comfy”. I also remember that beautiful Max Mara raw silk dress my other client bought in Rome years before our session; the waistline was too low, it was too loose and made her look two sizes bigger and ten centimetres shorter than she actually was. Of course, once a few smart alterations had been made, both the suit and the dress looked perfect on my clients and became definite staples in their wardrobes.
So to alter or not to alter? If you’re still on the fence, here are a few points that might help you to decide.
Old clothes + alterations = new clothes!
Okay, that might not be entirely true. But if the clothes that you’re wanting to alter are in decent wear-and-tear condition and are overall of a good quality, there’s a high chance that you’re going to love them as much as the stuff that was freshly bought.
Alterations keep your wardrobe current – trend-wise!
Whether it is a pair of those used-to-be-your-favorite bootcut jeans from 2006 or your first work blazer with padded shoulders and the sleeves that are too wide, proper alterations aim to bring that “today” vibe into your style. Just ask your tailor to taper those jeans from the knee down and slim down the sleeves of the jacket, and voila! – you have two of your favorite items that work beautifully now.
Conscious consumption is good for the planet.
Do you remember your mom’s bridesmaid dress that you stumble upon every time you roam through her wardrobe? Go on, I dare you to try and play around with it! Make it shorter, take it in the waist and wear it with your black military style ankle boots and a biker leather jacket. Good for your wallet, good for the planet, good for your karma! Just make sure you let your mom know first. Or not.
Make the fit work for you, not the other way around.
We, humans, tend to change. We gain weight, we lose weight, we build up muscle or go through other physical changes. If so happens that one Monday morning you’re standing in front of the mirror, realising that nothing (nothing? Oh my god. NOTHING!) fits you, don’t plan an urgent shopping trip just yet. Take some of your clothes to the tailor and consult with them. I’m sure with a few tweaks here and there, the problem will be solved.
Vlad Tichen is a personal stylist for women and men – vladtichen.com
Before and after image supplied. Lower image by Tori Hayley.