5 Mistakes You're Making At The Tailor And How To Fix Them, Because A Good Fit Is Worth A Little Extra Cash

It's January, the month of a million earnest resolutions. Not all aspirations are meant to transpire in a mere month's time, but there is one that you can accomplish in less than a week: trimming your figure considerably by paying a visit to the tailor. In her forthcoming book How to Win at Shopping, New York Times and Huffington Post fashion writer Eila Mell proposes that visually slimming your figure is as simple as a quick stop at the tailor. Quite frankly, she's right.

A manual for ardent shoppers on how to make the most of your wardrobe, How to Win at Shopping contains 293 tricks of the trade to ensure your hard-earned dollars are well spent, and your closet a composite of beautiful, flattering wares. And nothing is more important to the well-curated closet than items that fit your figure as if they were made to measure. If you've ever wondered why your designer midi skirt doesn't flatter you in quite the same way as its runway model, or your skinny jeans don't appear to make you look any thinner, question the item's fit before you question your fitness. However, Mell advises that to achieve the fit you truly desire, you should enter your appointment prepared. Read on for five mistakes you're making at the tailor — Mell's expert advice on how to fix them.

1. You're Not Adept At Explaining What You Want

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If you've ever walked out of haircut sporting a radical 'do because your stylist simply didn't grasp the look you fancied, you can imagine the disappointment of altering an expensive piece of clothing only to find the modified version unsatisfactory. To banish alterations woes before they begin, Mell suggests bringing in a picture to illustrate the exact cut and measurements you like. In addition to providing a visual aid for the tailor to work with, an image of a bias-cut gown or cropped trousers will also help you envision your ideal look.

2. You Think The Tailor Is An Unnecessary Cost And Therefore Haven't Given Alterations A Try

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You could easily find an inexpensive suit from a mass manufacturing company that fits a limited budget, but spending even a fraction of your money should result in an elegant and flattering addition to your closet. Instead of snapping up several inexpensive items that don't mold to your shape, Mell explains that consumers with limited budgets should factor the cost of alterations into any purchase they make. A simple adjustment here or there will cost only $10 or $20, and you'll be left with an ensemble that looks infinitely more expensive.

3. You Purchase Clothing Several Sizes Too Large To Be Altered Well

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If you've tuned in to an episode or two of Say Yes To The Dress, you're likely moderately familiar with the panic a salon's seamstresses experience when a bride loses enough weight to drop several dress sizes after purchasing a larger gown. Though a fraction of the aforementioned panic is due to reality television dramatization, a significant portion stems from the fact that clothing can't easily be altered down five sizes. If you lock eyes on an arresting wool motorcycle jacket but find that its size 14 dimensions are too large for your size 4 frame, put it down and walk away. Mell stresses that clothing should be purchased within a size or two of what you would normally take, lest you end up with an item that looks nothing like it should after tailoring.

4. You Don't Wear The Proper Footwear For Your Appointment

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In the midst of your workwear and gym clothes there are likely a scattered few frocks which you dust off for special occasions. Mell advises alterations inductees that bringing the footwear you intend to pair with your dress is essential to securing the correct modifications at the tailor. The frock's length in particular will appear different if you don two-inch heels or six-inch stilettos, so be sure to bring the exact pair you will wear with the ensemble to your appointment, Mell suggests.

5. You Forget To Account For The Space Left After Removing Unnecessary Padding

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Though it is no longer the '80s, the occasional blazer still comes with shoulder pads and gowns are fitted with padding at the bust. As out-of-date as the padding may be, leaving a gaping space where the extraneous fabric was before is an even worse look. Make sure to advise your tailor that any padded item will need extra alterations after the padding has been removed to make sure the item looks as polished as possible, Mell recommends.

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