Most of us will need clothing alterations at some point, even if we're able to find garments that fit well most of the time. Garments that fit well look better, help petites look slimmer and taller, and present a more professional appearance in the workplace. A bit of caution is in order when you're looking for a place to have your clothing alterations done because some people will do a terrific job while others will do a sloppy job. The best strategy is to have only one type of alteration on one garment done first so that you can judge the quality of the work before having several garments altered.
1. RetailerThe first place to consider for clothing alterations is the retailer that sold you the garment. Many retailers employ on-site alterations specialists. Depending on the store's policy, you may be able to get your clothing purchases altered at no charge. If not, be sure to check on the cost of alterations before making your clothing purchase.
2. Dry CleanerIn addition to cleaning services, dry cleaners also do clothing alterations. Use a little bit of caution here because most dry cleaning establishments are busy places, and the person doing the alterations may be rushed to get all the jobs done on a deadline. If your regular dry cleaner does a good job with alterations, it will make your life easier because you won't have to search for another place for clothing alterations.
3. Dressmaker or TailorDressmakers and tailors usually specialize in making custom garments for their customers, but some of them also do clothing alterations for ready-to-wear garments. A good dressmaker or tailor will be tuned into what makes for a perfectly fitted garment as well as having an extensive knowledge of sewing and garment construction techniques.
4. Alterations SpecialistWhether it's a one-person operation or a larger alterations specialty shop, this type of business concentrates only on alterations. An alterations specialist should be competent in all types of alterations, should have a cost sheet (expect a price range in some cases) readily available for customers to see, and should be able to tell you when an alteration won't work for your garment.
5. DIYThe DIY option is always available for clothing alterations if you know how to sew. Frankly I'd sometimes prefer to make a new garment rather than alter ready-to-wear clothing, but I can't count the number of times I've shortened a dress, top, or pants that was too long. For petites, the most common clothing alteration needed is hemming, so even if hemming is the only alteration that you know how to do, you can save some money and frequently do a better job by doing it yourself.