One Trip to the Tailor Can Fix Your Entire Wardrobe

In this edition of Help Me Dress Myself, a stylist explains why going to the tailor shouldn’t be such a big deal.


Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re finding out how much of our wardrobe can be improved with a quick trip to the tailor (and how much it’s going to cost us).

Step #1: Fix Your Fits

Even the perfect outfit can look not-so-perfect (or downright awful) if one of the garments doesn’t fit properly. Fortunately, tailors can make almost anything fit just right. These are the common fixes Parvis recommends taking a trip to your tailor for:

The Fix: Hem a pair of jeans (or pants)
The Cost: $10
The Result: “If your jeans are too long, you’re going to constantly be stepping on them, which will quickly ruin your jeans,” Parvis says. Hemming them is an easy way to save money in the long run, since you won’t have to buy new denim every few months to replace the pairs you’ve been stomping on. As far as the perfect length goes, the pants  should create a small fold right where your ankle bone is—that way, they’re not so long that they’re covering your shoe, but you also have enough material to roll them up while wearing a boot.

The Fix: Shortening the sleeves on a button-down shirt
The Cost: $15 to $19
The Result: Sleeves that are too long don’t just look bad, they also get in the way. Rayne says that shortening the sleeves is especially useful if you’ve scored a cheap button-down at a thrift store that doesn’t fit quite right.

The Fix: Take in the body of a button-down shirt
The Cost: $15 to $20
The Result: In our previous discussion about how to make button-down shirts look good, stylist Jessica Chance told us that, “Your entire outfit—no matter what—will benefit from a fitted button-down, rather than one that is oversized or too wide.” Having your tailor take in some of that excess material will help streamline your figure.

The Fix: Shortening the sleeves on a jacket
The Cost: $23 without buttons or $28 with buttons
The Result: “A suit jacket can last you up to five years, and a cheap suit can look like it cost you a million bucks when taken to the tailor,” Parvis says. Sleeves that don’t sit just right will cause the jacket to look noticeably too large or too small for you, but it’s a simple fix for a man who knows what he’s doing with a needle.

The Fix: Take in the body of a jacket
The Cost: $40 (two seams) or $55 (three seams)
The Result: A well-fitting suit jacket is hands down the best way to cover up a few extra pounds, since the vertical line created by the opening of the jacket forces the eye to wander upwards and downwards—rather than from side to side—making you appear to be taller and slimmer than you actually are.

Step #2: Buddy up With Your Tailor

“You want to develop a relationship with your tailor, because you will definitely receive discounts and freebies,” says Parvis, who has dealt with many tailors during her time as a personal stylist. “They’ll also take extra time to make sure your clothes turn out just right.” Friendship: Is there anything it can’t accomplish?

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.