Tailoring for Your Body Shape

Tailoring is the art of making clothing fit your body like a glove. Tailored pieces are typically made for your exact body shape so they are unique one-off pieces. However, tailoring and alterations are often used interchangeably nowadays. 

By taking in a ready-made garment and having some alterations made, it’s possible to achieve the same results as a bespoke tailored fit. And this is where the magic truly happens. A garment that may not have cost a great deal, but is in your perfect colour and in a robust fabric, could look like couture with a few tweaks. 

Woman wearing altered white jumper | how to tailor for your body type

Getting the right fit when shopping for new clothes

woman shopping for new clothes | why generic fast fashion won’t fit your body type

There is nothing worse than finding something you like, only to try it on in the changing room and realise the item doesn’t fit (and won’t fit your body shape) -and the immediate reaction is that there is something wrong with your body.

The fault actually falls with the ‘clothes’. Unless you’ve been privileged enough to have everything custom made for your body shape, you’ll have encountered this. 

Poorly produced, generic sized clothing doesn’t look great on anyone. It can’t. They can’t look perfect on every body type. The body shape that fares best with mainstream fashion and fits, tends to be suited towards the tall boxy type, known as the Ruler. This caters for narrow hips, a flat stomach and a small bust. This is frustrating as the average woman in the U.K. is a pear shape and size 14. 

This frustration won’t go away until stores start to offer options that cater to ALL body shapes – petite, tall, and curvy. Until then, we are still left with a lot of clothes that we wear with an ‘acceptable fit’ – and where we accept the compromise…

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Getting clothes tailored to fit

Scissors, measuring tape and orange thread | Repairing, caring and altering your clothes | Clothing alterations for your body type

Alterations was once a thriving industry that became almost obsolete with the rise of cheap, disposable fashion on the highstreet. But thanks to sustainability efforts, this industry is now experiencing a resurgence! 

The art of repairing and caring for your clothes is making a comeback. The skills of alterations and repairs are being sought more as people shift their attention towards what they already own and explore the thrill of visible mends, repairs and reimagining their clothes.  

This excites me no end as I have had to have my clothes altered since I was 14-years old. Even my Burberry jacket had to be deconstructed and completely altered to fit my body shape. This is when I truly understood the value of paying more for the perfect fit versus an OK fit from somewhere like Zara. 

Regardless of where you shop, you have options to get the perfect fit. You don’t need to splash out at places like Burberry to get free alterations. Instead, opt for clothes from preloved sellers, your mum, your sister, best friend or aunty. You can even find great pieces in charity shops – then find a local alteration shop to get that perfect tailored fit. 

Tailoring is here to stay and it will always be stylish. Sustainable and savvy fashionistas can create high-end looks for half the price by simply tailoring their existing wardrobe. It doesn’t mean you can’t do oversized or relaxed fits either. It’s important to really do the work and spend time creating your own personal look, before overhauling your wardrobe.

Useful Resources:

Please let me know if you have any great tailors or alterations specialists near you.

Roberta x

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