It’s a good idea to know how to hire a tailor before buying new clothes. Buying a tailored suit or dress not only ensures a better fit, but it can also save you money in the long run versus buying clothes off-the-rack.

The first step to hiring a tailor is determining what needs tailoring. The fit and style of clothing are subjective, however typically good tailors will only need to make minor adjustments such as hemming or tapering to achieve the perfect fit.

Some examples that may need tailoring include:

  • Pant Lengths
  • Sleeves  
  • Shoulder Width
  • Adjusting for Layers

Button-up shirts, sweaters, vests, and jackets should all fit well without any layers underneath. Men’s dress shirts are available in a slim-fit style which is more tailored around your frame; the slim-fit style is great for office wear; however, they do tend to be more form-fitting. If you add a lightweight sweater or vest over the dress shirt, make sure that it still fits well.

What will you look for in hiring a tailor?


The tailor should listen to your needs and know what will work best. For example, if you would like the waistline of your dress lowered but are nervous, they might lower it too much, look for a tailor who has successfully performed this task before. If you want the neckline of your dress adjusted higher to create more cleavage, look for a tailor who has experience adjusting this area. You can also ask the tailor to provide you with an estimate of what your chosen adjustments will cost before proceeding so there are no surprises when you pick up your final product.

Lengths that require alteration

If you want pant lengths hemmed or pants tapered, it’s not difficult for a tailor. If you want your pants skinny or cropped, however, this will be an issue – it is not possible to alter the leg widths of pants without compromising their style completely.

Important Tips When Hiring a Tailor

  • With your garment of choice in hand, head to the tailor with specific requirements for what you would like done; tell the tailor exactly how long you want them before they take any measurements.
  • If the alterations require the purchase of new fabric or sewing, be sure to bring this up with your tailor. They should be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of how much these changes will cost before they begin work on your garment. It’s also important that you choose a reputable tailor.
  • Check customer reviews and find someone who has worked in tailoring for a number of years.
  • Ask whether your tailor has any tailoring certifications, which you can verify through the various associations that specialize in this area of work.
  • If you want to ensure that money is not wasted on an inexperienced tailoring novice, only hire someone who has the necessary experience and education before you hand over any garments.

What questions should I ask a tailor?

Top ten questions to ask your tailor:

  1. What does a good fit look like?
  2. How long does tailoring take?
  3. Can you share how to measure men’s inseam?
  4. Can you share how to measure a man’s chest?
  5. How much can a suit jacket be taken in?
  6. What is the average cost to tailor a suit?
  7. What can you alter or fix?
  8. Do you refit for weight changes?
  9. Can you make changes to an altered suit?
  10. What is included in your fitting consultation?