Clothes Don’t Fit? 10 Fit Issues You Can Easily Get Fixed

An impeccable fit is rule number one in the handbook of good style; nothing can be substituted for it. Don’t let your fashion statements be compromised by ill-fitting garments — and don’t put those pieces in the giveaway pile just yet, either. If your clothes don’t fit, a tailor can come to the rescue and correct many an outfit woe. Consult this list for 10 fit issues that can be easily fixed.

1. Pesky pant hems

girl crossing the street with rubber sandals and flare pants

Your pants should not be scraping the ground. | iStock.com/Willbrasil21

One of the easiest and most common fit issues a tailor can fix is the length of your pants. So, there are absolutely no excuses for too-long trousers or jeans that scrape under your shoes. It’s worth noting here that pants that are slightly too short can also be easily remedied by a tailor, as the hem can usually be let out a bit. But, it’s better to opt for a longer inseam than a shorter one. Some pants — especially those for suiting — even come with unfinished hems, so you can get the perfect length tailored just for you.

2. Bad jeans

Woman looking into torn jeans

Your tailor can perform wonders if your pants are the right size. | iStock.com/ MrKornFlakes

Beyond just the hems of jeans, a tailor can make your next pair of denim look like it was custom-made to your proportions. After all, we all know how hard it can be to find jeans that fit well. Just make sure your next pair are the right size through the widest part of your hip. A good tailor can modify the waistband, taper the legs, and even shape the back of the jeans to flatter your butt and your curves. Ripped holes can be creatively patched, too.

3. Pleats that don’t fit in

Fashion designer Andrea Jiapei Li poses

Pleats are not as fashionable as they once were. | Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Some types of pleats can be a good thing. For example, a plissé skirt or dress can be a beautiful way to work the accordion styling. But when it comes to pants, more often than not, those pleated fronts are going to translate as ill-fitted, dated, and unflattering. Plus, the pleats add extra bulk to your waist and hip area, which is never a good thing. But, before you put the pants in the donate pile, consider having a tailor take out the pleats. The waistband can generally be reconstructed for a sleeker, modern look that fits better, lays smoothly and also does far more favors for your hips.

4. Neckline nuisances

woman wearing a retro elegant hat

Neckline issues? No problem. | iStock.com/Rohappy

Finding the right style of neckline can be a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears; some necklines are too hot and show too much cleavage while others are too cold and don’t show enough. A tailor can help make the neckline just right by turning a basic V-neck into a sexy plunge or by removing a cumbersome collar from a button-down shirt. Conversely, extra fabric or a collar can be added to a look that’s a bit too provocative for you.

5. Silly sleeves

A model parades a creation from Australian label Aje during a showing of their new collection at Fashion Week Australia in Sydney on May 16, 2016. / AFP / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

No need to wear a shirt like that looks three sizes too large in the arms. | William West/ AFP/ Getty Images

Sleeves too baggy or long on that button-down shirt of yours? Take it to a tailor for a more streamlined fit. And that’s not all that can be remedied with needle and thread. Many times, the arm holes of a sleeveless shirt or dress aren’t designed quite right, leaving a gaping expanse. This is a good job for a tailor to nip and tuck, too. If the arm hole is too tight, it can also be dropped down to create more breathing room.

6. Gaping waistbands

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 17: Gamze Biran is wearing a jacket from Forever new and jeans from topshop during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul Autumn/Winter 2016 at Zorlu Center on March 17, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Are your feminine hips giving you issues? | Timur Emek/Getty Images

One of the most universal fit problems, especially for females, is the dreaded waistband gap on a pair of jeans or pants. It’s quite common, especially for those with small waists and wider hips, as the size that fits through the hips and legs is often way too big through the waist. But, taking in the waistband is a simple problem for any tailor to fix, so you can have a perfect fit all around. And, you no longer have the need for that belt, either.

7. Missing linings

A young woman wearing a summer dress

We bet you haven’t thought of this small alteration. | iStock.com/lolostock

So many blouses, skirts and dresses — especially light summer frocks — are just a bit too sheer for comfort, especially in direct sunlight. Get back to your comfort zone by having a tailor add a nude lining. It can easily be done to most simple silhouettes such as A-line skirts and shift dresses. A missing lining can also be an issue for white and light-colored pants. Lining can be added here, too, so you aren’t the victim of any wardrobe malfunction.

8. Broken zippers

close-up of a zipper on some jeans

Don’t toss your favorite jeans because of a broken zipper. | Pixabay

Don’t discard your go-to skirt or dress just because of a busted zipper. A tailor can remove the old one and put a new in its place. Or, take it a step further, maybe you want a zipper added to a garment so it’s easier to get into and out of. That can be done, too! From a standard zipper, to a trendy exposed zipper down the back of a dress, to a hidden side zipper, it’s all possible — as long as the outfit has a little extra fabric allowance to accommodate the addition.

9. Depleted embellishment

brunette model in fashion clothes posing in studio

Don’t get rid of your favorite party dress! | iStock.com/soup__studio

Over time, some of that glitz on your party frock can go MIA after one too many nights on the dance floor. But, don’t retire the dress just yet. For many types of sequins and beading, a seamstress has a stash of look-alike embellishment to replace what’s missing on your outfit.

10. Oversized outfits

Japanese woman with blond hair

If the clothes are too big there’s a chance they can be saved. | iStock.com/Eyefortheworld

We wrap up the list of tailor-to-the-rescue remedies with the broadest type of fix, but also one of the most necessary. Maybe you’ve found the ultimate garment — be it anything from a cool-girl blouse to a vintage gown — but it’s a bit too big. Don’t leave it on the hanger in the store. Take it with you — straight to the tailor, that is. There’s a good chance it can be sized just for you.

This is especially helpful to keep in mind if you’re prone to vintage or thrift-store shopping, where diamonds in the rough aren’t always your exact size. Also, if you’ve been dropping a few extra pounds, a tailor can be your best friend as you transition down from one size to the next. Just know that it can be difficult to alter clothing that’s more than one or two sizes too big. That’s when it is time to say “no” to the vintage gem you found — or to invest in some new clothes if you’ve lost several dress sizes.

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