Monday, May 16, 2011

Custom Fit: Top Three Alterations

Some of my (new) clients balk when I suggest alterations. If getting an item altered seems time-consuming and indulgent, think of it this way - you’d have to log months at the gym to come close to what a tailor can achieve in minutes. Alterations can make you look 20 pounds thinner!

The Matte Jersey Essential Dress illustrates the bullets well.

Here are my top three alterations:

  • Separate your arms from your torso.

Shortening long sleeves to three-quarter or elbow length reduces the appearance of width at hip level. The distinction from fabric to skin, torso to arms, is fresh and slenderizing. Bare skin on the forearm is a great backdrop for beautiful jewelry.

  • Show-off legs.

Every woman has a “most attractive” place on her legs. Shorten skirts or dresses to just above that attractive place on you. The eye will be drawn to where the fabric ends. Personally, I have some nice shapeliness just below my knee, so I choose the bottom of my knee for my best length.

  • Accent your natural waist.

Trim excess fabric in tops with well-placed darts to suggest contour at your natural waist which is the narrowest place on your torso. Tailor bottoms so that they are fitted to your natural waist and drape from that point.

Alterations allow us to look our best right here, right now - not in ten pounds. A custom fit expands our reach from “ready-to-wear” to “lucky-to wear,” great fit was formerly reserved for couture. Not anymore!

Please share some of the alterations you find necessary or helpful. We’d also love to hear how your Ulla items fit.


Feel good in what you wear.


Cindy's Daily Doodles said...

I have just ordered my first top from you. I am looking forward to wearing it! I read your alteration tips and they sound good. Sometimes I just can't get my sleeves shortened so I just fold them up a couple of times until I have time to shorten them. It works! Also the length of pants and skirts is so important! I just turn them up until they look good and hem! The great fit makes it all worth it! I love comfort in my clothes....Cindy B

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,
Sounds like you've developed a good eye for creating "perfect-to-wear" from "ready-to-wear!"

Glad you commented!

cbk said...

Never thought to shorten sleeves to my favorite 3/4 length, but it makes such good sense. Thanks for the alteration ideas.

Annie Driscoll said...

I like to wear crisp big shirts over knit pants for work. I'm a teacher and that 'uniform' works well for me. I used to but a larger size top than I needed, because I didn't want it pulling over my hips when I sat down. Now I routinely have my seamstress increase any side slits (or add them) to about 8 or 9 inches. This allows me to wear the correct size on top,and look much more pulled together. As an added benefit, I can now easily access my pockets!

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,
What a great tip! This is exactly the type of comment that can be helpful.
Thanks for posting!

Bonnie said...

I wear A Line cotton knit dresses from Ulla that button down. Since I always slip them over my head anyway, I take them to a tailor who sews the seam down on each side of the button holes. He leave the top one, and bottom two open to look natural. The results make a smooth front no matter how many times they are washed and they last forever. I wear some around the house I have had for at least eight years.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Bonnie!

I do something similar! Because buttons (from my chest to waist) tend to pull/gap, I bring them to my seamstress to sew down the placket, just leaving the top 2 buttons open so I can pull the item over my head.

What do they say about great minds?!?