How to find a good and inexpensive tailor, plus why you need one.
When I find a pair of pants that fits in the hips, inseam, and thighs, they’re often too big in the waist. For years, I dealt with this by just cinching my belt and hoping the bunched fabric at the top wasn’t too noticeable. Then I found a great, inexpensive tailor, and my life changed! I no longer need to wear a belt if I don’t want to; I can pick up bargain pants that are too big for a song, and then pay a little to have them fit perfectly; my expensive designer jeans now fit like a glove; and, my tailor has even made pants for me (like when I wanted a lightweight pair for a trip to Africa when all the stores were stocked with the fall staples instead of the linen-cotton blend I needed to stay cool in 100-degree temps). The benefits of a having an experienced tailor are many, and I think everyone needs one on speed dial.
How then, do you go about finding yourself a great tailor who doesn’t charge a bundle? My advice is to ask people you know who work in formal office settings, but for non-profits. These are people who wear suits and need to look nice, but don’t usually have big budgets for clothes and alterations. My tailor was referred to me by a friend who works in the development (fundraising) office for a local university. She and her coworkers all use the same tailor, who is located just a couple blocks from campus.
When you call the tailor, ask how much she/he charges for the work you want done. They should be able to give you a range, and not surprise you at the end. During your first visit, I’d start with just one article of clothing so you can test their work and see if this will be a good relationship. Of course if you’re having trouble finding the right length of jeans or pants, measure your inseam and shop for your exact inseam length at SearchByInseam.com.