Alterations: Saving your favourite clothes

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Because it’s Valentine’s Day, have All The Pink! Also it’s Wednesday, and on Wednesdays we wear pink, don’t we? I’m on a total pink kick right now as well. I spent far too long in town yesterday trying on pink items of clothing. I didn’t buy any clothes – I did buy some non-pink makeup, which I’ll be sharing with you on Friday’s post – but yes, pink is very much on my radar right now.

I’m not here to talk to you about pink, though. See post title – I’m here to talk to you about alterations.

Having clothes altered to fit seems to be something that not many people do. Sure, those who can afford it buy bespoke clothes, but for the rest of us, how many of us can honestly say we’ve spent money on having the clothes we already own fitted to us?

The consensus among my friends seems to be that if it doesn’t fit you anymore, get rid of it. That’s fair enough, but if you really adore a certain piece and it’s not quite right, you can get it tailored to fit you.

The problem with this is that clothes bought in a high street store generally can only be tailored down a size – if you’re going upwards in size, you might have to give up the item unless you can find a tailor or alterations shop who can make it bigger. Some places can, so don’t assume going up a size or two means the item is a lost cause. Ask around – you may have places local to you, or in your nearest big town or city, that can do exactly what you want.

The problem is, of course, finding a good alterations shop in the first place. If you don’t have a chain like The Zipyard (UK and Ireland-based chain) around where you live, try a local dry cleaners – if they can’t alter for you, ask them for a recommendation of someone who can. There might be independent tailors in your area that you don’t know of. Or have a trawl through your local business directories – tailors and alterations places might be listed in there.

These places can also fix damaged items too. If hems are down, or the zip is broken, the alterations places can usually fix the hem and replace the zip. Costs are low, and certainly less than buying a whole new piece of clothing. It’s well worth it to save that favourite item, rather than having to donate or toss it.

Of course, if you have sewing skills yourself, you can do your own alterations. In fact, you could even make some money on the side doing other people’s alterations. If you’re good, and you enjoy it, why not set up a little alterations business? It could be a nice money-spinner!

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