Women's suit alterations

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Women's suit alterations

Postby mrs_featherbottom » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:00 pm

I combed through a bunch of previous threads re: women's fashion for OCI, but didn't see my exact question answered. I've seen a lot on how it's best to get suits tailored for OCI/future employment but is it absolutely necessary in every case? Maybe I'm just clueless about how a suit is supposed to fit but I picked up a JCrew suit this summer and wasn't planning on getting it altered. It seems to fit fine but now I'm paranoid that it actually looks horrible and I should be getting it altered. I'm hesitant to bring to a tailor for their opinion because I'm sure they'll find things to change for the $$...So what are common things to look for in how a (women's) suit doesn't fit right and it is possible/common for a suit to fit off the rack?


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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby HellOnHeels » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:08 pm

I always have to have sleeves hemmed, pants hemmed and skirts hemmed. Occasionally, I have to have the seams around the waist taken in (if I bought a smaller size, then the chest would be too small).

Maybe you're lucky and the suit just fit you? You can always post a picture for feedback, or set up a mock interview with your Career Office and ask about if your suit fits correctly.

edit: Try this?

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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:08 pm

I pretty much always need the sleeves hemmed and the chest taken in (jackets that fit my hips are bigger than I need in the chest). I tend to think suits usually look better tailored (my crim law prof had THE sharpest suits that were tailored absolutely to her), but I also wear two different sizes top/bottom, and have a hell of a time finding tailored stuff that fits the way I want it to. I think the most common thing is sleeves being too long, but if you don't generally have a problem finding clothes that fit you off the rack and you like the way it looks, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:17 pm

I can wear most Ann Taylor suits without tailoring, but it's just luck, your body shape and the cut and size of the suit in question. There's certainly no rule like "everyone must have the sleeves shortened on all women's suits." (lol at me ever needing sleeves shortened with my gorilla arms)

If you want an opinion, go to the Fashion thread and temporarily post a pic there for the girls to evaluate. (Crop out your head if you like, nbd.) Especially for things like that, it's a pretty safe place.


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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby echooo23 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:31 pm

I think all suits should be tailored, or at least evaluated by a tailor. In my experience those not trained just don't have the eye to know whether the suit fits perfectly and makes its wearer look her best. It may look just fine to you, and it probably is, but then it gets tailored and you're like, "Holy shit, good just became perfect." I always buy my suits at Nordstrom's and use their tailors for this reason.

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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:18 pm

You don't need to go a tailor to figure out if your suit needs to be altered. Just put it on (with your interview shoes on) and look at it.

-Is there a gap at your waist or do they conform well to your body? A gapping waist looks sloppy and costs $15 or less to fix. Obviously there should be some space if you pull the pant or skirt away from your body since you don't want it to be skin tight, but this space shouldn't be more than 1-1.5 inches. Make sure you look at yourself from behind too - you definitely don't want the rear end area to be tight!
-Is the hem too long or short? For pants, put your interview shoes on and see where the hem falls against the shoe. If you can see the whole shoe, it's too short, if you can't see at least half of the shoe, or if the hem grazes the floor at all, it's too long. I suggest getting pants and skirts hemmed AFTER doing any waist tailoring because when you tighten the waist of a skirt/pant, it automatically raises the hem somewhat.
-Try the skirt/pants on while sitting and evaluate the tightness in your midsection and thigh area. You will be sitting for interviews so you want to feel comfortable and not constricted. It's better to size up to skirts/pants that comfortably fit your legs, and then take in the midsection if it's too big, than to buy pants that fit your midsection but are too tight in the legs. You've already bought your suit so this isn't really a helpful tip for you - just make sure everything looks OK when you sit down.

-Put it on with a top you plan to wear underneath it during interviews. To see if the arm length needs to be tailored, experiment with folding the cuffs of the blazer up to different lengths - e.g., fold them in an inch and then stand up and look at yourself in the mirror and see if that looks better/more professional.
-Look at the shoulder seams and see where they fall on your body. If they are down past your shoulders, they are too low and your sleeve needs to be taken up. (Taking up the sleeve might also solve excessive arm length issues.) If the shoulder is at all lumpy, or if the shoulder seam is in the right place on you but the shoulder pad extends out further than your shoulder (either parallel or perpendicular to your shoulder), get the shoulder pads taken out.
-If you have skinny arms and the arms of your blazer look baggy, you can get the arms slimmed. You can check this out yourself in front of the mirror by pulling back the excess material on one of your sleeves while you're wearing the blazer.


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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby mrs_featherbottom » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:24 pm

Thanks everyone! This was all really helpful.


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Re: Women's suit alterations

Postby msridiculous447 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:04 am

I've taken stuff to my local mall tailor and they've told me when stuff doesn't need any work. Take a look on yelp or talk to friends and find a good, honest tailor. They'll tell you if things truly don't need alterations.

The only things I have needed fixed are hems and having the waist taken in. Making sure your skirt hits right at the top of your knee is critical - I see a lot of girls going to interviews in too-long skirts and it looks dowdy.

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