How Much Does It Cost To Tailor A Shirt?

Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by Peter Townsend

There’s nothing as frustrating as having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.

Perhaps you’ve shed some pounds and your closet is hanging on you. Maybe you bought a few clearance sale shirts for huge discounts, but each when you put the clothes on, you notice that the sleeves are long. Perhaps you have a closet full of previously fashionable clothes that appear as if that you’ve been relegated to the past.

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The situation doesn’t have to be as dire as it seems. With the help of a reputable tailor, you will be able to transform every one of these close misses into perfect fittings. A tailor can help you take in the pants that are too big, cut the sleeves on your shirt, and even modernize the jackets that are too big with a slimmer, more contemporary style. You’ll pay less than purchasing a new outfit.

How Much Clothing Alterations Cost

The cost for alterations can vary significantly. Certain jobs require more complicated sewing than others and consequently will cost more. However, even for the same job, the cost will depend on the location you live in and the kind of tailoring shop you go to.

Therefore, it’s hard to estimate costs for alteration which are universally applicable. However, if you search the Internet for price ranges specific to projects, you’ll discover that costs for the most common changes generally fall within these broad intervals:

how much does it cost to tailor a shirt
  • Hemming Skirts, Pants or dresses Hemming is priced between $10 to $45Be aware that pleats and linings can add to the cost of the hemming of the skirt.
  • The process of shortening the sleeves Sleeve shortening can cost between $10 and $60. The cost of sleeves for jackets is higher than the sleeves of shirts and jackets that have buttons and linings are more expensive than simple ones. 
  • In addition cutting the sleeves of an outerwear piece at the shoulder is more expensive than shortening them to the cuff. However, jackets with decorative sleeves might require a shortening off the shoulder.
  • Adjusting your waistband Should your belt be large or too small it could cost you between $10-$45 to alter it. A skirt or pants with lined linings are more expensive than non-lined ones. If you’ve got the waistline of an item of clothing that is adjusted, you may have to adjust the seat or the crotch to increase the price.
  • Take In the dress shirt Fix big dress shirts that are too large at a cost of $15-$35.
  • Replacing or turning the shirt Collar: Collars on shirts are prone to wear and make the entire shirt appear dingy. To repair it, turn it (literally remove it and sew it back to make the more attractive back then the front) or replace it completely. The cost of these services is between $30 and $50.
  • Wearing a Dress Jacket, Blazer or Vest For between $20 and $90, you can invest wearing a dress jacket or blazer or vest. The jackets with three seams are more than those with just two seams. Inserting sleeves cost an additional $20-$40 and the cost of adjusting the shoulders is between $75 to $150.
  • The process of bringing in a sheath Dress Sheath dresses are priced between $25 and $50 to be able to wear.
  • Replacing the Zipper and Buttons Replacing zippers or buttons is fairly simple and costs usually between $10 and $25.
  • Replacement of the Lining of an item The process of replacing the lining of any clothing can cost $50 and upwards.

Ways Clothing Alterations Can Save You Money

The cost of altering clothes isn’t cheap however, they could save you cash in the end when you’re in the right situation. You need to be aware of how to make the old clothes wearable could save you money in new clothing and when it’s recommended to donate the old clothes to charities and purchase something new.

1. Get a Custom Fit for Less

The clothes sold by retailers are made to fit the body of a typical and with measurements that are in line with the typical. However, real bodies aren’t one-size-fits-all. Every person’s measurements are different, and so when you purchase off the shelf the most you can expect is a size that is “good enough.”

If you purchase off-the-rack items and have them modified to fit, you can have them look like the clothes you bought specifically for you at only a fraction of the cost of custom-made clothes.

For instance, you could purchase a suit at a price of $200. It might not fit perfectly, so you need the jacket and sleeves removed along with the waistband on your pants adjusted, and the sleeves cut. In all, the cost of the suit and the cost of tailoring can be about $405.

Compare that with the price of a custom-made suit. Chicago tailor Nicholas Joseph Hansen tells CNBC that he’ll charge anything between $800 and $1,800 for a bespoke suit that is made according to the buyer’s specific dimensions. The cost of a modified off-the-rack suit is 22 percentage to 50% more, based on the modifications you require.

But it’s still far from the highest amount you can spend on an outfit. In order to get that $800 price level, Hansen explains he has to sew the suit in another country, where labor costs are significantly less expensive. The cost of a “bespoke” suit — one that’s made to order and sewn by a tailor’s Chicago shop — is priced between $2,800 to $4,800. When compared to a tailored suit, a modified one costs only 8 to 14% more.

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2. Adjust Clothes to Shifts in Size

Your body is not only distinct from the rest of the population however, but it also doesn’t necessarily stay the same every year. When you’ve dropped 10 lbs in the past year, your clothes that were perfect in the winter will likely appear a little unflattering this winter. With a simple alteration, you can get them to fit perfectly for the second time.

A nice pair of wool pants you buy from such a store as Banana Republic (well made but not too expensive) will cost you between $100-$200 new. The cost of removing the waistband of your old pants can be a savings of 60 to 80% off purchasing new ones.

In certain situations, the tailor may modify garments to the other direction. If you’ve gained several pounds, they may “let out” a garment around the chest, waist, or neck to give you breathing space. It’s only feasible when the garment has additional fabric at the seams.

3. Update the Look of Old Clothes to Stay in Style

Fashion trends change each year and clothes that have lots of life left in them can be tossed in the donation pile due to the fact that they appear old. In most cases, only an easy change to bring them up-to-date.

For instance, you could change the appearance of a dress by:

  • Raising a Hemline. In the year 2020, The Guardian revealed that midi-length skirts as well as dresses (with long calf-length the hemlines) have been replaced by one that is slightly above the knee. It is possible to pay between $50 and $100 for a skirt of this length or simply cut off an old midi-skirt by $35 and wear it.
  • Removing Shoulder Pads. Are you wearing an older suit sporting these huge shoulder pads from the 80s hidden within your wardrobe? Instead of buying a new one, consider having the shoulder pads removed for about $100.
  • Replacing Buttons. Just changing the buttons to an updated style could make a clothing item have a new style. Instead of purchasing a new coat that costs $100 or more Get your tailor to replace the buttons for just $20. You could do the task yourself using an apron and thread, as well as the basics of sewingyou don’t need a sewing machine.

4. Tailor Your Clothes to Keep Yourself Decent

Small changes can help keep your clothes from sliding or sliding in ways that reveal more than you’d prefer. For example, women who are bustier can put tiny snaps in between the buttons of shirts to ensure it is closed neatly. Women with narrow shoulders may make small loops that have snaps at the other end to run through the bra straps to stop the shoulders of their tops from sliding down.

Small fixes like these don’t have to be cost-effective. One customer at Corporette claims she added snaps to her blouse for $5 in 2011. When adjusted for inflation it would cost about $6 by 2021. In contrast, changing a blouse might cost between $20 and $50, not including the amount of time needed to find the ideal size.

5. Take Advantage of Clothing Deals That Don’t Quite Fit

Sometimes, you come across an amazing bargain on a sale rack, or at a second-hand store like Goodwill however, it does not fit. Instead of passing on the opportunity, bring it to a tailor to have the item adjusted to make it fit. If the price is affordable enough, the overall cost, including adjustments, could be lower than the retail price.

For example, my husband bought a secondhand suit from an auction shop for $59. The jacket was just right for him however it was too large which is why we had them re-sized and hemmed for just $35. Overall, we paid less than $100 for a suit that I later found out could have been purchased for $650 retail.

6. Save Your Favorite Worn-Out Garments

There are times when you’ve got an old favorite item that you simply can’t replace with anything.

The decision to throw them out is a painful experience, However, often, a tailor will keep them. Sometimes, prolonging the lifespan of a worn item is as easy as changing a lining or reversing a worn collar. This could keep your expensive piece of clothing for between $30 and $100.

In the extreme, an expert tailor will preserve your old favorite garments by creating exact replicas of the originals. It’s expensive however, for a piece that you love and cannot change, it’s worth the cost.

Getting the Most for Your Money

The value of altering your clothes is only priced if you really like the outcome. If the tailor didn’t do an excellent job or you don’t like the piece at all, what you’ll have in the end is an easier purse and a garment that you don’t wish to wear.

To get the most value for alteration, you have to start with two items that are a professional tailor and a piece of clothing that is worth the effort of changing.

How to Find a Good Tailor

The most difficult part of arranging alterations is finding the perfect tailor. Dry cleaners are abounding in tailoring services, however, the style blog Alterations Needed claims that the tailors cannot handle anything other than the simple task of hemming. I noticed the same when I took my coat to two dry cleaners in the area to have the sleeves re-set and both of them claimed that it was impossible.

A lot of department stores offer on-site tailoring. These tailors generally have good abilities and are priced at a reasonable price. However, according to Alterations Needed, they’re typically rushed, overwhelmed, and aren’t focused on your specific demands as a customer. The site for men’s fashion Dappered says you require “a tailor that is your tailor,” one who understands your needs and preferences.

If you’re not extremely fortunate, it’s unlikely to be able to locate the right tailor simply by searching for the Internet in search of “tailors near me” and choosing a random list. Instead, take these simple methods to locate the perfect person to do the task.

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