Most women assume that they can walk into a clothing store, take a garment, in their ‘size’ into a changeroom, try it on and it will fit perfectly. Yet women’s bodies are so varied in shape and what I call variations (boobs, thighs, arms, etc.) and manufacturing of clothing shapes and styles so arbitrary, that really, we are crazy to think this is ever going to be true. Plus there is the additional aspect of height, some of us are petite, others tall and lots of us in between. Unless we are having all our garments made for us individually by a tailor or dressmaker (or we do it ourselves), where the pattern can be adapted for our unique bodies, then we have to understand the reality of mass market garment production, that manufacturers are trying to make something that will not be too short or small for the tall people but can be taken up by the shorter people.
So one of the most common issues with fit is the length of a garment. With trousers, most of us will get the hems taken up if they are dragging on the ground, but how often do you look at a skirt or dress and realise just that a small alteration can make a huge difference to how it looks on you?
A Small Alteration Makes a Big Difference
The lovely author Alison Goodman (who is also an Evolve Your Style participant and is doing my 7 Steps to Style program) realised that this dress was just too long, and it was making her look more frumpy. So she had it shortened and what a difference that few centimetres makes to the overall appearance of the dress.
You can see that the dress looks fresher and more youthful as it’s a slightly shorter length. Apart from hems on skirts/dresses and pants which are probably the most altered element of a garment, my other pet alteration is the need for a sleeve to be shortened, as a too long jacket sleeve (in particular) makes the whole jacket look too large, you can see my post on that issue here.
Thanks, Alison for sharing these pictures with us – and you should go check out her books, buy them and read them! Discover Alison’s books here.
More Tips on Alterations