Tailoring an Outfit: The Key to a Perfect Fit.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to find clothes off the rack that fit us perfectly. We are bound to be disappointed with the length or the extra fabric around the waist or the tight sleeves! How on the earth can shopping be fun? Well the answer is simple. Read on to learn how to enjoy shopping and wear clothes that look custom-made without the exorbitant price tags…


The 1st step to buying clothes that fit well is finding your right size. Do keep in mind the fact that you may be 2 different sizes on the top and bottom. There is nothing unusual about it


Tips to arrive at the right size for the top

To identify the right size for tops, the rule is, your top should be able to accommodate your chest, waist and arms without being too tight anywhere. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too loose either.

If you are big chested,

Your goal is to make sure your shirts don’t gap between buttons and your blouses or tees aren’t too tight there. For jackets, the seams should sit on the shoulder and the stance should not be too wide.

If you have bulky arms,

Make sure that your arm movement is not restricted in the jacket. Also, try not to wear sleeves that are too short.

If you are big chested but your waist is really narrow,

The fabric can easily be taken in to show off your tiny waist but if you buy tops that are right for your waist, your chest is going to bulge out and that’s definitely not something you want – calling more attention!!


So your size would be the size that fit’s the bulkiest portion of your top.


Tips to arrive at the right size for the bottom

Your goal again is to make sure the trousers or skirts accommodate your widest portion (be it hips or thighs). A-line skirts are universally flattering as they float away from the body and need to fit only at the waist. So, irrespective of your body type, you can’t go wrong with the flowy skirt. But when it comes to trousers, it can be a real pain if you don’t fall in the average category.

If you are pear shaped,

Pencil skirts might be tricky coz they are cut straight and in order for them to accommodate your hips you might need to go one size up and then make some adjustments at your waist.

If you have wide hips but thin legs,

Purchase trousers that fit your hip well. Go for straight legs so your legs don’t disappear in all that fabric or appear so thin that your hips look even bulkier.

If you have heavy thighs but are otherwise thin,

You might have to go up a size or two in trousers to comfortably fit in your thighs and then take some fabric in at the waist. Skirts that don’t cling to your body would be a lot more flattering on you.

Trouser length is something you least need to be bothered about coz that’s the easiest to alter. That’s also the reason why you should stick to the straight leg variety coz a bell bottom flares from the knee and if the knee of the trouser doesn’t match your knee, it will look very awkward.

The crotch is another tricky region. If you trouser is too tight at the waist, you will have a lot of wrinkles and if your trouser is loose, your crotch will have excess fabric and look really bad. The ideal thing is to have the trouser’s crotch touch your anatomical crotch without pulling at the waist.


Find a good tailor

As you have seen, any item you purchase off the rack can be made to fit perfectly for your body type by a good tailor. Sure the tailoring charges will add up to the cost of your clothes, but what’s the point in spending on the clothes in the 1st place if they don’t flatter your body? You might as well spend a little extra and look fabulous. It will still work out cheaper than getting an outfit custom made from scratch. Here you are just looking for some alterations to suit your body shape. So, the first thing before you go shopping is to find a good tailor and make sure s/he understands your concerns and is capable of making the alterations you are hoping for. A good tailor would also give suggestions on the cuts and fabrics that would suit your body.


If you are on a budget

Buy a few good pieces and get them tailored. You don’t have to own a ton of clothes if you know how to mix and match.

Go in for pieces that don’t require too much tailoring like a wrap dress or an A-line skirt. They accentuate your assets without highlighting your flaws.

You can go in for sleeveless blouses or dresses with thick straps, v-neck and empire waist – this is universally flattering. You might still need a few stitches if there is a gap near the arm hole but that would be minimal. If you are conscious of your arms, throw on a jacket or a cardigan. For a very deep v-neck wear a cami inside and you are good to go.

Trousers and jeans require the maximum alterations but with practice you will know which size and style to pick up for minimal changes.



  • Identify your correct size – both top and bottom.
  • Understand your body type – choose clothes that fit you in your biggest area comfortably.
  • Find a good tailor – don’t hesitate to spend on alteration.
  • Own a few key pieces that have been altered to suit your body type – you don’t need to buy in bulk.
  • Go in for skirts or dresses as they require almost no tailoring.


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