One of the memories I have of Ginger and her wardrobe would be her regular visits to Fedora, the talented seamstress that did her alterations. Fedora, a Greek grandmother that lived in our town, worked out of her home, open for business only two afternoons a week, often with a line of ladies waiting for her services. Sometimes just shortening a hem by an inch, taking in the waistband of trousers, or adjusting the seams of a jacket for a flattering fit. Well-fitting clothes is one of the most important secrets to looking your best, yet so often overlooked by woman of all ages. While you may get lucky at times, it is unlikely that you can buy clothes that are a perfect fit off the rack – and minor alterations can make a HUGE difference!
Here are some of my pet peeves:
- Sloppy pants – classic style business pants MUST be hemmed to the specific shoe height you will wear with them (learned this from Fedora); a slight “break” in the fabric is most flattering – not too short, but never covering the whole heel or touching the ground.
- Baggy suits – you may have purchased a business suit a few years ago, but what looked great then may look dated now. Making the sleeves narrower, nipping the waist and tapering the skirt can completely change the whole look. If it’s a classic style and high quality fabric it is worth the expense and will also make you look ten pounds thinner! Even if you are not at your ideal weight, a more fitted look is much more flattering than baggy.
- Frumpy skirt lengths – for everyday wear, the best length is either just above or just below the knee. Taking only two inches off a hem can truly transform the whole look and make your legs look longer (speaking from a short person who knows!).
- Out-of-style coats – let’s face it, for those that live in cold weather climates, coats can be pricey and you don’t replace them every year – yet you can look matronly if your coat screams “1990”…….An ankle grazing coat shortened to knee length or just below can be a way to look current until you are ready to make the next big purchase.
I now actually rely on two tailors: one for quick fixes (reasonably priced seamstress at a local dry cleaner), one a true expert that I trusted to completely alter my mother-of-the-bride Chanel. Look in your closet today – I bet there is at least one article of clothing that you would enjoy wearing more after an alteration. Would love to hear about it or offer ideas!!!