For me I like to wander to clear my head and inevitably I wander into a clothing or shoe store. Recently, I found myself in Zara at the clearance rack. Now, I always find a piece in Zara that just isn’t right on the clearance rack but this particular time after making my rounds, I thought to myself, “with a little love this could be awesome”. Usually buying something just to fix it is something I frown upon but these pants were $10, 100% cotton and were the perfect build for some great culottes. It would only cost me a little time and a little thread to make these my dream pants. If this scenario sounds familiar, I’m not surprised. I feel like this happens to a lot of people and sometimes a little guidance is needed. So, because I know that not everyone sews or enjoys sewing, I put together 4 cardinal rules you should think about before you buy a piece of clothing that requires fixing.
#1 Make sure there are no major issues
Everything is not fixable this includes an item that is too tight. If you are looking at big holes, move on, you came to shop not become an expert in patch working. Believe me I understand your pain being a frequent of the vintage shops. I once had to give up the most magnificent vintage cashmere sweater because it had small moth holes all over it. I thought sure I can work in some beading to match what’s already there but the time commitment was not worth the price.
#2 If there is a length issue, check for extra fabric
I don’t know about you but I have really long arms. However, I have a petite build so you can see where I’m going with this right? Anytime you find an item that you must have and the sleeves are too long, know that’s an easy fix. Now, if you’re like me, always check for extra fabric in the hem. If it’s enough fabric to make it look like you’re not wearing an extra smedium jacket, then go for it. Otherwise, count your loses because there’s nothing worse than buying something that you will never wear. I promise you, your arms will not get shorter.
#3 As I stated in number 1, weigh the price per wear against the hassle or the amount it will take to fix the issue(s)
If you need to completely reconstruct your garment, move on, it will cost entirely too much. If the garment is lined, know that it will cost more to alter: “A lining is like a second dress.” Delicate and intricate items requires more care and time to sew; cotton is easiest and cheapest to alter. However, if you’re not sure, get the item and get an estimate from a tailor. Now this is the most important step in this rule, BELIEVE YOUR TAILOR. If your tailor tells you the results are not worth the price, believe them. They not only went to school for design but they most likely did an apprenticeship so they know what they’re talking about. Just take a deep breath and return the item.
#4 Don’t let Brand names be your downfall.
I personally don’t care about the big brands, if it’s a wonderful fit and made out of quality material I’m in love. However, I know some that do and all I have to say is don’t let that cloud your judgment. Just because it’s a big brand and expensive does not mean that it will fit well or be made from quality materials. Besides, no one will care about the brand name if you aren’t looking your best. Remember, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on something for a name when it doesn’t make you feel 100% awesome is a crime against your pocketbook and yourself.
Seems grim, I know but some tailoring options aren’t that expensive. So spending a little extra on an item to get the perfect fit is usually a possibility. I just want you to really weigh if the piece you’re treasuring on the rack is worth the extra cash and if you think it will be a repeated wear.