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Answers to Common Tailoring FAQs

Need tailoring services for your suit or wedding dress? Naturally, you will have some questions about the process before you entrust your special garments to one of our tailoring specialists. Here, we answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand what’s possible with alteration and tailoring services:

 

What is an alteration? 

At Alteration Specialists, we focus solely on altering your existing garments to give you the perfect fit.  Our specialists have decades of experience altering the full range of clothing.  They know how to take what you have and make it what you want.  From suits and outerwear to bridal and evening gowns plus everything in between.

 

How much does an alteration cost?

You’d be amazed at all the types of alterations that can be done to a garment.  The truth is that you never really know the cost to alter a garment until you know what alterations it will take to achieve the result for which you are looking. Pricing at Alteration Specialists is based fairly on the time it takes to complete an alteration; it’s as straightforward as that. We believe in transparency and list many of the common alterations with corresponding prices on our website.  During our risk-free consultations, our fitters candidly discuss pricing and let you decide what best fits your budget while still achieving the results you want.  

We bring only the best tailors onto our team to provide the top-level service our clients have come to love. If you’re not sure why the total cost of your alterations is different than what you expected, our specialists will be happy to tell you more about the alteration and what is involved in the process to get your desired final look.  It’s actually quite fascinating to know all the work that goes into your garment’s alterations and we love to share that knowledge with each customer. 

If you would like an estimate, feel free to reach out to us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of the www.alterationspecialists.com home page and send us your inquiry.  The best way to get a final price quote is to take advantage of a no-obligation consultation where you can personally ask a master tailor your questions and he/she can provide you answers on the spot. Please note that pricing is subject to change based on specialty fabric, hardware, detailing, etc. We will always explain the price difference in person so you can trust you are getting a fair price for the work involved in the alteration.

What happens at a consultation?

The best way to find out what can or cannot happen with a garment is to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our specialists.  You can rely on our tailors to give you the best advice to achieve your desired fit.  Sometimes we’ll even advise you to return your garment and get a different size if the final result will be better with the new size.  You’ll never leave a tailoring consultation without learning something new and exciting that can be achieved through the tailoring services we offer.

 

Does the company allow walk-ins or do I have to book an appointment?

We strongly encourage everyone to schedule an appointment.  When you schedule an appointment with us, it automatically blocks out that designated time on our calendar and nobody else will be able to book that slot.  The front desk and tailors will have that time set aside to directly address your alteration needs and answer any questions you may have.  

We do accept walk-ins, but if there are individuals in the shop that have scheduled an appointment, we give them priority and will provide you with an estimate of how long the wait may be.  We keep it as simple as possible with an easy-to-use calendar application on our website that allows you to book an appointment and let us know everything we need to know to match you with the best specialist for your garment.

 

How are you maintaining a clean and safe environment in your shops during COVID?

Safety is always at the forefront when it comes to our clients and staff, and we have followed CDC guidelines closely to ensure all clients feel comfortable and safe in our shops.  We started preparing our shops weeks before we reopened after the COVID shutdown in the city to ensure a safe environment as soon as we re-opened our doors to our customers.  We require both our clients and our staff to wear masks at all times. You will find hand sanitizer throughout our shops for easy access. We have also trained our tailors in new processes to make sure you will feel and be safe at Alteration Specialists. Our shops are cleaned frequently throughout the day by our staff, and our shops are deep-cleaned multiple times a week by professional cleaning specialists.   

We want you to know that we have not cut any corners when it comes to your safety. When you are with us you can always feel comfortable and well taken care of!

 

What types of alterations can be made to a suit?

Suit alterations can be as simple as adjusting the sleeve length on your jacket and hemming your trouser. We also offer full recuts where the suit is taken completely apart and recut to your size.  Our specialists walk you through your alteration options, how they will impact your garment, and what you can expect after the alteration is completed during your one-on-one consultation so you can choose what alterations you want to proceed with.  Whether you want to give your garment more shape, let it out to make it more comfortable, or achieve the look you had in mind when you purchased the suit, we have you covered.

 

Does a suit have to be expensive to be worth altering?

At Alteration Specialists, you will have only the top tailors in the city altering your garments.  It doesn’t matter to us where the garment comes from, as we treat all of the clothing you entrust us with in the same careful and precise way. We utilize only the best techniques when we are tailoring your garments.  Following our alterations, you’ll be amazed at how your suit will look no matter where your garment came from and the original cost of the garment. Schedule a consultation with one of our master fitters and you’ll receive the same great experience we give to all of our customers.

 

Can my old and/or vintage clothing be updated?

Absolutely.  Our clients regularly bring in garments that have been sitting in their wardrobe for ages that they would like to be able to wear again but are not sure if it is possible.  Just about anything is possible.  The most expensive garments in your closet are sometimes the ones that sit around and are never worn.  

Fashion is changing at such a rapid pace that some of your garments that are as little as 3 to 5 years old can suddenly become out of style.  If the garment is in good condition, why not just give it an update!  When garments are altered, the altered areas get all new stitches by a master tailor so the garment you receive back will most often have higher quality stitch work than the original, brand new garment. 

Bring in those shoulders, taper those pants, or sometimes just take in the sides a bit on your garment and you’ll be shocked what alterations can do for your old or vintage clothing.  Don’t know what can be done?  That’s what we are here for. Schedule a consultation with one of our master tailors and you’ll get all the answers you need. 

Over time, vintage clothing can endure wear and tear not only superficially, but also on the inside of your clothing.  Sometimes once we open it up, our tailors may find worn fabric that has broken down over the years.  In the event, we find this damage and it will prevent us from being able to alter the garment as promised, we will reach out to you immediately to update you on what we have found.  We’ll let you know what the damage is as well as what restrictions it may cause when performing the agreed-upon alteration(s).  You can then choose whether you’d like to continue with the alterations to the garment or not. 

Give those garments a new life and learn to love wearing your cherished clothing from the past again and for years to come!

 

Is there a way to make a dress bigger that does not have enough fabric to let out on the inside of the dress?

Our tailors understand style and how different features can be added to a dress that is both stylish and does not take away from the original look while still giving you the comfort you are looking for.  During your consultation, our tailors offer creative, customized options you can add to your dress to give you the room you need for the perfect fit.   Options like tastefully adding new panels to the sides of the dress that blend right into the original detailing or adding a corset lace-up side panel can give the piece that little extra pop while still giving you that extra comfort.  Come in for your no-obligation consultation and find out what solutions we can offer to help you get the desired fit you are looking for!

 

What alterations can be made to a wedding dress? 

For your special day, we are here to give your wedding dress the perfect look you deserve and have been dreaming of.  Wedding gowns are specifically made to give you that once-in-a-lifetime feeling that you’ll never forget.  Many of the alterations performed on bridal gowns are the same ones done on formal and/or casual dresses, but for bridal gowns, it’s all about the details.  During your scheduled bridal consultation, our tailors will walk you through what alterations you need to achieve that perfect look and will always copy and preserve original detailing. You can always trust us to alter your dress for your special day. 

 

Is it possible to change the style of a wedding dress?

Almost anything is achievable given our staff of master tailors and the extensive experience they bring to the table. Our tailors have worked for some of the top retail brands in the world-altering and creating styles and fashions from the past and present. Not sure you can achieve the results you are looking for?  Come see us in person for your own personal consultation and get your answers!

 

With the current COVID pandemic, I’m worried about the safety of my wedding guests.  Do you offer any solutions for safety that won’t take away from the elegant look I want for my wedding party and myself?

We understand the importance of safety, especially in this time where it is so important to keep you and your loved ones healthy and well.  We provide a beautiful and unique solution to meet your safety needs that will not take away from what you’ve been dreaming of all your life.  Utilizing the existing fabric and trimming from your gown, our specialists can help design a beautiful mask that will add to the elegance of your look and not detract from it.  During your bridal consultation, ask our specialists how you can get your own personalized design.  

Want your wedding party to have matching face masks?  Bring us the fabric of your choice that matches your wedding colors and we’ll take care of the rest.

 

Can you alter a garment that has already been altered elsewhere?

Yes, garments that have already been altered before can be altered again.  If you are not happy with the work you’ve received in the past from another tailor, then we are the perfect resource for you.  Over the years we have enhanced all types of work and also further altered all kinds of garments that have been worked on before.  The best part is our specialists will help identify what was incorrectly altered in the past and will advise you on what you can do to make it a garment you love.  Further, we’ll advise you on whether the poor alteration by another tailor can be fully recovered. This way you can decide whether you want to further alter your existing garment or whether you want to put the money towards altering a new garment that we’ll be happy to provide the finishing touches on. Schedule a consultation with one of our master fitters and they can help identify any problem areas and let you know how they can be fixed.

 

Should I expect a second fitting for my alterations?

If a second fitting will be needed to complete your alterations due to the complexity of the alterations, the tailor will let you know during the initial fitting and you will be able to schedule your second fitting before you leave the shop.  Most of the time, a second fitting is not needed, but we will always follow the best process to get the results you require.

 

Do Alteration Specialists work with leather or fur?

Yes, we do! We have specialists within our company that can work on just about anything, regardless of the complexity.  Our tailors have deep experience when it comes to complex garments.  The tailor that will be working on your leather or fur coat has been working on such garments for many years, sometimes even decades, prior to touching your garment.  We can assure you that if it can be altered, we have a specialist that can alter it for you.  Schedule a consultation with us and we’ll get you that fit you are looking for, no matter how exotic the fabric may be!

 

Can Alteration Specialists repair, reweave, or mend damaged clothing?

At Alteration Specialists, there are several ways we can help REPAIR or PATCH damage on your garment.  We will always offer the best possible solution and describe what you will superficially see or feel once the repair is complete. 

If you’re not sure if your garment can be repaired, schedule a consultation and we will let you know the best approach to repair or cover up the damage.  It’s possible our experts may even advise you not to repair it if there will be future issues or if you may get an undesirable superficial feature that you will see following the repair.  

If the damage is along the seams, then you’re in luck!  Most of the time we can offer repairs for damage along seams.  We may have to take in the seam a bit to give you a strong new stitch, but we’ll let you know upfront what you can expect when the repair is completed.

WE DO NOT REWEAVE or MEND CLOTHING.  Our repairs are done with the utmost care and with the best approach possible.  More often than not though, if the damage is away from a seam, the repair we will offer is meant to try to cover up problem areas and/or prevent further damage.  No matter what, our fitters will always ensure you know exactly what you can expect when you pick up your garment!

 

What is the best advice you can give me to ensure I am buying the right size garment and will get the results I am looking for?

When you’re shopping for clothes off the rack, there are key fit areas you should focus on to ensure your alterations give you what you are looking for.  A basic rule of thumb is to not buy something that is too tight, to begin with.  Seam allowances (fabric on the inside of a garment’s seams) are determined by the manufacturer so we can only let out the extra fabric that was left in the inside of your clothing.

It’s always easier to take in a garment rather than let it out.  Our fitters will always check for the seam allowances during your fitting and let you know on the spot what they will be able to do based on those allowances. Always buy clothing that fits in the hardest to fit areas when you are purchasing a ready-to-wear garment and we’ll take care of the rest.   

If you don’t know if a garment is the right size for you, schedule an appointment with one of our master fitters and we’ll let you know!

 

What happens if I change my mind after my garment has been altered?

Our fitters always take the time to talk through what you want to achieve for your final fit.  They will ask you several questions like what shoes you will be wearing with your garment, what shirt you want to wear with your suit, or what other clothing you will be wearing for your final outfit.  After they fit you with those accessories, they take meticulous notes based on your answers so we can deliver specifically on what you decided during the fitting.  The best thing to do if you change your mind is to contact us before the alteration is performed.  We require that the same accessory pieces are worn during your pickup appointment; otherwise, our tailors will not be able to confirm the accuracy of the alterations.  Once we confirm that the alterations were performed accurately, the garment is yours to take home and enjoy!   

We are happy to do new alterations for you if you change your mind in the future to achieve the new look you are looking for.  We always take the time to get it right the first time so you will have the amazing experience we deliver for all of our customers.  If you are unsure of the final fit and look you are trying to achieve, we may advise you to take a bit more time to make your decision.  Our staff can reschedule you during your initial consultation for a second consultation when you are comfortable with your final decision.  It’s important that you are ready before we start altering your garments.  Once the garment has been altered to the specifications that were determined during your fitting, future alterations for the garment are considered new alterations and will cost additional money.  It’s important you are ready before proceeding with alterations at Alteration Specialists; we’re ready for you when you’re ready for us.

 

What happens if I’m unhappy with my alterations?

We do everything we can to make our customers happy. That’s why we spend so much time training our fitters to be able to set expectations during your fitting so you know the impact of the alteration before you make your decision to proceed with us or not.  We are focused on clear communication as we strongly believe it is the key to any successful customer experience with us.  We take detailed notes about what we discuss during the fitting so we can fluidly continue the experience when you come back for your pickup.

Our fitters will be the first ones to identify if anything needs to be realtered on a garment.  We encourage feedback during the pickup as that is a chance to walk through the final result with an expert tailor that will answer any questions you may have.  We are here to help make your garments fit the way you want them to, but we are also here to educate our customers on what can and cannot be done to a garment.  

Keep in mind, as a garment gets tighter, more fit issues with a garment can become more pronounced as the garment is now on your body and not just loosely draping.  Sometimes the best way to address the full fit of a garment is a 2 step fitting process and the fitter will absolutely communicate that during the fitting and let you know why that will be the best approach.  We are here for you. Schedule a consultation and let us guide you through a great experience with only your best interests in mind!

 

Do you offer any sort of reward or perk program and if so, how do I join? 

We absolutely do!  We believe in rewarding our loyal customers and offer an Alteration Specialists VIP Concierge Program to show our appreciation.  When you reach the qualifying spend for the program, you will receive perks including, but not limited to, a lifetime 10% discount, 15% discount during your birthday month (because you deserve it), reduced home-fitting and courier fees, and the perks just keep getting better and better from there.  Ask one of our staff members when you are in for your next fitting how you can become a part of the Alteration Specialists VIP Concierge Program and you’ll be on your way to saving in no time!

 

What is the referral program at Alteration Specialists?

One of the best ways to spread the word about us is to tell your friends and have them come in for their first fitting at Alteration Specialists.  When you refer a new client to ASNY, you will BOTH receive $25 off your next purchase!  Click HERE to find out how you can take advantage of our referral program and start saving today!

 

When you’re ready to alter or tailor your clothing and get the best fit in town, come see the experts at Alteration Specialists. We are excited to show you what we can do for you and your clothing tailoring needs!


Phone: Union Square (212-929-0755) | Upper East Side (646-833-7899) | Tribeca (212-587-1001) Email: info@alterationspecialists.com

Address: Union Square : 89 5th Avenue, Suite 904 @ 17th St | Upper East Side : 700 Madison Avenue, 4th Fl @ 62nd St | Tribeca : 66 West Broadway, Suite 506 @Warren St