Altered States: Part 1

Lately I favored buying things that needed a bit of work.

Take this Mason skirt as an example. I thought the asymmetric panels are very cool, so I kept an eye on it for a long time at the FIDM Scholarship Store, waiting until the price got marked down further. When it finally did, the size that fitted me was gone. A few months after that, only the bigger sizes were still there. I snagged a size 6 anyway because my wanting it wasn't just a passing craving. The skirt was really loose on me, but I figured that since it's A-line, alteration won't take too much work (and simple means lower costs). I don't have a sewing machine, so I had a tailor take it in. The skirt still isn't a perfect fit (it rides up when I sit down), but it fits pretty well when I'm standing up, so it'll do. Total cost: $5 for the skirt + $12.50 for alteration = $17.50. I think it's worth it.

Why do I buy things that require tailoring? Isn't that going to cost more money? Well, there are a couple of things that I thought was important in making that decision:

1) How badly do I want it? I've eyed the skirt for more than 6 months, and if my liking is so intense, it's probably a good idea to buy it. Turns out that it was a good call--the skirts are no longer there.

2) How much more is it going to cost me? I hardly know anything about sewing, much less alterations, but how hard does it seem to get it fixed? If the cut doesn't require a perfect fit for your curves, it'll cost less. Anything that has a lining and involves taking the lining apart will probably set your bank account back a little more.

3) Is it worth getting it tailored?
-If the price of the piece of clothing is low enough on its own, and the extra costs of tailoring won't push the price over your usual price ceiling for that type of clothing, then tailoring is justified.
-Alternately, if the thing you're buying is expensive, it's got to be such a really really really really really good deal, not just a good deal. After all, if you're already paying that much, the fit should have been good in the first place.
-Also, think about what you're wearing the piece for. The more formal the occasion, the better reason for tailoring. Can't go wrong with having a tailored suit if it'll help you get that job.
-And as Marcy pointed out (how could I have forgotten this one?), if a little bit of tailoring will let you get a lot of mileage on, say, a pair of pants, it pays off in the long run.

Remember that really low-cut Geren Ford dress I posted about earlier? Well, I couldn't resist today. I really love the print and, given how expensive her collection is, I don't have the ability to buy it elsewhere any time soon. I figured that I can fix the low-cut problem by shortening the straps myself. It didn't quite work out that way, but I managed to shorten the straps and did a reasonably good job with it. It's already late and it took me a while to organize my pics in a narrative order, so I'll write about it next time.

Enjoy the Labor Day Weekend, and stay safe!


Marcy said...

If a small tailoring job is going to make the difference between something sitting in yopur closet unworn for months, and being worn often b/c it fits, then it's definitely worth it. I had a pair of green pants my sister gave me that fit fine, but were waaay too long. I finally got them altered last winter and for under $20 I now have a pair of pants that are perfect for work.

Litigator To Be said...

Saw your comment on my blog, too! Good luck in school--it is nice to be done. Studying for the bar is worse than law school was (for me). I won't know how I did till October 27th.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Ah, very true, Marcy. Forgot about that part...I'll blame it on fatigue.