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How Much Do Alterations Cost?

The cost to have a tailor alter your clothes can vary. Some jobs may require more complex work than others, which can cost more. For the most part, the two main factors that determine cost are where you live and what kind of tailor shop you visit.

Some of the most common alterations such as Macys alterations and Nordstrom Rack
alterations fall into several different price ranges:

Hemming dresses, skirts, and pants: Between $65 and $105. If a skirt has lining in it, it can cost more to hem.

Sleeve Shortening: Between $24 and $100. Men’s and women’s jacket sleeves can be more expensive than shirt sleeves. Additionally, jackets with linings and buttons cost more than plain jackets.

Adjusting Waistbands: Between $65 and $135. If a skirt or pants have a lining in them, they are more expensive than skirts or pants that are not lined.

Taking in Vests or Jackets: Between $20 and $50. If you have a jacket with three seams, that will cost more than a jacket with two. If sleeves need to be taken in, that can cost an extra $65. Adjusting the shoulders costs about $150.

Taking in Sheath Dresses: Between $55 and $95. If the waist of a dress needs to be raised, the cost is closer to $120.

Shortening men’s and women’s jackets: Between $90 and $130.

Replacing Zippers: $30. you provide the zipper.

Replacing Garment Linings: Between $150 and $300.

The Significance of Alterations

Alterations are not cheap. For example, if you are a man and you’re purchasing a suit that’s on sale at Macy’s for $200, you need to have the jacket as well as the sleeves taken in along with alterations on the waistband of the pants and shorter sleeves. Your $200 suit then becomes a $335 suit in no time at all.

But when you really start to think about it, you got a custom-made suit for much less than the cost of a brand new suit. A tailor in New York City who was recently interviewed by CNBC says that he charges between $900 and $1,800 for suits that fit the customer’s exact measurements. This includes sewing that’s done overseas where the labor is typically much cheaper. Bespoke suits, those that are custom-fitted, are sewn in his shop for around $2,800 to $4,800.

Alterations can still save you some money over buying off the rack because you are able to take advantage of better deals from clearance racks and thrift stores. For example, my colleague recently went to a thrift shop and purchased a suit for $59. While the jacket was a perfect fit, the pants were big, so I found a tailor who offered alterations near me. He hemmed the pants for $35.The suit ended up being about $100 which was far less than suits that were being sold in stores for over $650.

If you are satisfied with the results, alterations can definitely be worth the money. But if your tailor doesn’t do a very good job or you don’t like the article of clothing very much, you may not want to spend the money. Make sure you have a good tailor and an outfit that’s worth altering.