Fit is the most important characteristic in mens formal wear. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a shirt you like, trying it on and it starts to billow around your waist, or hang off your arms like the wilting leaves of a dying plant. This situation isn’t as hopeless as it sounds. With the wonders of a good tailor you can turn your wardrobe nightmares into perfection in just a matter of days.
How Much Does it Cost to Tailor a Shirt?
The biggest problem with high street brands is that their shirts are designed for the masses. They tend to follow a one size fits all model. Where in reality, this doesn’t work. A tailor can turn your generic off the rack shirt to fitting like a glove in a couple of days.
Similar to the above, your body weight is likely to fluctuate throughout the years. The shirt that once fit nicely in winter might be loose closer to the summer when you’ve shed some weight for that upcoming holiday. A tailor can simply add darts to the shirt making it a closer fit around the stomach and waist.
We all have those items we just don’t want to throw away. Shirts that are an old classic, or cost a decent amount of money at the time. A tailor can make a replica for you or help extend the life of the garment by replacing the lining or turning a worn collar. Style experts say it’s only worth altering clothes that you truly love and will wear often enough to get your money’s worth out of the alterations.
The benefits of tailoring are clear. With this being said, nothing good in this world comes for free. Alteration cost, not only cost money but time too. If you have both to spare then tailoring is an investment for you. The work of a tailor is relatively extensive and simply asking the question how much does it cost to tailor a shirt isn’t always straightforward.
Exactly how much it costs to alter a shirt or get some tailor made shirts can vary from tailor to tailor. You can find rough pricing estimates online but the nature of the alteration is calculated on a case by case basis.
How much to tailor a shirt UK
A handy infographic here by the modest man shows a rough estimate for US prices for the cost of tailoring a shirt. The below costs are good estimations for UK tailors.
To make any shirt alterations it’s advisable to have anywhere between £20 and £55 aside. Taking in a shirt which is the most common alteration is closer to the £20 mark. The three main factors (sometimes a combination of all three!) that can have an impact on the cost of tailoring a shirt are as follows:
- Nature of alteration
- Type of shirt fabric
- Prestige or reputation of the tailor
Nature Of Alteration
The goal of tailoring is to think of the end result, how do you want your shirt to look and feel as a result of a tailoring service. Your aim isn’t to save as much money as possible. It’s important to remember that not every tailor is the same, some tailors are better at certain alterations than other tailors. But aside from this, think about the nature of alterations, some are costlier than others due to the complexity and time it takes. For example replacing cuffs or a collar are a lot more complex than simply making darts in the back of a shirt.
Type of Shirt Fabric
Even a world class tailor can’t make a good shirt out of poor fabric. Cheaply made fabrics don’t particularly justify the investment of altering.
The fabric quality and material have a significant impact on the service provided. Some fabrics can be more delicate requiring an extra level of care during altering. This required more time and potentially a more experienced tailor.
How To Find a Tailor:
Tailor Prestige and Reputation
As with most things, it will take some shopping around and review hunting to find a good tailor. A simple google search of "tailor near me" will yield the best results. The most important thing is to find a tailor you can trust. If a tailor doesn’t do a good job you can end up leaving with a lighter wallet and a shirt you can’t wear anymore.
A lot of stores have in-house tailors which can often be cheaper. Style experts suggest that their capabilities don’t match those of independent tailors. Depending on the level of alteration, store tailors may not have the ability for a more complex service. You also won’t be getting the same degree of attention as an independent tailor. A prestigious tailor such as those on Savile Row, you can expect to pay an increased price with the reputation they carry, but you have peace of mind the result will be a perfect custom dress shirt.
Unsure if your tailor is suitable? Simply examine their work. Before paying a penny ask if they have experience in your particular alteration and examples of pieces they have done in the past. A tailor will proudly show their work in order to gain your trust and custom.
Check out our blog on how to tailor a shirt without any experience. But if you are willing to learn how to use a sewing machine you can certainly do some basic alterations yourself. Not only is it a great skill to have but save money in the process!
The Right Fit
Once you’ve found the right tailor and you have a high-quality shirt to alter. The final ingredient is the right fit.
When a tailor is altering a garment for you, make sure the garment will leave a little wiggle room if it doesn't contain any stretch. Try moving around in it after the garment has been pinned to demonstrate it’s not too tight. It shouldn’t visibly pull across any part of your body. With this being said it’s as important to make sure it isn’t too loose. Tell your tailor what the issue is and they can advise on the best fix and what the alteration will entail.
So now you know the general cost of a tailor and what type of factors can influence the cost to tailor a shirt. The whole tailoring process can be a costly affair in both time and money. So think carefully if this investment is right for you.
Do you really want to:
Spend time finding the right tailor.
Taking your ill fitting shirt to the tailor for an alteration.
Explaining the job required.
Waiting for the shirt to be altered.
Paying for the alteration.
Maybe this is the only solution?
If you don’t want to go through the above steps discover our TAPERED™ Fit Shirt. The TAPERED™ Fit has been crafted by leading tailors and designers to allow for a close fit on your shoulders and chest whilst tapering in sharply at the waist. A shirt that looks and feels like a made to measure shirt. No requirement for additional tailoring.
Imagine a shirt that fits your body perfectly without being too tight at the shoulders or too loose at the waist. Imagine not struggling each time you shop for a shirt. Imagine being able to spend more time doing the things you love and less time (and money) at the tailors.
Check out our best selling Tapered Fit Shirt, The best shirts for a muscular build: