How to tailor a t-shirt

How to Tailor a T Shirt

T-shirts are a simple, classic staple of any wardrobe. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to wear. Unfortunately buying a t-shirt isn’t always so simple.

We've all been there: you get home from the store, excited about your new t-shirt, and you try it on. But when you look in the mirror, it's not quite right. It's too big for your waist or too small for your chest—but either way, it just isn't quite right.

Fear not; there’s a simple solution: tailoring your t-shirt. There are a number of simple modifications that either you at home or a professional tailor can make to ensure you get that elusive perfect fit.

Should I Get My T-Shirt Tailored?

Tailoring your t-shirt is a great way to make sure that your t-shirt is perfectly fit to your body. It’ll help you get rid of any extra fabric that might be hanging around the waist or bunching up in the armpits.

Looking for T-Shirts that fit perfectly to your body? Check out our collection of fitted t-shirts right here.

Getting a tailored fit can truly take a t-shirt from "meh" to "wow." And when it comes to t-shirts, a tailored fit will make you look like you've got the best body in the world (even if really, it's just because your t-shirt is so fitted).


So, if you want to look like you have abs of steel and a chest that could crush boulders with one flex, tailoring is for you. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you all about the modifications a professional tailor can make to your t-shirt, as well as some that you can do yourself at home. 

We’ll also tell you how TAPERED MENSWEAR can guarantee you a tailored fit every time you purchase a new t-shirt – without having to make any modifications.

How to Slim a T-Shirt

If you’re looking to save the life of that baggy-fitting t-shirt you just bought, you should consider slimming it yourself. It might seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite simple and easy to do yourself—and the results can be worth it! All you need is some basic sewing skills (or a sewing machine), patience, and an understanding of how clothes are constructed. 

If you follow these tips we’ve outlined below, we think you’ll find that there really isn’t much else standing in your way of a perfect-fitting t-shirt. You’ll save yourself the hassle of a trip to the tailors in the process.

sllimming a t-shirtTurquoise Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Step 1: Get the right tools.

To slim a t-shirt, you will need:

  • A sewing machine with a zigzag stitch function. This will allow you to sew over your seam and keep it from fraying. If you don't have one, use a serger (the most professional way) or you could simply try hand stitching.
  • Pins for pinning the fabric together before stitching it closed.
  • Scissors for cutting around the slim t-shirt’s outline, as well as the excess seam allowance after stitching it up.
  • Thread in colours that match the shirt's fabric; avoid white if possible because it will show through when worn under light colours of clothing!
  • A correctly fitting, slim t-shirt.

Step 2: Lay a correctly fitting t-shirt over the ill-fitting one

Firstly, lay a correctly fitting t-shirt over the ill-fitting one. In this step, you will be using the correct size as a template for your t-shirt.

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Make sure both t-shirts are flat and not twisted on a flat surface, then lay them side by side with their arms touching together. Ensure there are no areas of bunched-up fabric.

T-shirt sleeves fitting well around biceps

Navy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Step 3: Trace around the t-shirt 

You'll need to trace around your slim t-shirt, forming an outline on the large shirt that can be used for cutting out fabric later on. Most people use chalk for this part, but if you're feeling lazy or just want to make things easier on yourself, you can just use pencil. Just make sure it’s something that will easily wash out!

It's important that these lines are very precise because they help you see where exactly you will need to cut up the t-shirt and sew up new seams later on.

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Step 4: Cut along the lines

The next step is to cut along the lines. Make sure you cut straight, and don't cut too close to the lines, or else you'll end up with slits that are too small for your arms or body.

You don't want to cut off too much fabric at once either – to be safe you should leave a little excess fabric, that can easily be trimmed down further if needed. 

Also, don’t forget about those pesky sleeves! They're important too! Don't accidentally slice into them while trying to remove excess material from around the waistband of your t-shirt; keep them intact so they stay in good shape when worn normally.

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Step 5: Sewing up seams.

It's time to prepare your shirt, by sewing up the seams. You’ll want to pin the edges of your t-shirt in place, to make the sewing process easier. As mentioned, you can either hand or machine stitch – but we’d definitely recommend a machine stitch for convenience (if you have access to a sewing machine).

To do this, simply sew along the edges of the slim-fitting t-shirt you have just cut. First, sew along one edge until about halfway across on both sides (this means both front and back).

Then press open those areas well before continuing on to the next step. Now repeat the process with the other side making sure not overlap with the previous stitching. Keep going until both sides have been stitched closed together along the entire seam line.

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Step 6: Cut off excess fabric.

The next step is simple – just cut off any excess fabric, and fine-tune any regions that might be sore on the eye.

Step 7: Finish loose threads.

After you're done cutting and sewing, it's time to finish your shirt. The last step is to seal any stitches with a seam sealer or fabric glue. Once you've applied the seam sealer, give it time to dry before trying on your new slim-fit t-shirt!

Now go out and impress everyone with your new slim-fit t-shirt!

How to Alter a T-Shirt To Slim Fit

At this point, you might be asking, how do I slim down a t-shirt at home if I don’t have a sewing machine? Luckily, there’s a simple hack to alter a t-shirt to slim fit, without any sewing required. 

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Start by laying the t-shirt flat on a surface and pinning along the seams or lines of stitching that run from top to bottom, side to side. You can also lay out paper towels and pin along their lines instead of using pins.

This will help you avoid damaging the fibres in the fabric.

Next, get a pot of boiling water and place it on a stove with a burner set to boil. Once the water is at a boil, wait 10 minutes for the water to cool slightly.  

slim fitting t-shirt by Tapered MenswearNavy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Add your t-shirt to the water, and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Then remove your shirt, unfold it and remove the pins, and then wring it before letting it air dry.

Once your shirt is dry again (and hopefully much slimmer), check out how much smaller those seams are now compared to before! If you require more shrinkage, simply repeat the whole process until your t-shirt has your desired slim fit!

Can T Shirts Be Tailored?

If you don’t fancy doing the work yourself, or simply want it done to a professional standard, then finding a professional tailor near you to tailor your t-shirt is probably your best option.

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A professional tailor is someone who has been trained to make and alter clothing, so they can certainly make a t-shirt look like it was made just for you. They will take the measurements of your body and then use those to cut and sew together the fabric that will become your new t-shirt.

They'll also be able to hem any pants or skirts that need it, adjust any suits that need some tailoring, and do other alterations as well.

No matter how skilled you are at sewing, it's always a good idea to bring your garment to a professional tailor for final alterations. Your first step should be to ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Navy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

If they've had work done in the past, see if they can recommend someone who did a great job.

Next, check online reviews and look for tailors who have experience with the type of clothing that you want to be tailored—for example, if you're having pants altered or dress pants hemmed, look for an experienced tailor who specializes in these types of garments.

Finally, ask potential tailors if they will show you examples of their work so that you know exactly what kind of quality level they provide before committing yourself financially and time-wise.

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A good quality tailor will be able to make a number of key alterations to your t-shirt, by altering it at the seams. They can take in or let out the t-shirt's waistline, shorten or lengthen the sleeves and hem, and even fix problem areas like gaping armholes.

Once you've got a tailor, you can go back to them repeatedly for more adjustments. Most tailors will be happy to help with any kind of clothing adjustment you need.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a T Shirt Tailored?

The cost of getting a t-shirt tailored depends on several factors, including the experience level of the tailor and the quality of service you're looking for.

The cost of getting a t-shirt tailored depends largely on what kind of alterations you want to do. If you just want it hemmed, that's going to be pretty affordable: around $10-$15 for most tailors.

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If you have something more complicated in mind (like adjustment of the shoulder seam), or require multiple alterations, expect to pay between $30-$50 for alterations.

tailoring t-shirt costsNavy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Obviously, if you take your t-shirt to a master tailor, with a lifetime of experience, you should expect to pay much more than this. For most people, especially when dealing with t-shirts, this simply isn’t necessary. An intermediate tailor will do just fine for the job.

We know that this amount of money doesn’t represent the entire cost of getting your t-shirt tailored. There’s the hassle of finding a reputable tailor near you, checking when they’re open, what their rates are, driving over to them, waiting for them to finish the work – the list goes on.

If you want to avoid this hassle the next time you buy a t-shit, you can guarantee a tailored fit, right off the bat by buying a TAPERED Menswear t-shirt.

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TAPERED Menswear - Tailored Fit T Shirts

What if there was a way to get the perfect tailored fit of a t-shirt, without having to worry about tailoring it yourself or finding a professional tailor? 

Fortunately, there’s a way to get a t-shirt that is so perfectly fit to your proportions, that your friends and family will be convinced you’ve had work done by a master tailor- without having to go through the hassle of finding and using a professional tailor. And what if that way was actually easier than getting measured in person?

The answer is simple - TAPERED Menswear.

tapered menswear t-shirtsNavy Tapered Fit T-Shirt

Unlike regular t-shirts that are designed to the average proportions, and therefore don’t really fit anyone correctly, TAPERED Menswear’s shirts are designed to your a muscular build.

Their team of professional tailors and industry-leading designers truly scrutinize every last millimetre, to ensure their t-shirts provide the perfect tailored fit, without the hassle of visiting a tailor.

Available in both round neck and v-neck.

Their tapered shirts fit perfectly around your upper body and taper down into a narrower waist that accentuates your shape. So you won’t have to worry about tightness and being restricted at the shoulder, or bagging at the waist.

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You’ll be able to showcase those hard-earned back and shoulder muscles, with a t-shirt that perfectly accentuates your v-taper.

By buying a TAPERED Menswear t-shirt, you can ensure you get the perfect fit the first time, every time.