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8 Surprising Clothing Fixes You Didn’t Realize a Tailor Can Make

Think beyond a pants hem. Your tailor can also replace the collar on a favorite button-down or raise the neckline on a not-so-modest blouse.

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Line a shear garment

If you didn’t realize a dress was shear until you got it home, take it to your tailor. He or she could sew in a nude liner that matches your skin tone and conceals everything else.

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Hem a pleated skirt

Pleated mini skirts are all the rage this season. And while a DIY hem on this item is almost impossible, a professional can press the pleats out, shorten the skirt, and redo each pleat with an iron.

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istock/Dominik Pabis

Close up pockets

Pants pockets have a pesky habit of folding out at the hipsa part of the body where no one wants extra volume. Ask your tailor to close up your pockets for a more streamlined look. Here are more fashion tricks that can make you look thinner.

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istock/Eva Katalin Kondoros

Add a zipper to the back of a dress

Got a dress that’s way too hard to get into? Add a zipper. Take into consideration that installing the hardware will make the body of the dress a bit tighter.

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istock/Todor Tsvetkov

Adjust the shoulder of a coat or jacket

This alteration can get a bit pricey ($75 or more at some shops), so try to buy blazers and jackets with shoulders that fit properly. If you’ve got one you just can’t let go of, take it to your tailor. Ultimately, the shoulder seam should meet the sleeve of the jacket right where your arm meets your shoulder. The entire shoulder should lie flat.

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Take in the body of a jacket or shirt

Your tailor will be able to take in an inch or so on most pieces. But keep it reasonable: the alteration will likely be limited to about one size down.

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Replace a shirt collar or cuff

While this service isn’t available at all shops, it is possible to replace a worn-out collar or cuff on a favorite button down. The alteration is also expensive, so only do it on pieces you truly love.

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Create a new neckline

If you love a certain shirt (or it’s made of a luxurious fabric you don’t want to let go of), but hate its neckline (it feels claustrophobic, its shoulders are wonky, it shows too much skin, etc) ask your tailor if he can change it up. A professional will be able to switch things around; say, adding a panel to cover up cleavage or removing the collar from a button-down.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest