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Alterations: Your New Best Friend

tips for alterations | by the skinny confidential

I am going to let you in on one of my best kept secrets. Like BEST, BEST.

In fact it’s SO simple BUT it makes all the difference.

So much of a difference that you almost won’t believe it.

Here’s the thing: I shop at Forever21. I also shop at high-end stores but a lot of my favorite finds are from Forever21 or Charlotte Russe or somewhere random.

HOWEVER, everything I buy from Forever goes straight to my best friend.

You know, my best friend: my tailor, Arsonal.

He’s down the street from my house & just tailors any $22 dollar swag to fit my body in the most ideal way.

Literally though, he can take some white slacks that look like they’re ratty & nasty and just like that…magically turn them into my most favorite pants I own.

Get this: at a recent event RACHEL ZOE ASKED ME WHERE I GOT MY WHITE SLACKS. THAT IS RIGHT. Rachel freaking Zoe.

So of course, I told her Forever21 & explained the whole tailor obsession. She gets it.

& not only do I get white pants tailored guys. I also get button-ups tailored to make me look a little tighter, if you know what I mean.

Between slacks & tops, Arsonal is very, VERY booked. But who cares because YOU, yes YOU can find your own tailor. Tell them what you’re looking for.

Bigger boobs? They can help.

Tighter waist? Yes please.

A more flattering hem line on that latest skinny jean? GOT YA COVERED.

These are three exact inexpensive items I’ve bought that have been tailored: these black jeans, these slacks, & this black blazer ( love a good blazer moment ).

Honestly after the alterations they look like they’re from The Row. I’m being dead fucking serious. Tailoring is key.

Here are a couple quick tips for when you start your new, exciting relationship:

1. Test how the garments will photograph

Bring a camera! Everyone wants to look as slim and clean as possible, especially in the age of social media.You’re going to want to see it in a photo.

2. Listen to your tailor

Tailors know best: what’s going to make things look cleaner and more fine-tuned, be it lowering the neckline, shortening the hem, or tapering the sleeve.

3.) Bring the correct undergarments

Again, your clothes don’t have to be expensive, just make sure you include a tailor.

Whether it’s the bra, corset, Spanx, or underwear, it’s always good to be prepared.

4. Bring the shoes, no matter what’s being altered

Shoes are essential to not just achieving the right length on a hem, but fully realizing the look.

5. Also! Bring inspiration photos

If you want your dresses to be form-fitting like they are on Joan Holloway, or a suit to lay as it does on Katherine Hepburn, bring photographs or pull images up on your phone.

{ via Marie Claire }

Also, if you want to be psycho like me, choose your tailor WISELY. Ask them to see previous work, check Angie’s List, AND oddly: WATCH.

See how attentive they are. This sounds bat shit but that’s why you read this blog for bat shit advice. Watch them in action. “A good tailor is very thorough when doing a fitting, careful with measuring, & takes their time with accurate pinning. They ask questions pertaining to the garment, and voice their opinions and concerns.”

Point: break up with your boyfriend, date your tailor. You’ll be better off clothes-wise.

Oh heyyyy Arsonal.

Happy Sunday! x, lauryn


  1. i was so impressed that those white pants were from F21 (snapchat hollaa), and you pulled them off effortlessly. And YES definitely a good tailor is so key. One of my fav jeans had to get the waist pulled in and it completely changed the shape of my legs/butt. Miracle workers!!!

    1. You definitely should Michelle! Altering is key to getting the perfect fit. Let me know if you try it out!

  2. THANK YOU. I am 100% over people being unhappy that clothes in XYZ store “don’t fit them.” Unless your body matches the store’s fit model perfectly, probably you are going to need to tweak any ready-to-wear garment if you really want it to fit. It’s not hard.

  3. This is such a great tip and something that I have been doing myself since highschool. I often am a weird fit in jeans so I will get the waist taken in(when the legs fit me great). Another thing I like to do at the taylor is get th hem taken out of my pants, because I am tall a lot of cheaper pants don’t fit me in the length and this completely solves that problem for me! Thanks for sharing, this is great advice!

  4. My mom used to help me out with tailoring, she’s such a great tailor! Now that I’ve moved like 1000000 miles away I need to find a new tailor. Nothing looks better than a well tailored piece!


    Tamara –

    1. Your mom sounds awesome Tamara! If you have any tips on finding a tailor please share them with me :))
      Good luck!

  5. Great minds think alike I guess! I did a blog post last week called “Your best friends” and one of which is a tailor!
    Have a read if you like 🙂
    *Love the blog btw

    1. Thanks for the support Annika!
      Your post is spot on – a quality seamstress is a necessity! Great post :))

  6. Any recommendations on good tailors for us San Diego gals? I am SO in need of a good tailor, but haven’t been happy with any I have found. PLEASE HELP!

  7. Such a key post – love this! I have never thought of that – but definitely need to keep this in mind so stuff fits perfectly!

  8. Thanks! I just moved across the country to downtown San Diego and am looking for a tailor. Could you please let me know which local tailor you like?

  9. It is hard to find clothes off the rack that fit perfectly, so a tailor is the best choice. Great tips – thanks for sharing!

  10. Super funny post but definitely true! Alterations are key to making sure your garment fits perfectly. Often, I feel as if people are afraid of the word alteration and have the expectation of high cost, but really the cost to alter a few pieces can be rather affordable and the perfectly tailored look you get from the clothing is absolutely worth the cost of alterations. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Getting your clothes tailored is a must when buying anything that doesn’t quite fit. Well fitting clothes always look better, and if you find something you have to have but doesn’t quite fit, getting it tailored is a perfect way to mitigate that. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Having a tailor so close to your home must be a nice treat. The prices aren’t had either. No wonder you call him “best friend.”

  13. Combining a good tailor with a strategy for your look is essential to looking great in your new clothing. I definitely agree with bringing along inspiration, especially if the model has a similar figure to yourself. Thanks for these tips!

  14. I’ve always been short growing up and it’s always hard to find clothes that could fit me unless they were tailored to fit my size. I agree that recommendations from people could provide you with a good list of tailors that could cater to your needs. It is also important to listen to feedbacks from their previous customers to make sure that they give a quality service. Thanks for the great tips!

  15. Thanks for this handy article on having alterations on any clothes that I want custom-fit. Whenever I go shopping, I see lots of garments that I want, but just doesn’t fit me right. I think I’ll consider your suggestion on taking the clothes to a tailor and have it altered since they know best. I’m really excited to do just that and see my clothes look cleaner and more fine-tuned. Thanks!

    1. I like the idea of bringing your inspirational photos to your tailor in order for him to get your desired style and alterations needed in your outfit. Nothing is better than seeing things as they should and giving him an example of the changes that you’re looking to achieve in a dress will makes it easy to be done and is close to perfection. I was looking to alter my wedding dress because I lost a lot of weight in dieting. My wedding is scheduled this August and I’ll be sure to have it altered with the help of an expert tailor based on the photo where my wedding gown was inspired.

  16. Aim for a slim, flattering fit wherever possible, but ensure that the suit isn’t restrictive in any way. You should focus on clean lines that flatter your body shape and allow you a free range of motion. After all, if you’re not comfortable then you won’t appear confident, which is arguably the key to pulling off any clothing.

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