How many times have you gone shopping and finished empty-handed and frustrated because nothing seems to fit? I know that has happened to all of us at some point. My guess is it is more likely for women to have an unproductive shopping trip than a really successful one. There are various reasons for a frustrating shopping trip, but I believe one of the main reasons is that we expect clothes to fit us without alterations. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could try something on and have it fit perfectly right off the rack, but for the most part that does not happen to me.
If you think about it, should we really expect clothes to fit us right off the rack with no alterations? Clothes are made according to a pattern which coincides with a size chart. How many women do you think have the exact same measurements as the size chart? Not many. So, if you try on one size and it’s too small, but the next size up is too big, you’re not alone. In fact, you're in the majority. Consider buying the size that is a little big and getting it altered. I truly believe the biggest thing you can do for your look besides being sure to get a good night's sleep is to make sure your clothes fit properly.
For some styles of clothes, like cotton shirts or t-shirts, the fit doesn't have to be perfect to look nice. However, pants, jackets, blouses and jeans—yes I said it, even jeans—usually need to be altered. I know what you’re thinking…I don’t want to pay money for a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit and I don't want to have to pay more money to get a piece altered when I already paid to purchase it. I get it, and I don’t want to pay any more than I have to either. Unfortunately, though, this is the case for most people (including me). You can be wearing a beautiful outfit, but if it doesn’t fit, it simply isn't going to look right on you! And, if you are holding out for a perfect fit without alterations, you will probably be waiting for a long time. If it helps, try thinking of the alterations as part of the price of the clothing. If you read my blog on cost per wear ("My 25 Cent Designer Jeans" posted on August 25, 2014), you will see that the extra money spent to alter something is worth it and, when calculated over time, the cost is negligible.
So, before you throw in the towel and give up on shopping, think about fit. When you are trying on clothes, look and see if it can be altered to give you the fit you want. If you don’t think you have an eye for this, ask a personal stylist or seamstress to help you evaluate a piece. When your clothes fit properly, you look and feel dramatically better.