Tailoring: Secret Weapon of Perfect Wardrobes

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Photo: Eric T. White

This week on the Cut we’re exploring how to get your act together when it comes to personal style — from organizing your closet, to finding your signature scent, to figuring out your work uniform.

Great wardrobes are built on the solid foundations of well-fitting basics. Yet, when you buy clothes straight off the rack, they’re most often sized to fit a 5’10” model (not exactly the average woman). Pants tend to run long, skirts hit at an awkward length, and waists will have weird things going on with the pockets. But no matter what your shape, tailoring will help your clothes fit better. If you find a good tailor, you can pass a $30 tuxedo shirt for a $300 one. Then, if you add good accessories, your entire outfit will instantly appear like you spent much more than you really did.

As an experiment, the Cut gathered up a few inexpensive basics and three non-model “real” women to fit them — before and after alterations. We also asked Malisa Browman, a fit consultant at In-House Atelier who has worked with everyone from Jay and Bey to Gisele Bündchen, to weigh in on what’s worth the tailoring splurge and what little adjustments you should ask for the next time you bring a piece to be tweaked. Click ahead to learn from the transformations.

Photographer: Eric T. White; Styling by Diana Tsui; Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair by Aaron Genia; Tailoring: Angela Donhauser for Lars Nord Studio; Models: Sequoia Armstrong, Kathleen Dougherty, and Tahirah Hairston; Photo Editor: Emily Shornick; Photo Assistant: Stephen Tang; Fashion Assistant: Tahirah Hairston.

Tailoring: Secret Weapon of Perfect Wardrobes