Wedding Alterations

Have you ever wondered if it’s actually more cost effective to purchase a clothing item in a larger size and then have it altered to fit you perfectly? Well, we’ve got the answer for you! In this article, we’ll explore whether this common shopping strategy can save you some extra cash or end up costing you more in the long run. So if you’re looking to be thrifty while still getting that perfect fit, keep reading to find out if it’s really cheaper to buy a larger size and have it altered. 


Pros of Buying a Larger Size

Savings on Initial Cost

One of the biggest advantages of buying a larger size garment is the potential savings on the initial cost. Usually, buying a larger size is more affordable compared to purchasing a perfectly fitting garment. Manufacturers often produce standard sizes in larger quantities, which makes them readily available at lower prices. By opting for a larger size, you can take advantage of discounts and sales, helping you stick to your budget without compromising on style.

Availability of Options

Another benefit of buying a larger size is the wider range of options available. Many fashion brands offer a greater variety of styles and designs in larger sizes. By choosing a larger size, you can explore different cuts, patterns, and colors that may not be available in smaller sizes. This allows you to express your personal style and find unique pieces that truly reflect your personality.

Greater Flexibility for Alterations

When you purchase a larger size garment, you have more flexibility for alterations. Whether it’s a dress, pair of pants, or shirt, a larger size provides more fabric and room for adjustments. This means that you can easily modify the garment to achieve a better fit without compromising the overall design. With a larger size, you have the freedom to tailor the garment to your precise measurements and ensure it flatters your body shape.

Opportunity for Personalized Fit

Buying a larger size also gives you the opportunity for a personalized fit. Since everyone has a unique body shape, it can be challenging to find ready-made clothes that fit perfectly off the rack. By purchasing a larger size and having it altered, you can achieve a customized fit tailored specifically to your body. This means that you can enhance your overall comfort and confidence by wearing clothes that accentuate your best features and flatter your figure.


Cons of Buying a Larger Size

Additional Alteration Costs

While buying a larger size may save you money on the initial cost of the garment, it’s important to consider the additional alteration costs. Alterations often require the expertise of a tailor, and their services come at a price. The more extensive the alterations, the higher the cost. Depending on your desired fit, you may need to invest in alterations such as taking in the waist, shortening sleeves, or adjusting hemlines. These costs can add up, especially if multiple alterations are required.

Potential Alteration Limitations

Buying a larger size with the intention of altering it may not always guarantee the perfect fit. There are limitations to what alterations can achieve, and sometimes achieving the desired fit may not be possible even with expert tailoring. For instance, altering a garment that is too large may result in distorted proportions or compromise the overall structure of the garment. It’s important to consider these limitations and consult with a tailor to assess the feasibility of alterations before making a purchase.


Considerations Before Buying a Larger Size

Nature of Garment

Before opting for a larger size, consider the nature of the garment in question. Some garments, such as stretchy fabrics or those with adjustable features like drawstrings or elastic bands, may be more forgiving when it comes to fit. These types of garments can easily accommodate alterations and provide a better fit even if purchased in a larger size. On the other hand, garments made of non-stretchy materials or with intricate designs may require more extensive alterations, making them less suitable candidates for buying a larger size.

Body Type and Fit

Your body type and personal fit preferences should also be taken into account before buying a larger size. While some individuals may prefer a looser and more relaxed fit, others may prefer a closer or tailored fit. It’s important to understand your own body shape and how different fits flatter your figure. Buying a larger size may work for some body types, while others may find that altering a garment to a smaller size is more suitable for achieving their desired fit.

Alteration Expertise and Costs

Consider your own alteration expertise and the associated costs before buying a larger size. If you have basic sewing skills and experience, you may be able to tackle simple alterations yourself, saving on professional alteration costs. However, more complex alterations or delicate fabrics may require the expertise of a professional tailor. Factor in the additional expenses if you plan to seek professional alteration services, as they can significantly impact the overall cost of buying a larger size.


Calculating the Cost Effectiveness

Estimating Initial Cost

To determine the cost-effectiveness of buying a larger size, start by estimating the initial cost of the garment. Take into account any discounts or sales that may apply, as well as the quality and brand reputation. Compare this estimated cost with the price of a garment in your ideal size. Calculate the difference to gauge the potential savings.

Determining Alteration Expenses

Next, calculate the alteration expenses. Consider the specific alterations required and research the average costs of such alterations from professional tailors in your area. If you plan to perform the alterations yourself, take into account any additional materials or tools you may need to purchase. Determine the total cost of alterations, including any future adjustments or modifications that may be necessary.

Comparing Total Costs

Once you have estimated the initial cost and determined the alteration expenses, compare the total costs of buying a larger size and having it altered with the cost of purchasing a perfectly fitting garment. Consider the quality and durability of the garment, as well as the time and effort involved in the alteration process. Assess whether the monetary savings outweigh the potential drawbacks and whether the final fit justifies the additional expenses.


Professional Alteration Services

Benefits of Using Professional Tailor Services

Using professional tailor services offers several benefits when it comes to altering a larger-size garment. Tailors have the expertise and experience to assess the garment and make precise alterations that enhance the fit without compromising the overall design. They understand garment construction and can provide valuable advice on alterations that are likely to achieve the desired fit. Professional tailors also have access to specialized tools and equipment, ensuring high-quality workmanship.

Factors Affecting Tailor Service Costs

The cost of professional tailor services can vary depending on several factors. The complexity and extent of alterations needed play a significant role in determining the cost. Intricate designs, delicate fabrics, or garments with intricate details may require more time and skill, resulting in higher service fees. The location and reputation of the tailor, as well as the local market rates, can also influence the cost. It’s recommended to seek quotes from multiple tailors and compare their prices, expertise, and customer reviews before making a decision.


DIY Alterations

Benefits and Limitations of DIY Alterations

If you have basic sewing skills and enjoy DIY projects, performing alterations yourself can be a cost-effective option. DIY alterations allow you to have full control over the process and make adjustments according to your preferences. It can also be a rewarding and creative experience, allowing you to personalize your garments. However, it’s important to recognize the limitations of DIY alterations. Complex alterations or working with delicate fabrics may require advanced sewing skills that you may not possess. It’s crucial to assess your own abilities and only undertake alterations that you feel confident in completing.

Tools and Skills Required for Basic Alterations

For basic alterations, you will need a few essential tools and skills. A sewing machine, needle and thread, scissors, pins, and measuring tape are some of the basic tools you will need. It’s beneficial to learn basic sewing techniques such as hemming, taking in or letting out seams, and shortening or lengthening garments. Online tutorials, books, or local sewing classes can help you acquire the necessary skills. Practice on scrap fabric or old garments to gain confidence before attempting alterations on new or more valuable pieces.


Alteration Tips and Tricks

Choosing the Right Garment Size

When buying a larger size with the intention of altering it, it’s crucial to choose the right size. Depending on the garment and your body shape, you may need to size up by one or two sizes to allow enough room for alterations. Carefully consult the garment’s size chart and compare it with your own measurements to determine the most suitable starting point for alterations. Remember, altering a garment that is too small may result in limited options and compromise the overall fit.

Altering Common Garment Types

Each garment type requires specific alteration techniques. Understanding how to alter common garment types can assist you in achieving the desired fit. For example, pants may require adjustments to the waist, length, or seat, while dresses may need alterations to the bodice, sleeves, or hemline. Online resources, sewing books, or tutorials can provide step-by-step instructions for altering specific garment types. Familiarize yourself with these techniques to tackle a variety of alterations confidently.

Seeking Tailor Recommendations

If you decide to entrust your alterations to a professional tailor, seeking recommendations from friends, family, or online forums can be helpful. Personal recommendations can provide insights into the quality of service, reliability, and customer satisfaction. You can also visit local tailors in person, request to see samples of their work, and discuss your alteration needs before making a decision. Building a rapport with a reputable tailor can ensure a positive alteration experience and consistent results.

Understanding Alteration Terminology

To effectively communicate your alteration requirements and understand tailor recommendations, it’s beneficial to familiarize yourself with common alteration terminology. Terms such as “taking in” (to make a garment smaller), “letting out” (to increase the size of a garment), “hemming” (adjusting the length), and “tapering” (narrowing the width) are commonly used in alteration discussions. Online glossaries or sewing references can provide definitions and explanations of common alteration terms, allowing you to communicate effectively with tailors or undertake alterations confidently on your own.


Other Alternatives to Consider

Buying Secondhand or Thrifted Items

If saving money is a top priority, consider exploring the world of secondhand or thrift items. Thrift shops, consignment stores, and online platforms offer a wide selection of pre-owned garments in various sizes, often at significantly reduced prices. By carefully searching through these options, you may be able to find garments that require minimal alterations or already have a great fit. This can save both time and money compared to buying a larger size and paying for alterations.

Renting or Borrowing Garments

For special occasions or one-time events, renting or borrowing garments can be a cost-effective alternative. Rental services offer a vast array of garments in different sizes and styles, allowing you to wear designer pieces without the high price tag. Borrowing from friends or family members with similar body types may also open up new wardrobe possibilities without the need for alterations. Exploring these options can help you expand your wardrobe while staying within your budget.


Final Thoughts

Overall Cost Efficiency

In the end, determining whether it is cheaper to buy a larger size and have it altered depends on various factors such as the specific garment, your body type, alteration expertise, and personal preferences. Buying a larger size offers savings on the initial cost and provides more flexibility for alterations. However, the additional alteration costs and potential limitations should also be considered. Calculating the cost-effectiveness by comparing the total costs of purchasing a larger size and having it altered with the cost of a perfectly fitting garment can help you make an informed decision.

Personal Preferences

Apart from cost considerations, personal preferences also play a vital role in the final verdict. Some individuals may enjoy the process of altering their clothes, finding it fun and rewarding. Others may prefer the convenience and expertise of professional tailor services. Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize both comfort and style, ensuring that the garment you choose enhances your confidence and reflects your unique personality. Whether you opt for a larger size or explore alternative options, finding the perfect fit is key to feeling and looking your best.