Q: Can Every Dress be Altered?
A: Alteration is the act of making something different.
However,not every dress can be altered to fit exactly the way you would like. Remember two rules of thumb:
1. It is easier to take something in than it is to let it out. If you are wearing your mother’s wedding gown it may be worth going to great lengths to get the gown to fit. But, if you are buying a new gown, get the correct size. Making a dress larger is difficult, and you may not like the fit afterwards.
2. Don’t buy a gown more than one size larger than your own size. Larger gowns are cut proportionally larger all over the gown. The neckline, the bodice, and shoulders will all be over sized. This means the gown may not fit quite right if only the side seams are taken in. However, some dresses are designed to fit several sizes, with a corset back that ties instead of zips. To get the best fit, stay as close as possible to your correct size.
Q: Could I do the alterations myself?
A: If you (or a friend or family member) are a competent seamstress you could perform several of your alterations on your own easily and save quite a bit of money. For instance, a hem from a professional tailor might range from $8 for a very basic hem to $20 for multiple layers but might not be a difficult chore for someone who knows their way around a sewing machine. It all depends on the construction of the gown. Hems can be very simple, but be aware that if your gown has lace at the hemline, it may require more extensive work.
Some alterations are more difficult and should be reserved for someone who really knows what they are doing. Wedding gowns are designed to be altered and many are constructed in such a way as to make adjustments easier. Take a good look at the interior construction of your gown to determine how difficult it will be to make the necessary adjustments before you take it on.
Q: What is the alteration timeline?
A: If possible, order your dress at least 12 weeks before your wedding to allow enough time for the necessary adjustments. Plan your last fitting several weeks before your wedding so you have time to make last minute adjustments if needed. Weddings can be stressful and you may find that you either lose a little weight or gain a little weight during your engagement. Try your wedding gown on without any make-up. You want to be as clean as possible to avoid soiling your gown. And wear your nicest under clothes as it is likely you may be only partially dressed during your fitting. Be sure to wear the bra and shoes that you will be wearing for your wedding. Don’t try to find shoes with the right heels after your gown has been altered. Buy your shoes prior to having it hemmed. Keeping these tips in mind will help you when selecting your gown and your tailor. And remember, for a less stressful wedding preparation, shop early for your wedding gown. Once you have your wedding gown, be sure to store it in an acid-free environment. A cotton garment bag works great for this.
Q: Why did my pants end up an inch too long?
A: Pant hems aren't rocket science. But problems can happen if you wear one pair of shoes (platforms, for instance) when they're fitted, then put them on with a different pair (like sandals). Fit them with the shoes you're most likely to wear with them!
We can give it our best guesstimate, but we prefer you to wash and dry them once first, to get most of the shrink out of them. Surprise -- the same goes for dry clean-only pants, which can shrink as much as 2 or 3%.
Q: Can you clean and press my clothes after you alter them?
A: Sorry, but we stick to alterations and repairs. Minsky shops don't have the specialized cleaning equipment and full-garment steam presses you'll find at dry cleaners. We do press the areas we work on using a commercial steam vacuum board, so if you bring us something in ready-to-wear shape, it'll leave the same way. Otherwise, allow some time to have it cleaned before you need to wear it.
Q: Then why did a Minsky employee ask me to have my clothes cleaned BEFORE she'd work on them?
A: Would YOU want to get up-close with someone else's dirty clothes? If an item is obviously soiled, we request it be washed or cleaned before we work on it.
Q: Why does my claim check say "Customer Request"?
A: Because you asked us to alter something we didn't fit -- for example, to hem pants to 31" or take in a skirt that you pinned at home. We can guarantee the workmanship on a "Customer Request", but we can't promise it will fit right -- since we didn't fit it! We encourage you to let us fit your alterations -- it only takes a few minutes and then we're glad to guarantee both workmanship and fit.
Q: Can you really alter ANYTHING?
A: Of course not, but isn't it a great slogan?
You may want to avoid some alterations we can do. Fabrics like corduroy or velvet may show marks if seams or creases are moved -- we'll advise you if that may be a problem. If you ask us to fit something very tight or loose, we may caution you against it. And sometimes we'll simply suggest against doing a particular job if we don't think you'll be happy with the results
Q: What items do I need for my dress fittings?
A: You will need to bring everything that you will be wearing with your dress, like your undergarments, slip, pantyhose, and shoes. Changing these items after your first fitting can dramatically affect the way your dress fits and may require further alterations than necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
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