Fit, fabric, fashion, those are the things you need to keep in mind when curating your closet. Although fashion and fabric will go in and out of style, fit is always important. Whether you’re throwing on a chambray button up or a cotton button–down, it’s all about the fit. Let’s take a look at the different shirt alterations you can make to upgrade your garment’s fit.
The most common tailoring terms and alterations you need to know to create the perfectly fitted shirt you deserve are all listed below. From cotton shirting to twill, you’ll know exactly what your shirts need.
Collars see the most wear and tear from everyday use. It’s quite easy to replace them, as long as you have a fabric to match. If not, you can find a contrasting fabric and replace the cuff and collar, the perfect way to update an older shirt! You first need to remove the old collar and use it to trace a new one, including the seam allowance. Then, you connect the new collar pieces and re-attach the collar at the seam.
Button replacement is so easy, anyone with a needle and thread can do it! Pick a button you like or simply replace one that’s popped off by doing a simple hand stitch. Up through to the front of the fabric, in the eye of the button, and then through the back of the fabric. Do that a couple times to get it on there tight, and then tie it off and you’re done!
Sleeves that are too long look slovenly, while short sleeves look childish. The perfect sleeve hits at the break of the wrist. If your sleeve needs to come up a bit, you’ll first need to remove the cuff. From there, it’s a breeze. Simply hem the sleeve at the appropriate length, making sure to account for when you bend and then reattach the cuff. Short sleeves are a harder fix. You have a few options. For a relaxed look, roll up the sleeve to a three-quarter length and leave it or attach a rectangular strip of fabric to the inside of the sleeve that connects to a button on the outside of the sleeve holding the rolled cuff in place at the perfect height. Another option is to add an insert at some point along the sleeve in a contrasting fabric, such as lace or leather, updating both the look and the style of your shirt in the process.
Similar to the collar, cuffs can either be made with the original fabric or a contrasting one. To change the cuff, you will do almost the same thing as the collar. Remove the cuff and trace it, accounting for seam allowance, and then reattach it!
The fit is a vital part of a shirt, and like sleeves, they can make you look slovenly or childish if incorrectly fitted. Simply put your shirt on and pin it along the side seams, making sure it isn’t too fitted for your liking. Then, take it in on either side.
Hemming your shirt is an easy way to look polished. Even a tucked shirt that is too long can cause problems, as the bottoms will bunch up. To hem a shirt, simply measure where you need the shirt to end, making sure to not go up to high, and simply stitch along the bottom.
Whether your shirt needs a quick nip or a full-on tuck, these shirt alterations will have your tops ready for action. An ill-fitting ensemble can take a garment from elegant to atrocious, so check out our Pant Alterations Infographic to take your look to the next step. Help your friends and family get fit with this shareable infographic below!