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How to find a tailor who suits your needs

Millions of people get their clothes altered/tailored every year. Using a professional tailor can extend your wardrobe’s life and help make you feel and look better. Searching for a trustworthy tailor can be a challenge. To ensure your clothes not only fit correctly without breaking the bank, Better Business Bureau offers tips for finding a reliable tailor.

So what do tailors do? They provide the service of modifying your garments to ensure a perfect fit. A tailor also makes, repairs or alters clothing. Tailors can own their own shop or work in department stores or at dry cleaners.

Over the last year, BBB recorded almost 12,000 inquiries throughout North America about this industry.

BBB offers tips for finding a tailor to fit your needs:

• Shop around and compare at least three tailors.

• Call the tailor and schedule a visit. Ask about the tailors’ specialties.

• Consider reputation, years of service and services provided, as well as cost.

• Keep all receipts just in case something is in question.

• Make sure you clarify the price for each garment dropped off. Verbally run through the changes and be sure to get everything in writing.

• Get recommendations from friends and family. If they’re pleased with their tailor, most likely you’ll be too. If a tailor isn’t willing to give you references or doesn’t have examples of his or her work, find another tailor.

• Consider location, particularly if you’ll be going frequently.

• Ask high-end boutiques and/or clothing stores where they send their clients for tailoring.

• Consider customer service. If the customer is being treated poorly, you may be too.

• Start small. Bring an easy, starter piece to be altered, like a pair of jeans to be hemmed. That way, you can get a feel for the tailor’s work before handing over anything of value to get altered.

• Be sure to be patient. The tailor takes the necessary measurements and pins items to get the job done correctly. Don’t expect to get next day service.

• Find out if the tailor is a member of an association like the Custom Tailors & Designers Association. Tailors belonging to an association are likely up to date on the latest tailoring/alteration trends.

• Determine if the tailor is clean. You don’t want your clean clothes passed over a dirty counter.

• Ask about the tailors’ lost/damage policy.

Remember, you can always contact your BBB for a list of BBB Accredited tailors and Business Reviews on ones you’re planning to use. Go online to or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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