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4 Simple Alterations to Improve Your Professional Look


It comes as no surprise that the way we dress impacts the way others react to us, but the extent can be shocking. In a 2013 study, researchers found that details as small as the slight mis-fitting of a suit drastically changed the participants' opinion of the wearer*. With small details having such a big impact, the thought of trying to adjust and alter your wardrobe can be intimidating. By focusing on just a few small details you can clean up and revive your wardrobe. Here are 4 alterations to look out for that will help you create a more professional look.

Alteration 1: Repair Rips and Holes

Small holes and rips are common, but unfortunately they can distract from an otherwise professional air. Luckily rips tend to pop up along seams making them an easy fix, especially with access to a sewing machine. If you don’t have access to a machine, for most small repairs a simple needle and thread should be enough to close up holes and make your shirt as good as new. For more intense rips and holes, you may need to add a patch or “darn” the area (go back and forth over the rip with tight stitches). A seamstress or tailor can skillfully perform these alterations so your clothes will look and feel like new.

Alteration 2: Hem Your Pants

Properly hemmed pants bring professionalism and sophistication to your look. The correct pant length can occasionally be difficult to pinpoint. If they are slightly too long, they can cause bunching and lines up and down the entire leg. If they are slightly too short, they can draw too much attention to your feet and distract from an otherwise professional look. For a clean look, pants should either hover just above the shoe to create a straight leg or lean on the shoe slightly to create what’s called a “break”. Fortunately most dress pants have fabric built in, making it easy to alter your pants to be exactly where you need them. If you want to add an extra flair, you can try different alteration styles like adding a cuff or a special bottom.

Alteration 3: Shorten Your Sleeves 

While pants hemming is a well known issue, people tend to forget how much sleeve length can affect your look. A sleeve that’s too long can drown your hands and wrinkle your sleeve projecting a sloppy unprofessional look. While sleeves that are too short make the entire jacket or shirt look too small. A sleeve that’s the proper length should come approximately to the top of your thumb knuckle when your arm is resting at your side. Through some simple alterations, your shirts can quickly be given new life and a perfect length. You can even try to give your shirt or blouse a whole new look by having the sleeve altered from full length to elbow length or shorter. 

Alteration 4: Create a Fitted Silhouette 

Clean and otherwise professional clothing can easily look sloppy without the correct fit in the silhouette. If the top is too big, it looks wrinkled and sloppy. On the other hand, if it is too tight, you will be uncomfortable and unable to move freely. While it may seem difficult to fix, your seamstress or tailor can easily achieve the look you want by altering a seam or two on the shirt, taking it in or letting it out slightly. Beyond that, something as simple as moving a button over may be able to give you the extra give or fit you need. With an expert opinion, you may be able to get the perspective and information you need to get the perfect fit. 

Whatever your walk of life may be, putting your best foot forward and sending the right message is important. A few easy alterations is all you may need.  Your tailor or seamstress can help you achieve the professional look you want to achieve.

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