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Slim is In! 

Tapering Pants and Taking In Clothes


At Tad More Tailoring we are seeing more and more individuals requesting their clothes to be tighter and skinnier, with ‘taper pants’ at the top of the list. In the industry, terms such as tapering, slimming, and taking in are used to describe the process of reducing a garment in size to produce a tighter, skinnier look. But let's discuss what this means for you and your garments. Here are some things to think about when deciding to taper or take in your clothing.


  1. Is there a lot of stretch, a little stretch or no stretch?
  2. How much do I want it to be taken in?
  3. Do I have a simple or complex constructed garment?

These are the main things to think about when taking in or tapering any garment. Let's explain each one. 


Consider fabric stretch when tapering pants and other garments


Stretch is one of the factors to consider. The best way to describe how this affects a garment is to look at tapering a pair of jeans. Take a moment to look at a pair of jeans you own. Pull on each side of the hem of your pants. Do they stretch? Compare them with another pair of jeans. Do they have the same amount of stretch? The amount of stretch determines how much a pair of pants can be taken in. 

Taper Pants proper circumference

It is important to take ankle circumference and the length around the ankle and the ball of the foot into consideration to properly taper pants. The ankle circumference is smaller than the measurement of the ankle to the ball of your foot. Please refer to the image above for a visual guide to the difference between the two measurements. Letter A represents the ankle measurement and B the measurement from ankle to ball of foot. This is important to keep in mind when tapering pants. If the pants are tapered to fit the ankle and there is no stretch to the fabric, you will not be able to take off your pants.  This means that a pair of pants with no stretch can only be taken a maximum measurement of ankle to ball of foot so that take off and put on your pants. To properly taper pants, the opening at the bottom of the pants should be a bit bigger than measurement B.


Another thing to consider are knitwear garments. Sometimes customers want their garment to be skin tight. In some cases this is easy to accommodate. However some fabrics are not designed to withstand the stress created by taking in the garment and will cause the garment to tear. This is important to consider when taking in knitwear garments. Ask your seamstress how much they recommend you taper your pants and still maintain the integrity of the fabric.


Deciding how much to taper pants


One should always take into consideration the amount to be taken in and how it will affect the structure of the garment. Taper pants too much and it will distort the construction of the pants and they will not fit properly. In many cases, a one inch taper when pinching out material is an acceptable amount to be taken in. You can definitely get your pants tapered more than one inch, but it is best to consult a tailor or seamstress. The tailor or seamstress will examine the grain of the fabric and the way the garment is cut, then they can tell if it is acceptable to take in the requested amount. The goal is a comfortable, good looking, quality alteration so your pants fit the way you want them to.


Simple or Complex Garment Construction


The construction of a garment affects the ability to take in a garment and the complexity of the needed alterations. Examples of simple constructed garments would be: a pair of men’s dress pants or a woman’s pencil skirt. While examples of complex constructed garments are: a men’s suit coat, a winter coat, or a woman’s formal dress. Garments with a complex structure can be altered just like simpler garments, it takes more skill and time to do the alterations properly. An experienced tailor would know how to perform these alterations.


Most complex garments have linings. A lining is a second layer of silky fabric that makes it easier to move, take off and put on a garment. Linings also produce a clean finish inside to the garment, hiding away seams and stitches for a more sophisticated look and comfortable fit. This means that every adjustment to the garment will need to be done twice. Once to the outside fabric and again to the lining fabric. This ensures that the garment will fit properly. Taking the time to taper pants or any other garment  


Tapering is an essential part of getting a tailored fit that elevates your look. Done properly you will have a perfectly fitting garment that will look like it was custom tailored for just you without the high cost of bespoke tailoring.

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