Alterations or Tailoring: How Do They Compare?

Alterations or Tailoring: How Do They Compare?

We all want perfectly-fitted clothes, but the reality is that not all clothing is designed to fit everyone perfectly. Most of us instead have to resort to alterations or tailoring to get the best possible fit. Tailoring and altering are all about the process of making sure that you get exactly what you want. Both can be done by professionals, but what are the differences between the two?

This article will compare the meanings of alterations and tailoring to help figure out which one is best for you. 

Alterations vs Tailoring 

Alterations are just like they sound. They’re little changes you can make to your clothes to help them fit better. Imagine a pair of pants aren’t sitting properly over your hips. An alteration can tighten the waste and fix the issue.

Alterations experts will look at your clothes and see what needs to be done. They will then make the necessary changes or “alter” the garment until it fits perfectly. Alterations are usually done on ready-to-wear clothes or off-the-rack items, but they can be performed on custom garments if needed.

On the other hand, tailoring is more complex than making alterations. It is a process of completely remaking a piece of clothing from scratch. This process that takes time, money, and expertise. Tailors start by looking at your body type, measurements, and style preferences to create custom clothing that suits you perfectly.  

The difference between alterations and tailoring is that tailors create custom clothing from scratch, while alterations adjust existing garments. Tailors are highly skilled and trained in the art of design, but alterations can be done with basic sewing skills. It is important to note when decision making that tailoring is far more expensive than making alterations. 


Both alterations and tailoring are useful for making clothing fit you better or look more fashionable. Tailoring will make clothes designed specifically for you. However, alterations made to your existing clothing will be far more cost effective.