Not wearing your business wear so much because of covid?
Use this as an opportunity to renew and restyle a suit or other clothing.
We decided to update this older post on how to re-tailor or restyle a suit.
Terry gets a good for the planet makeover when he gets convinced to restyle a suit.
Like most men, I don’t really enjoy clothes shopping. But my BFF and favorite corporate image consultant (Joanne) said it was time for a new suit. So I whined and complained… and then we went shopping.
We saw a lot of new suits that we liked ranging from $600 to $2000. I’m value conscious (read frugal or cheap) and we both read Overdressed – The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion – (see this eye opening blog post), so we were also looking for an eco-friendly solution.
Joanne suggested that we visit a tailor to see about updating and restyling a suit. I’ve had alterations done but I’d never had a suit re-tailored. So I was a little skeptical.
How to modernize your suit
We visited Paris Tailors in Edmonton (104-10109 106 St NW, Edmonton, Alberta) and explained what we wanted. They said they update clothing all the time and can easily restyle a suit. I put on the suit so he could evaluate and take some measurements.
Luckily, my existing suit had fairly narrow lapels that are fairly current but the jacket was rather boxy. It was also a little bit long in the body and the pants were definitely wide in the leg compared to the newer styles.
Not too avant-garde
I didn’t want anything too avant-garde because I wanted to still get another two or three years out of it. But I still wasn’t sure that re-tailoring and restyling a suit would work to my satisfaction.
I was pleasantly surprised
Fast-forward to the next weekend when we picked up my “new” suit. When I tried it on, I was completely satisfied with what the tailor had done. It looked like a new suit in the current style. I had saved the planet and had only spent $160.
Back to the office a few pounds heavier?
Sooner or later you’ll be returning to the office, so why not do your wardrobe and the planet a favor and check out re-tailoring your existing clothes (if you’re like most of us you’ve put on a few covid pounds so the tailor can help with that too)
Some re-styling advice
The details of my suit reno (see the photos above)
- They had taken in the jacket on the sides and under the armholes, making it more continental in styling which means it fits closer to my body (this current form fitting styling is especially flattering on a slender guy like moi).
- They had shortened the bottom of the jacket and hidden the pocket flaps inside the pockets.
- The pants, which fortunately had originally been flat fronted, had been taken in at the waist and seat and narrowed down the leg. The legs were also shortened because the newer style is to show more sock with no break (bend of fabric) where the pant meets the shoe.
This is a great option for updating your suits
If you are contemplating taking our advice and restyle a suit here’s some how to tips:
Tip 1 – Make sure the older suit is of good quality. Ideally it should be 100% wool or a high quality fabric (this is the bonus of buying better quality to start with).
Tip 2 – Be sure it’s not showing too much wear (I’m pretty easy on my clothes because I’m careful about hanging my jackets up and not wearing them while driving).
Tip 3 – Some alterations are more time consuming and expensive. If the lapels and shoulder width have changed quite a bit, it will cost more money to make those alterations.
Tip 4 – Find a reliable tailor by checking internet reviews or colleagues’ advice. Then take your suit in for an appraisal and estimate. It’s free so what do you have to lose?
Tip 5 – If your suit doesn’t lend itself to restyling, donate it to a worthy charity store, which is also good for the planet
(Let us know what results you have had with restyled clothing.)
- How important is business dress to your successful personal brand
- Executive Image Power eBook
- The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion