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Can a Shirt be Tailored? Answered & Explained

A shirt, especially a dress shirt is a staple in most wardrobes, especially men’s. Even if you dress up only a few times a year for special events or regally wear a suit then you know that a shirt can make or break an outfit. The color and the style of the shirt are very important, you want to look like your outfit is put together.

However, most would agree that it’s very important to have a shirt that fits you perfectly. A shirt that is too big will make you look sloppy and the loose fabric will make it seem like it’s wrinkly.

On the other hand, if the shirt is too small the fabric on the front will stretch and you will have little holes between the buttons which is not a pleasant look, trust me. So, can a shirt be tailored? Stick around to find out!

All shirts can be tailored, and you can even tailor them yourself at home. There are plenty of ways to alter your shirt, but if you don’t want to take up the challenge, take it to a professional tailor, and it will be done in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • A shirt can be tailored depending on your needs.
  • There are a few ways to tailor a shirt, some of which can be done at home.
  • Making a shirt smaller is common unlike making it bigger which is almost impossible.
  • If you have a shirt you are planning to wear multiple times, you should defiantly get it tailored.

Can a shirt be altered to fit you better?

People usually underestimate the power of tailoring a shirt. Most retailers have standard measurements that can’t possibly fit all body types. Maybe your sleeves are too big, or the shirt is too wide either way there always is the possibility of tailoring your shirt to make it fit you better.

In what ways can a shirt be tailored?

Depending on your needs and the type of shirt you have, there are multiple solutions for making your shirt fit much better. You can even tailor your shirts at home, of course, you will need a sewing machine if you want to take on a bigger project.

However, shirts are made from thin fabric so basically, any sewing machine will do the trick. Nonetheless, if you are a beginner sewist, we would recommend you take your shirt to a professional tailor.

Take in the sides

This is one of the most common adjustments made to a shirt, however, it works only if the shirt is too wide at your torso area, and it won’t work if your shirt is too small.

If your shirt has seams on the sides, which most shirts do, you can just take the shirt to a tailor and they can take your measurements with a pin by making the shirt a little tighter so it fits you better. Then they will just sew a new seam and there you have it, an easy fix for a baggy shirt.

Make the sleeves shorter

This is also a method that can work only in one case. If your sleeves are too short, you can’t add fabric to them, but if they are too long you can make them shorter. There are two ways to do this, one is by cutting the sleeve at the bottom wrist area, or by shortening the top of the sleeve.

The latter is more difficult because it requires the entire sleeve to be taken out and sewn back on shorter. Keep in mind that your shirt’s sleeves should end right where your wrists do.

Make sleeves slimmer

A similar technique can be done if your sleeves are too wide for your arms. Your tailor can just take your measurements and take in the seams on the inside of your sleeves.

Add darts

If you need just a little tuck at the waist area and not an overall slimming-down effect, you can achieve this by adding darts. This creates a V shape by overlapping or pinching a piece of fabric at the widest point of the shirt which gives the illusion of a slimmer waist.

Make it shorter

If your shirt generally fits your shoulders, chest, and arms, but it’s a bit too long then this is no problem. It is a very easy fix, just take it to a tailor and they can cut the extra fabric for you. Make sure not to cut too much though, you want to be able to put the shirt in your pants if needed. This is an alteration that can be done at home with a basic sewing machine.

Resew the buttons

Another simple adjustment you can do at home is to move the buttons. You don’t even need a sewing machine for this one because it can be easily done by hand. If you have space move the buttons further or closer to the edge of the shirt to give it a wider or slimmer look.

Moving the buttons can also be useful on the collars and cuffs to make them tighter or looser. This is the only way, besides stretching it out, you can actually make your shirt a little wider.

How much does it cost to get a shirt tailored?

The cost of any alteration will depend on a few things, where are you getting it tailored, what are you getting altered and what type of material is the shirt made of. We can’t give you exact numbers because we don’t know these variables, however, we can give you a general price range.

  • Taking in the sides -$15-25
  • Making sleeves shorter or slimmer – $15-25
  • Darts – $15-25
  • Making it shorter- $20-30
  • Resewing buttons $0-5

Is it worth it to get shirts tailored?

This will depend on a few things. Mostly yes, it is worth getting a shirt tailored because it will make you look polished and put together. However, if you bought the shirt for $5, spending $20 to make it fit better might sound a bit crazy.

On the other side if you have an important event coming up and the shirt you bought doesn’t fit you right then there is no question that you should get it tailored. Especially if it’s a high-quality shirt that will last you for years and that you will wear over and over again.


A good tailor can make your clothes look like they are custom-made just for you. Remember that it is always better to buy a bigger shirt and get it tailored down than to buy a small one and try to figure out how to stretch it.

A well-fitted shirt can make any outfit look polished and elegant, so if you are someone who wears shirts every day, you should try getting a few of them tailored and see the difference for yourself.