Alteration fit into two general categories- alterations made to fit the individual, and alterations made for stylistic reasons.
Alterations for fit are fairly common. They were more common a few generations ago when cheap clothing wasn’t so readily available. Today it is too easy to find and buy something that already fits. And if a cheap item doesn’t fit it seems odd to pay money to have it altered; the alteration cost might be comparable to the cost of the cheap clothing.
Alterations are made for clothing items that are well worth having. Celebrities can afford to have their every item custom fitted or altered, even their strategically worn-out jeans. The rest of us have to either spend good money and find the exact right item off the shelf, or else have a few good garments adjusted to our size.
The first criteria for clothes is finding your colour. If this isn’t right you have an uphill battle, and though you can dye clothing it usually isn’t a cost effective way to go. Get the colour right.
One you have the right colour you should look at the style. Don’t be analytical here; go with what intuitively feels right. If it doesn’t fit, it can be altered.
If clothes are cheaply made any alterations are usually not worth it. Buy inexpensive clothes to wear around the house, but anything that requires a social appearance of a photo qualifies for some better looking garments. This doesn’t mean formal, but it means something that just seems to look correct on your body.
Altering the clothes is something of an art, akin to optical illusions. By making sleeves shorter, legs thinner, or changing the waist of a jacket it is possible to give the illusion that the person is thinner, taller or better proportioned. An obese person can never look skinny, but they can neat and attractive with wide shoulders on the right garments. When done well any alterations look natural, both as part of the clothing and in the way they fit the person
Alterations possible include:
Shorten sleeves or leggings
Lengthen (take down hem by adding similar or contrasting fabric)
Making the legs slimmer
Narrowing the sides
Broadening shoulders, possibly with pads.
Take in or let out the waist)
Tack down pleats
Add hooks, Velcro or snaps to wrap-style dresses
Take in sleeves on dresses
Add sleeves (in same or contrasting fabric)
Take up dress at shoulder to make less low-cut
If garments are chosen so that the widest part of our build is accommodated the rest can usually be altered to fit us well.
Talk to you alteration specialist to see what is possible.