Alterations/tailoring on a mid-priced dress
June 26, 2016 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to alter an off-the-rack dress to better suit a short, flat-chested figure?

Rather than splashing out on a "wedding dress" for my civil wedding, I'm planning on wearing a nice white dress that I can hopefully wear again in the future. I've identified a few candidates in the £100 - £250 range, specifically these three dresses and plan to try them on next weekend. The (potential) catch is that I'm petite (5' 1") and very short-shouldered and flat chested (34AA), but more or less a normal UK size 10 figure other than that. Is it possible to have the shoulders shortened or hems raised on off-the-rack dresses like these? What about taking in the waist/bust?

PS Thanks to everyone who answered my previous wedding question, you guys are fab!
posted by aerobic to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total)
 
The first and third dresses are sleeveless, so taking the shoulders up should be doable, even on a lined dress. I can't say for the second dress since it has sleeves. Bust alterations are definitely possible on any dress with bust darts (which it looks like all of these have).

Do spend the extra money to pay a reputable tailor, e.g. someone who does wedding dresses frequently. They won't necessarily overcharge you because they do all kinds of other stuff too. My tailor does a ton of wedding dresses but has also done all sorts of other alterations for me, including slimming the bust/waist/hips (to different degrees) of an H&M sheath dress.

-a short, flat-chested person who has spent too much money on alterations
posted by serelliya at 10:44 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


All of these dresses could be altered to meet your needs by an experienced tailor/sewist. I'd steer clear of the Ted Baker "Julien" Jacquard shift dress unless the length works for you off the rack. The hem detail on that one makes taking up the length problematic. The other two dresses also have the benefit of being sleeveless which would be simpler (read: less expensive) to alter to fit your shoulders and bust. The other Ted Baker dress has some pleating around the neckline that could require additional work to retain, depending on how it fits. The easiest dress to alter would likely be the Karen Millen dress. The princess seams make altering the bust a snap, and adjusting the shoulders and hem should also be super easy. Make sure you bring the bra and any foundation garments you plan to wear to your alterations fitting. Good luck!
posted by ananemone at 10:49 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of all of them, the third one looks the most alterable to me. I'm not sure what is going on with the first Ted Baker dress - it has those seams that are on either side of the V-neck that may or may not complicate taking up the shoulders. ananemone has basically all the points I'd make.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:59 AM on June 26, 2016


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