Summer Wardrobe Update on a Budget: Get a Good Tailor!

We’re all so tired already of hearing about the sad state of the economy, but the reality is it looks like tight times are here to stay. For us budget fashionistas? Well, it just means we have to pull out the stops on our budget-savvy tricks to continue to look fabulous in the face of adversity. But how, you say?

Well, for one, if you want to update for summer on a budget, it means taking those precious pennies and, instead of heading to the mall, high-tailing it to a good tailor. Don’t just take our word for it; we’ve got the goods from Jerry Pozniak, the managing director of the New York operation of Jeeves of Belgravis, aka “London’s Finest Dry Cleaner.�?

According to Jerry, whose clients include the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway’s “The Pirate Queen�?, and Yohji Yammamato Couture, “Celebrities and the ultra-rich have relied on tailors to update their wardrobes for years. “As a less-expensive alternative for seasonal updates, he adds, “Every season or so, hemlines change. Also we’ve begun to see the beginning of a period of emphasis on sleeves. Both of those trends can be easily accommodated by a little cutting and sewing.�?

Seamstress Summer Wardrobe Update on a Budget: Get a Good Tailor!

Exactly. So how to be sure your tailor/seamstress is any good? There’s no reason you can’t get a quality tailoring job at your local tailor or dry cleaner, but Jerry suggests starting slowly with a simple job, like a skirt hem, to test the waters.

A Tailor for Your Summer Wardrobe on a Budget? Yes!

Other hot tips on updating your summer wardrobe, direct from Pozniak:

Denim: Denim pieces in all shapes and sizes can anchor any wardrobe. While the skinny jean trend is far from over, Bermuda-length pants are in for the summer season. A local tailor can easily cut a pair of skinny jeans into a stylish pair of Bermuda shorts for about $20 – a considerable savings when compared to the $150 it would cost for a new pair of designer pants. “Just remember to let your tailor know that you’d like to retain the original hem,” advises Jerry.

Tops: The warmer weather calls for some lightweight shirts that are stylish enough to go from the office to an evening on the town – not an easy item to find. Generally, the knit shirts appropriate for the office are too bulky and not exciting enough to carry over to the evening, but: “I’ve had more and more clients ask me to attach a bit of a luxurious fabric to an existing cotton sweater, or even a plain t-shirt to kick it up a notch,” says Jerry, adding that ruffles are currently a very important embellishment. This kind of job will set you back about $10 plus the cost of materials – a pittance compared to a $100 boutique shirt.

Dresses: Every season requires the perfect, easy to wear dress and the summer is no different. This year, quite a few celebs have modeled a trench coat-inspired dress but if Louis Vuitton just isn’t in your summer wardrobe budget, don’t sweat it. “If you partner with a fashion-minded seamstress whose creative juices are flowing, she’ll be able to get a grip on your tastes and your budget and do something as fuss-free or as elaborate as you want. Just a couple of ideas are sewing a few strategically placed buttons on the front of a strapless dress to fashioning a simple wrap dress into a true trench style dress,” explains Jerry, putting the emphasis on just how Endless Summer Wardrobe Update on a Budget: Get a Good Tailor! the options are. The cost will vary from about $5 plus the cost of buttons, to a more complex job that can reach into the $50 range.

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