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What Tailoring Terms You Should Know & Why November 15, 2018

New York, New York
What Tailoring Terms You Should Know & Why , New York, New York

Tailors use particular terms and phrases to describe garment creation processes. Working knowledge of this language helps you communicate exactly what alterations you desire to save time, hassle, and money. Below are several tailoring terms that you should know before visiting a dressmaker to ensure that you understand the alterations and receive a beautiful garment in return. 

Your Guide to Tailoring Terminology 

Bring Up

When you need pant legs, sleeves, a dress, or any other garment shortened, you are asking to have it brought up. This term refers to the shortening of clothes to not only ensure a better fit but to avoid premature fabric damage from the excess length that possibly drags on the ground. Keep in mind that you may not be able to get sleeves with functional buttons brought up.


Balance refers to suit jacket tailoringadjustments that conform perfectly to your posture. Front and back lengths are cut to avoid any balance or harmonization issues that result in an ill-fitting fabric. Those in the tailoring industry note that this type of deep customization doesn’t exist with ready-to-wear pieces.


The hem makes up the bottom of a clothing item, such as the end of a sleeve or the bottom of a pant leg. Hems turn upward inside the fabric to protect it from fraying. Many clothing items have their hems undone so they can be sewn to individual length requirements.

Take In

Taking in clothing means to remove fabric on either side of a jacket or shirt to suit a thinner body frame. The fabric is removed at the seams to prevent any noticeable alterations. Taking in a garment can also include cinching or tapering it at the waist to accentuate the shape of the body.



Get your garments altered or repaired at Wo’s Custom Tailoring, an Upper East Side fixture for over 40 years. Rely on the experts at this New York City institution to create the custom clothing you crave or provide the fur and leather alterations you need. Almost all custom creations and alterations are hand-sewn. Call (212) 988-9889 today with tailoring questions or visit the website for a full service list.

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