There are both new ideas in fashion and there are old ideas that keep coming back. In both cases we can find that popular clothing can be altered to suit changing fashions, or to accommodate personal preference. Else, we might just need to accommodate our own physical changes as we age.

Alterations Sydney
-The most common alteration are:

-Pant leg hemming

-Pants waist adjustment

-Shirt and jacket sleeve hemming

-Skirts hemming

-Blazers/jackets – adjust shoulders.

-Skirts waist adjustment

-Dress darts

-Blazers darts and seams

-Trousers leg width

-Adding/removing dress sleaves

-Adding/removing belt loops

If you have hand-me-downs clothes that have been stored for a while you might well find that there are a few good items that are worth wearing, perhaps with a few alterations.
If the items suffer a little odour after being stored you might try: washing them with borax; storing them with baking soda; leaving them inside out in the Sun for a few days.

Clothing Alterations Sydney

A few alterations and clothing can fir us well and reflect who we wish to be.30973138_s

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With any form of aesthetics the overall appearance must fit together; things must be coherent. This is less a rule than a meta-rule. We know our mind expects things to fit together, but the rules about how things actually do fit together are never stable. In the end we judge things intuitively, though we might find some experience helps us notice the patterns.


  • Belts should be reasonably thin and the same colour as the shoes. Wide belts only worked on some 1970s fashions and even then it wasn’t on formal suits.
  • Ties should be darker than the shirt, but not necessarily than the suit itself. Tie bars should be reasonably narrow.
  • With a three piece suit the vest should be unbuttoned at the base.
  • Never use the pockets, except for contents that are completely flat. Never let the pockets get stretched.
  • Remove the basting that is on some suits. This is the temporary stitching that holds the vent/flaps in place.
  • The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.
  • The tie should reach down so that it just barely touches the trouser waistband.
  • The shirt cuffs should extend about ½ an inch form the suit.
  • The suit jacket should just barely cover the fly of the trousers when standing.

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A good suit is not worn in isolation. A good shirt, as well as shoes, belts and other accessories, are essential. Getting the right shirt underneath the suit tends to be something that is overlooked.


Some men make the mistake of thinking that the shirt is mostly hidden, and they can be lax about the fit. But while most of the shirt is hidden, its effect on the suit is not. Areas to watch out for are:

  • These are noticeable. A tight collar quickly becomes irritating, a loose one looks unstylish.

A collar can be adjusted slightly by moving the top button. Sometimes more dramatic alterations are necessary.


  • Sleeves that are too long will protrude from the suit, and just ruin the whole effect.

A longer sleeve can easily be shortened by the tailor, but lengthening a sleeve is not an easy option.


  • Excess fabric, especially around the waist. This is a common alteration; the extra fabric is removed from the back of the shirt.


Most men find that a shirt can be adapted to their build if it already fits in the essential areas. If the shirt fits across the width of the shoulders, which will not vary over time, the rest of the shirt can often be made to fit with only minor alterations. Occasionally, for some men’s builds, it is better to have the shirt made to measure.


Shirts must match the tie. We recommend some of the following combinations:

  • A striped shirt with a solid colour tie that matches the stripes. Slight differences and contrasts are acceptable.
  • A finely stripped shirt with a broadly stripped tie. Try vertical stripes on the shirt, and broad diagonal stripes on the tie.
  • Fine vertical stripes on a shirt, and fine dot or patterns on the tie.
  • A vivid tie works well with a plain coloured shirt, white, or pale blue or pink.
  • Ties are almost always darker than the shirt. A white tie is about the only exception, and these are uncommon.
  • Try a light colour shirt with a tie of the same colour, only darker. E.g.: a pink shirt with a near purple tie.
  • Use a colour wheel to choose contrasting colours for ties and shirts, with the tie being more prominent.


Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that the combination works.

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Trench Coats have a military background. They developed from several other coats, such as the serge greatcoats, before being used in the First World War. The name and general style of the coat during this period carried over into civilian use. They are a very useful addition to a suit during some types of extreme weather.



One advantage of the large trench coat is that it can be worn over other clothing without any issues. This is undoubtedly part of the military appeal; a uniform could be kept neat and dry under a trench coat. This also works well for business suits. A trench coat keeps out the weather elements, leaving a suit well protected underneath.



Cotton Fabric

Though often cut in the same way as modern coats the early military coats were often made from cotton. This was inexpensive, durable and treated to be made water resistant. These coats were almost always military khaki in colour.


Wool Gabardine

This was a high end version of the coat. It is waterproof and has a warm silk lining, which is sometime removable. Initially only military officers could wear this, but modern trench coats are only a slight redesign of this classic garment.


Leather Coats

This is a modern variation, and probably the hardest wearing type. It is heavier, warmer and more durable than almost any other natural material. It also reasonably easy to maintain, not requiring dry cleaning. Unfortunately these are expensive, and can be associated with the uniform of gangsters and foreign spies. Otherwise, these may catch on as a classic modern alternative.


Modern trench coats are not a loose as old military ones. Their extra warmth means they don’t require additional layers underneath. As such, a trench coat is a useful item for suit owners when they require protection from any wet or cold weather. An umbrella and a good trench coat are all a suit owner need to have on hand. They offer protection and still manage to look quite stylish.

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A good suit requires an appropriate pair of shoes, lest the whole look be ruined. There are a few factors to consider here.


Black shoes with a black suit is probably the most common combination, but it can be a little conservative. There are other possible combinations, and we need not limit ourselves. Nonetheless every man should own at least one pair of formal black shoes. These will match almost every clothing option.


Navy Blue Suit

Try Black, Brown or Red/Burgundy Shoes. As long as the shoes aren’t brighter than the suit the various combinations should work well. Shoes can contrast, but not dominate.


Lighter Gray suit

A gray suit is a little less formal, but appropriate for some business offices. Again, Black, Brown or Red/Burgundy Shoes work well, provided the gray isn’t too dark.


Charcoal and Dark Gray suits

Black shoes match darker gray, and some Burgundy shoes, but never brown. The charcoal suit is a more serious and professional business look; light options don’t work.


Cream or White Suit

This will take anything except black. As long as the shoes aren’t too vivid almost any light colour show might work with cream or white suits


Wearing boots with a suit would have seemed like a disastrous idea a generation ago, but modern lace up boots can look quite slick. Anything boot protrudes outside the pants legs won’t work, but when the top of the boot is hidden inside the bottom of the pants cuff the result looks like a regular shoe. If the boot has a pointed front or looks stylish you will find the result is quite swarve. Boots are a good option in colder weather.


Virtually the only other accessories that go with the suit are the belt and tie (and perhaps a matching handkerchief). We recommend matching the belt with the shoes. The tie combination can be tricky, but most combinations work well, as long as no one factor is too salient.

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For many centuries all clothing was made of natural fibres, because there was no other available option. When synthetic materials later developed they tended to find their way into common, everyday clothing.  But the advantage of the synthetic materials was almost always cost; they could either be produced cheaply or already existed as a by-product of another manufacturing process. Good quality formal wear and quality suit stayed with the classic, natural fibres. This was not a matter of being conservative; natural fibres just seem the better wearing product.


Synthetic materials

Polyester – Pure chemicals. This is wrinkle resistant, and used for a lot of clothing. It does not breathe very well, so it can get hot and sweaty. To be fair, it can be quite good when combined with wool.

Rayon – Recycled wood pulp with a lot of chemicals. This can be brightly coloured, and it can work well for embroidery; but rayon clothing wrinkles easily.

Nylon – From the oil industry. This is quite tough, but it does not absorb moisture or breathe well. Many find it rather sterile and aesthetically unappealing.


Classic Natural Fibres.

Wool. Either sheep of goat wool, this has been in use for clothing (in varies styles) for centuries. It is quite good a keeping its shape, is reasonable strong, and it manages to be warm and still breathe well. Wool is suitable for all but the most extreme temperature conditions. The material will pill under some conditions.

Cotton – Actually a plant product. This is low allergy risk and resists moths and mites. It is the best choice for hot weather as it breathes well, soaks moisture and keeps the skin dry. It is prone to wrinkling and staining. Many find is feels comfortable and looks pleasing.


Cheaper materials are like plastic, in cases like polyester and nylon this is literally so. There are many common products made from plastic, and we do not want to do away with this, but almost all fine furniture, art, and other luxury good are made from natural materials, like wool, cotton, wood or quality metal. Tailored suits follow the same pattern. Fine suits will always be based on the finer materials.

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Suits do not change too much over time. Or, more accurately, the details change a lot but the general suit keeps the same basic form.


A few recent stylistic fashions.

  • Bold Patterns – The patterns have always been there, but the particular pattern keeps changing with the fashion of the day. Frustrating if a good suit is out of fashion.
  • Slim lapels – More modern, but this varies over time.
  • Slanted pocket – Also known as Hacking pockets, these were once only seen on bespoken suits. They can make the wearer look less mid-heavy; a matter of individual build and preference.
  • Pick stitching. Most people don’t notice the stitching, and pick stitching is even more subtle than regular stitching. Again, this came from bespoken suits and found its way onto cheaper suits because it was considered more high quality. Nor too difficult with modern technology.


A few suit details consistent over the years.

  • The pockets inside the jacket. The jacket once held a pocket watch and a wallet. The watch is now physically and functionally replaced by the cell-phone.
  • The small pockets at the front, right of the trousers and inside the trouser main pocket. The front one is for small change. The inside pocket was for a watch.
  • Solid colours – There have always been patterned suits, but the patterns keep going in and out of fashion. Black or solid dark blue have always looked classy and classic.
  • Cuffs in pants – Tapered pants were fashionable for a while, but cuffs were always neat and acceptable. Often not directly noticed, but cuffs change the apparent length of your leg.
  • Jacket centre vent – Vents stay because they let the jacket fit neatly while still giving you mobility. Some people prefer double vents, as slightly greater cost.
  • 3 inch lapels – these just seem to look neither too old fashioned nor too far removed from modern fashions. Middle ground.
  • The right fit – there have been trends towards baggy styles or super slim. Some individuals with the right build can look good with these variations, but the right fit for you always seems acceptable.


Half the concern with a suit is about whether to go for something timeless or follow present fashion. The other half is the suit’s quality. If you suit does stay in fashion the quality is worth the effort and expense. This mean you probably cannot buy off the rack (unless you are ideally proportioned), or that high end suits might need at least some alteration. But is you invest in a good fitting suit that is of respectable quality, and stay a little conservative with the style, you will get many years of low maintenance wear.

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Good clothes should be wrinkle free, lest their expense be wasted by an untidy appearance. But as ironing is a rather dull task it helps to have a few tricks up our (non-wrinkled) sleeve.

Most of these are not appropriate for clothes that require Dry cleaning.


Collars and Cuffs.

Small, fiddly sections of out clothing can be tedious to iron. Use a hair straightening iron for collars, cuff or any small section of a dress. Make sure the iron is completely clean in order to avoid staining.


Natural Drying

Hang wet shirts and garments in the Sun. They should dry wrinkle free. Some people like to dry them inside out to reduce fading from Sun’s ray. The UV light that clothes are exposed to outside helps reduce any bacteria from perspiration.

Natural drying exposes clothes to less wear, allows them to last longer.


Hot Shower Method

This seems to work for many shirts and some dresses. Put the garment on a clothes hanger and hang it in the bathroom while you have a hot shower. Keep the heater on if you have one. The clothes with be wrinkle free when dry. Make sure the clothes are hung neatly and symmetrically, lest they dry lopsided.


Tumble Clothes Dryer

Put a damp wrinkled garment in a tumble dryer and the wrinkles will disappear. Else, put a dry garment in with a wet cloth or sock. The process should not take more than a few minutes; remove the clothes the moment they are dry. Leaving them in longer will cause them to wrinkle all over again.



Storing clothes on a hanger prevent new wrinkles forming. If this is not possible, if you have to live out of a suitcase for a while, try storing cloths by rolling them up.



Some gentlemen’s suits resist wrinkling far more than others. Coarse cloth is less more wrinkle resistant than fine, even if it does not have quite the same prestige. Wool and many polyester suits will not wrinkle with normal wear. Coarse wool suit can survive many wears with no sign of wrinkling. Save fine suits for formal occasions. Use coarse wool or polyester for business travel.

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Styles vary with time and personal taste, but some things are fundamental s, and essential for any suit.


  • The right cut and measurement – This is part of the process for any bespoken suit (i.e.: made from scratch for the individual) or for a suit you choose (i.e.: you choose a style and you like, we make it for your frame). Measurement means the final suit is literally made for you.
  • Quality fabrics – The material makes all the difference. Good wool can make a suit appropriate for summer or winter. Combinations that add a little polyester or rayon can let a suit keep its shape without creases, at least under normal conditions. It is possible to make suits out of cheap polyester, but almost nobody does as the slightly greater cost of the better material is more than justified. If an individual is spending the money on a bespoken suit they should take the extra step and have the best fabric possible.
  • Thread and manufacture – The best fabric in the world is only as good as the stiches that hold it together. A well-made garment with quality stitching will last for years.
  • Design flexibility- You want a custom suit to be your suit. Small details can make all the difference. Find a tailor who can provide all the little tweaks.
  • Being able to wear what is comfortable – This is something you don’t notice until it goes wrong. The custom suit is made to fit you. If the tailor knows his art and skill then comfort should never be an issue; the well measured suit just gets it right.
  • The pockets that don’t show the content. There should never be a bulge for a wallet or keys. The possessions are on the individual without being noticed. We add a pocket for a mobile phone these days, but the invisible possession philosophy remains the same.
  • A good suit isn’t noticed, its wearer is. This is almost a paradox, but the style should be so akin to the wearer that the look isn’t questioned. The person looks great, or maybe the person looks great in that suit. It should never just be a person who is wearing a great suit.

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  • Is a button coming off? A little super glue on the tread, or even some nail polish/varnish, will stop the button coming off. The isn’t permanent, but at least you won’t lose the button, so you can have it properly sown back later on.
  • Does clothing pill (form little tufts of cloth)? Use a shaving razor to remove this. Piling tends to happen when clothing is old, but shaving will let the item last a little longer.
  • Bleach stains on black clothing can be covered with a permanent marker.
  • The collars on shirts can be flattened with a hair straightening iron.
  • Zippers can be ‘lubricated’ with talcum powder.
  • Talcum powder also soaks up oil stains.
  • Lemon juice gets rid of sweat stains, especially underarm stains. Some people find bicarbonate of soda is also useful for this.
  • Shoes too tight. Heat will expand leather by a small amount. Put on some thick socks and then put on the tight shoes. Heat them with a hairdryer (especially the tighter parts) and the shoes will expands slightly.
  • Lipstick stains often come off with hairspray.
  • Shaving foam can help clean many makeup stains
  • Socks or jeans left in the freezer will no longer suffer odour. Put them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight.


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