There’s nothing quite like a high-quality, well-fitted item of clothing, whether that’s anything from a pair of slacks to a wedding dress. It can truly make you feel like your best self, as confident as you can be.
If you’re looking to go through the rite of passage of getting a bespoke suit, or need your wedding dress altered, or simply have an outfit that doesn’t quite fit anymore, visiting a tailoring and alteration service is the best way to get you what you need.
Finding a skilled and trustworthy tailor can be a bit of a challenge. The last thing you want is your specialty clothing misshapen, marked, or altered beyond repair. That’s why we’ve put together a list of a few things that you should look for in a great tailor, as well as a guide to some of the best services Canberra has to offer.
What makes a great tailoring and alteration service?
Tailoring is a specialist skill that require patience and expertise. When looking for a fantastic tailor, keep an eye out for these must-have traits:
- Experienced. Like any skill, the more practice you have tailoring, the more impressive the result. The best tailors in Canberra have years of experience altering a whole range of clothing items, from ball gowns and tuxedos, to skirts and suit jackets.
- An eye for detail. The greatest tailors have an eye for detail, and never cut corners or take nasty shortcuts. Their meticulous eye will ensure your tailoring not only looks great but will last for years to come.
- Knowledgeable. The best tailors know how clothes should fit and feel. They understand that every client is different, and they can adapt to suit individual wants and needs without fuss.
- Comprehensive services. Whether you need a shirt made from scratch, or jeans taken up, the best tailors can do it all. Look for someone that offers a comprehensive list of tailoring services.
- Prompt. If you need your clothing tailored for a special occasion or event, you will need a tailor that can provide a prompt turn-around. The best tailors are realistic and upfront about their schedule, and always deliver the finished product on time.
- Fairly priced. Although tailoring is a specialist skill, it shouldn’t cost a small fortune. The most reliable tailors charge a fair price for their services.
The best tailors and alteration services Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Rodger Bartholomew has been dressing Canberra since 1954, and brings traditional, premium service into the modern day. When you work with their skilled professionals, you can design a Made to Measure suit – explore the endless possibilities of materials and styles, all expertly put together to give you a suit that fits you perfectly from head to toe.
Facebook user Richard Beyer writes, “The team at RB make choosing a suit easy. The quality is well worth it when their suits last years and out last my cheap suits.”
With 30 years of experience, the friendly and reliable team at Tran’s Tailoring specialise in clothing alterations, tailoring and dressmaking services. Whether it be custom made suits or something that doesn't fit just right, Tran’s has you covered!
See what Facebook user Ross Macdonald had to say about their experience in this review, “Tran's Tailoring have been the only ones I have trusted to tailor my clothes in all but one occasion – the one time I went to a chain tailor my clothes came back looking terrible and I ended up taking them over to Mrs. Tran to fix. Great price and friendly service.”
Black Tie by Xavier
Need to get a suit custom-made? Looking for something luxurious? Want top-notch craftsmanship? Consider Black Tie by Xavier, a specialist tailor, suit hire, and retail store. Each suit is crafted out of high-quality fabrics to the precise measurements of the client. Although the suits are not made here in Canberra, the attention to detail and exquisite finishing is incredible.
As ‘Local Guide’ Nathan McDonald writes in their Google review, “Amazing service and quality products. Only place in Canberra you should consider when looking at suits or formal wear.”
Alterations – Erindale Clothing
It’s no secret that tailoring and alterations can sometimes set us back a surprising amount, so if it’s affordable service you’re after then look no further than Alterations – Erindale Clothing. With uniquely affordable price points, and a home pick-up and drop-off, Alterations – Erindale is all about customer convenience and satisfaction.
‘Local Guide’ Craig Butt left this review for Alterations – Erindale on Google, “Fantastic place! I have had everything from suits to fancy dress, and just anything in-between altered by these guys and they always do a great job. Quick turnarounds and competitive pricing. I'd give them more stars if I could.”
Kathryn Lemin Designs
Kathryn Lemin Designs was born over a decade ago, from Kathryn’s own passion for unique style and fresh modern tones when it comes to clothing design. Kathryn is able to help with formal and casual wear, from suits to wedding dresses, and can easily cater for people of all ages, shapes and sizes, ensuring that your clothing is as unique as you are.
As loyal customer Susan Innis writes in the following Facebook review for Kathryn Lemin Designs, “From creating a stunning bridesmaid dress, to altering suits and dresses bought off the rack so they fit like they were custom made. Kathryn has been my go to person for over 10 years!”
Have some clothes that need special attention? Check out our article on the best dry-cleaning services in Canberra for some great recommendations.
Your experience with tailoring and alteration services in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the tailoring and alteration services listed above? Have we missed your go-to? If so, please share your feedback in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I get my wedding dress tailored?
It is generally recommended to allow two to three months between your first fitting and your last in order to make all the alterations. To avoid any last-minute emergencies, your final alteration should be no earlier than two weeks before the wedding.
What can I ask my tailor to do?
Your tailor can make alterations to existing items of clothes, such as size adjustments and repairs, as well as help you design a bespoke item. If you have a jacket with sleeves that are too long, or a dress with straps that are too short, consider taking it to a tailor to have it adjusted!
How long does it take to have a suit tailored?
Expect between six to eight weeks at the most to have your suit tailored. Your tailor may have other clients’ clothing to attend to, or your alteration might be a little trickier than others, so make sure your tailor gives you clear timeline, and that if you have an event approaching you’ve left plenty of time for it to arrive.
Can a tailor make my clothes bigger?
Unfortunately, making an item of clothing bigger can be quite difficult. Clothes usually have an inch or two to give in the seams already, whether that be in the hem of a skirt or the waist of a pair of pants, but even so letting an item of clothing out can alter the shape undesirably. In general, size adjustments can’t exceed more than one size.
Can any piece of clothing be altered?
Just about, but it depends! From garment to garment, the amount of fabric left in excess for alterations varies. In general, formalwear is far more likely to have a significant amount of fabric leftover for letting out. As a general rule of thumb, if there is a straight seam anywhere on the garment, it can be altered.