The best tailoring and alteration services in Canberra

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Close up of tailor measuring client

Where to find the best tailoring and alteration services in Canberra. Photo: File.

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.

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!”

Rodger Bartholomew

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.”

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.”

Tran’s Tailoring

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.”

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.

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Anyone knows of a cheap place to do pants shortening alterations in Canberra CBD or Gungahlin area?

batmantrilogy12:42 pm 02 Nov 15

+1 for TT Fashions at Baileys.

I used to get it done by my grandma.
i will ask her if she can do it for you as well 😛 haha

David_R said :

Hi Ballig, I recently got a few suits and shirts from Germanicos Bespoke Tailors (Tailor.com.au).
They fly one of the master tailors from the Melbourne workroom at least once every fortnight to Canberra, to take care of their clients in Canberra. You get to have all the fittings and it doesn’t come to you in a package from Hong Kong.

The suits fit great, and look magnificent! I was dressed in high grade Dormeuil suit fabric for a little over 2k, this same fabric cost me about 4k at cutler a few years back in Sydney. Shirts were about $170 for Egyptian cotton.

I highly recommend to all in Canberra who expect the best tailor Australia has at a good price.

Cheers

David_R said :

Hi Ballig, I recently got a few suits and shirts from Germanicos Bespoke Tailors (Tailor.com.au).
They fly one of the master tailors from the Melbourne workroom at least once every fortnight to Canberra, to take care of their clients in Canberra. You get to have all the fittings and it doesn’t come to you in a package from Hong Kong.

The suits fit great, and look magnificent! I was dressed in high grade Dormeuil suit fabric for a little over 2k, this same fabric cost me about 4k at cutler a few years back in Sydney. Shirts were about $170 for Egyptian cotton.

I highly recommend to all in Canberra who expect the best tailor Australia has at a good price.

Cheers

Thanks for the recommendation of Germanicos http://www.tailor.com.au .
I just received my bespoke suit from Michael after 3 fittings and it is absolutely superb!!
The difference between Germanicos Bespoke Suits and my previous “made to measure suits” from Hong Kong is like the difference between a Ferrari and a Huyundai – They’ll both get you from A to B, but one is soo much better.
I picked the suit up in the Melbourne CBD showroom and seen the tailors at work.
Definitely Worth a try, they are in Canberra very frequently, just call and get onto the Canberra List.

Hi Ballig, I recently got a few suits and shirts from Germanicos Bespoke Tailors (Tailor.com.au).
They fly one of the master tailors from the Melbourne workroom at least once every fortnight to Canberra, to take care of their clients in Canberra. You get to have all the fittings and it doesn’t come to you in a package from Hong Kong.

The suits fit great, and look magnificent! I was dressed in high grade Dormeuil suit fabric for a little over 2k, this same fabric cost me about 4k at cutler a few years back in Sydney. Shirts were about $170 for Egyptian cotton.

I highly recommend to all in Canberra who expect the best tailor Australia has at a good price.

Cheers

yourmate said :

well there is one that offers high quality fabric. finely stitched business suits etc, i am talking about Crown tailors of Bangkok, you can have a great opportunity of meeting them in your own country as they pay visit to Australia every march. do check them out and they will surely appeal you.

Hello Mr Spambot

well there is one that offers high quality fabric. finely stitched business suits etc, i am talking about Crown tailors of Bangkok, you can have a great opportunity of meeting them in your own country as they pay visit to Australia every march. do check them out and they will surely appeal you.

LSWCHP said :

harvyk1 said :

RedDogInCan said :

Be aware that many ‘tailors’ in Canberra and other capital cities are only salesmen and the actual sewing work is done overseas.

I have had made to measure shirts tailored by Avanti here in Canberra. The quality and service was good but all of the shirts had ‘Made in Hong Kong’ labels attached. For the price charged, I could have flown to Hong Kong and picked them up personally.

That’s what I did, I ended up getting a full business suit made up for HK$2300 (roughly $300 AU), when comparing it to the cost of getting a local tailor to do it even with flights included it was cheaper for me to go to hong kong… (Plus I got a holiday out of it)

I went on a short holiday in Thailand last year. While there I had two wool suits made to measure with two tailored silk shirts and two ties thrown in. When one of my boys saw me wearing one for the first time he said “Jeez Dad, that looks like it was made for you!”. Total cost was just under $500 AUD.

I have my suits made in Thailand also. I do a trip out there every few years and get several made. If you get several suits and shirts all made as part of the one order the cost per item is bugger all. Last trip I got two wool/silk blend suits with two pairs of trousers each and 7 shirts for about 600 bucks.

I can vouch for Pip Morgan. He measures you here in canberra then sends the details of what you want to his tailors in Vietman. Excellent quality. Made to your measurements. I had a vest made and with my peculiar shape it was excellent to have something fit me. And it was half the price of a vest off the rack. See http://www.pipmorgan.com

harvyk1 said :

RedDogInCan said :

Be aware that many ‘tailors’ in Canberra and other capital cities are only salesmen and the actual sewing work is done overseas.

I have had made to measure shirts tailored by Avanti here in Canberra. The quality and service was good but all of the shirts had ‘Made in Hong Kong’ labels attached. For the price charged, I could have flown to Hong Kong and picked them up personally.

That’s what I did, I ended up getting a full business suit made up for HK$2300 (roughly $300 AU), when comparing it to the cost of getting a local tailor to do it even with flights included it was cheaper for me to go to hong kong… (Plus I got a holiday out of it)

I went on a short holiday in Thailand last year. While there I had two wool suits made to measure with two tailored silk shirts and two ties thrown in. When one of my boys saw me wearing one for the first time he said “Jeez Dad, that looks like it was made for you!”. Total cost was just under $500 AUD.

Oxford shop @ DFO, picked up a suit today, original price $795, 2 shirts originally $195 each, with alterations to the suit came to a total of $365.

Do yourself a favour and send a good fitting shirt to tailoronten in Bangkok and get them to copy it. I sent an old shirt I’d had tailored in Singapore a few years ago to them and I’ve bought four shirts from them. The shirts are $70 each and are fantastic.

Gazer I couldn’t help but laugh at you being charged $36 just to get a shirt taken in when tailoronten’s cheapest shirts are $35.

Just had 7 shirts taken in ($36/shirt) and a suit jacket resized around the shoulders/chest ($200, due to a need to undo most of the stitching to complete apparently) at TT Fashion in the City. Couldn’t be happier with how they’ve turned out 🙂

Have had a good experience with these guys: http://www.pickashirt.com/
Made in Thailand… You can get two made-to-measures delivered for the price of one decent french cuff in department stores here…

Following on from Gregw01, I know of two wedding parties who have had Pip Morgan [www.pipmorgan.com] make them suits and shirts for the groom and each groomsman. They all have been delighted with the fit and the quality of the finished products and were pleasantly surprised at what they got for the prices they paid.

Holden Caulfield2:46 pm 01 Aug 11

blowers said :

Some people I know have taken a holiday to Bangkok or Phuket and bought a couple of business suits and shirts and reckon the overall cost including the holiday was equivalent to buying the same clothes here…

I guess that’s what they told their wives anyway.

Hosinator said :

http://www.samsurin.com/new/ These guys are on their way to Canberra

Unfortunately not this year. It appears there is not enough interest in Canberra to make it worth their while. They are doing Sydney and Melbourne though (CBD).

Says they’re in Australia from 2 to 8 of August. Just email them to send you the tour schedule for Australia.

Le’s tailoring in Dickson (upstairs above El DOrado) might be worth a try.

RedDogInCan said :

Be aware that many ‘tailors’ in Canberra and other capital cities are only salesmen and the actual sewing work is done overseas.

I have had made to measure shirts tailored by Avanti here in Canberra. The quality and service was good but all of the shirts had ‘Made in Hong Kong’ labels attached. For the price charged, I could have flown to Hong Kong and picked them up personally.

So based on this opinion, Get your measurements done here and send them to a Tailor in Thailand. They are very reputable and will guarantee their work. And they are dirt cheap. I got a Cashmere suit with two pairs of trousers for the same price as a cheap suit in local retail shops. And I read somewhere there is a Phuket Tailor coming to Canberra soon and he will take measurements back and get them done over there for you.
Some people I know have taken a holiday to Bangkok or Phuket and bought a couple of business suits and shirts and reckon the overall cost including the holiday was equivalent to buying the same clothes here. Well it has to be close..

RedDogInCan said :

Be aware that many ‘tailors’ in Canberra and other capital cities are only salesmen and the actual sewing work is done overseas.

I have had made to measure shirts tailored by Avanti here in Canberra. The quality and service was good but all of the shirts had ‘Made in Hong Kong’ labels attached. For the price charged, I could have flown to Hong Kong and picked them up personally.

That’s what I did, I ended up getting a full business suit made up for HK$2300 (roughly $300 AU), when comparing it to the cost of getting a local tailor to do it even with flights included it was cheaper for me to go to hong kong… (Plus I got a holiday out of it)

Pip Morgan* is a new, Canberra based designer who specializes in hand made-to-measure suits and shirts.

While not a true bespoke service, every garment is hand made specifically for your measurements with only the best fabrics used.  Prices for suits / shirts are better than many off the rack prices.

If you register on his website (www.pipmorgan.com), Pip will get in contact with you quickly. Alternatively, Bsuited in the city (www.Bsuited.com.au) carry a large range of samples from Pip’s range you could go and check out.

Black Tie by Xavier’s was good. I’ve had a few suits made there.
As RedDogInCan has stated, they measure and send away for the suit to be made.

http://www.samsurin.com/new/ These guys are on their way to Canberra in the next few days or weeks, if you can find out where they will be you may be able to get a suit made by them.
Last time they were in town 10 guys in our office had suits made by them.

Be aware that many ‘tailors’ in Canberra and other capital cities are only salesmen and the actual sewing work is done overseas.

I have had made to measure shirts tailored by Avanti here in Canberra. The quality and service was good but all of the shirts had ‘Made in Hong Kong’ labels attached. For the price charged, I could have flown to Hong Kong and picked them up personally.

Alterations to what? Clothes? House? Gender…?

I recommend Chenille’s institute de Beaut-ay and house of hair removal. As put my Chenille (paraphrasing):

“My team of Vietnamese Seamstresses will chop, nip and tuck all those unsightly bits of genitalia… Just look for the pair of legs with the question mark between them”

Meanwhile – back waxing – there’s a mad old polish woman on Duffy St in Ainslie I’d recommend. Just don’t mention the war. Or homeless people. Or the drought. She gets feisty.

Yeah, she’s too busy doing clothing alterations now!

Mr Evil said :

I need a back waxing: any recommendations?

Has your mum stopped doing it for you then?

I need a back waxing: any recommendations?

Where can I get a coffee?

barking toad7:35 am 15 Jul 08

ffs!

As someone who does alterations for friends and family (no, I am not offering to do yours sorry) I can tell you $20 to replace a zip is totally reasonable (they are evil to do) and jeans are a pain unless you have a machine which can handle the thickness of the side seams, and $15 is probably about right for that.

Mr Kim at Gungahlin takes up jeans for $10, suit trousers for $14 which is about the best I’ve been able to find.

My wife has had some alterations done on some girly clothes there as well and said that they were a good price.

From this, I take it Mr and Mrs Tran have shut down? They were legendary.

I should mention also one point of difference is that tguyen (prob not spelt right) always remembers my name also, I hadn’t been in there for about a year I reckon and he still remembers everytime.

Felix the Cat9:08 pm 14 Jul 08

There’s a small shop in the Gungahlin Marketplace near the video store run by an Asian couple. Not sure about their prices, never actually had any alterations done by them, did get a quote once from them of $20 to replace a zip.

I use TT also, have done on and off for about 10 years. They are cheap, if you are getting shirts slimmed though be careful he doesn’t put darts in the back of the shirt instead of taking it in through the seems, the cleaner but more time consuming way. Otherwise great though, I have a suit there getting done at present.

The one in the Canberra centre next to JB used to be good, but the guy who owns it, Rabi took a job at the franchises head office helping to open other shops and moved back to Sydney and it went downhill quick smart, the Asian lady in charge now is hopeless so I won’t go back anytime soon.

i think the vietnamese place on moore st (around the corner from the pide house) is about $15 for pants being altered – their price list is on the door though, you won’t even have to go inside to ask!

Woody Mann-Caruso6:53 pm 14 Jul 08

Another vote for TT Fashions at Baileys.

You wont get it for less than $10-, TT Fashions upstairs in the Baileys arcade is the cheapest around, he is great, many clothing retailers in Civic use him too.

okay. no worries. i was just wondering if anyone knows the good deal for everything in terms of price, quality and service. less than $ 10 perhaps?

tylersmayhem5:08 pm 14 Jul 08

Sorry Fairytale – I was kidding. I really need to stop my sarcasm sometimes 😉 It is true about her being good at taking up jeans and darning though.

Deadmandrinking5:06 pm 14 Jul 08

I think that’s a rofl right there.

kean van choc5:06 pm 14 Jul 08

The tailor upstairs in Bailey’s Arcade is the best I’ve come across for quality, price and service.

thanks everyone.

mostly alterations for jeans and pants. where about in moore st is the one you’re talking about toriness? i know the one in garema place and canberra centre are all expensive ;( not worth spending that much of money just for alterations. tylersmayhem..how much your mum will charge it btw? thanks …

tylersmayhem4:52 pm 14 Jul 08

My Mum was pretty good at taking my jeans up as a young tacker. I’ll ask her and get back to you! Needs any socks darned too?!

if you mean clothes and in civic, don’t go to the place in the canberra centre by EB games – go to the vietnamese place over on moore st, it is cheaper!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy4:47 pm 14 Jul 08

Alterations to what? Clothes? House? Gender…?

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