Photo of Murat Gurcan & Sevgi Gurcan at work.
1. Charging Too Much For Basic Jobs
Often people think more experience means higher rates. For example, hemming a pair of pants typically costs $10 - $15 at most places in Upstate, NY. It would not make sense to charge $30 for hemming a pair of pants just because another tailor has 2 or 3 times more experience, yet we hear from customers that they sometimes do. If anything, overcharging generally indicates that too much time has been spent on the service. Hemming a pair of pants never takes longer than 5-10 minutes so if someone tells you "it took a great deal of work to do" and the price seems unreasonable, then it usually is not the best deal or work. A great example of this is with zipper repairs and sleeve shortenings. If you Google "how much does a zipper repair cost?" the first few links will tell you that you should be looking at paying $50-$65 for regular items and even more for leather items. As a company that replaces hundreds of zippers every year, we can say that these values are not very realistic for most places. Our zipper repairs range from $25-$30 for regular jackets/coats and ever for leather coat zippers, we charge $35 -$50. If you happen to live in the Upstate, NY area then the values that you may see on Google should not be what you are paying.
2. Timing That Things Get Done
We read about and head about brides having wedding dresses take 2-4 months to have altered or bridesmaids dresses taking 1-2 months to be altered. Though bridal alterations are some of the most time consuming due to their complexity, these time frames are concerning. We suggest waiting 2-4 weeks before your wedding to have any alterations done. This is due to people losing/gaining weight and other natural body changes that can occur within a longer time. The closer to the event you have alterations done, the better it will fit on the day. We work with 50-80 birdes and hundreds of bridesmaids each year, and in most cases, this is not something that may consider when going to get alterations on their dress. Most areas do offer multiple fittings throughout the couple month process, but why spend more time than you need to be when you could be focused on other things?
3. Working With You
Having a tailor that is able to work with you is critical. After all, it's your garments, and having you satisfied with the work should be the main priority. If you have issues with your alterations, your tailor should be able to communicate with you why things are the way they are. Sometimes issues might be because of the material of the fabrics or because of how it is worn. Certain fabrics are more unable than others so they can vary when cut and other times the way that the garments may vary in position each time you wear them, making them look off or uneven. These are all things that your tailor should be able to communicate with you and work with.