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Tailoring dress shirts - just darts good enough vs. taking out side seams?

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    Tailoring dress shirts - just darts good enough vs. taking out side seams?

    I went to a tailor for the first time yesterday to slim my dress shirts.

    I just asked to take in the sides. The lady (who had a heavy Eastern European accent btw) just gave me darts for $15. She said taking in the seams would be $30.

    Next place I went to quoted me $10 for darts, $50 for taking in the sides.

    $10 per shirt is a pretty good deal. I'm unfamiliar with darts in general, but I'm aware that taking apart the seams is the way to go. Should I continue looking for a tailor that can do it for less than $20? I've read some tailors can do it for that price.


    Can somebody post a photo comparison?



      Weird. My tailor does the seams and slims the sleeves for $15. I love my tailor though.



        What are darts?



          @Heimdal, $10 for darts is pretty good in my experience. $30 or even $50 for taking in the sides is absolutely insane. I have two tailors who do my work, an Italian suit maker who's been doing it his whole life and a Korean lady who is right around the corner from my house. I take all the things I care about to my good Italian tailor. Pants, suits everything of importance. He's the best in my area and he charges $17 whether I get darts or seems brought in. I've never had him do the sleeves, but I assume it would $20-22 for bringing in seems and sleeves. He isn't as expensive on the shirts as he is on suits. To get the whole work up on a suit, it'l be around $125.

          The Korean lady charges $10 for darts, $12 for seems and $15 for seems and sleeves. I brought in a nice dress shirt that my grandfather gave me the other day and she did a great job considering what it was before (she did seems and sleeves). Is it perfect? No, but $15 for a shirt that fits almost perfect, I'll take it.

          My suggestion is to look around for a cheaper tailor to get it taken in at the seems. From what I understand tailoring is not rocket science. Just because it costs less doesn't mean it's going to be a crappy job, for shirts at least. You can get darts if you want, but don't do it on shirts that have box pleats on them. Some people think it looks too busy, I tend to agree with them. Only get darts if you have shoulder pleats or no pleats at all.

          Photo comparison:

          What darts are: http://sartoriallyinclined.blogspot....ack-darts.html



            Even the before picture here is 100x better than most guys' shirts. It's usually like a garbage bag coming out of their pants.



              Hmm. The one I just went to just charged me $20 to tailor a shirt. I thought it was a little expensive, but he did a great job so I gave him an old blazer to try out (only $25 for the blazer).

              I've called around a little but most of them are the same price.



                FYI one thing to be taken into consideration is the back pleats. if you have pleats in the back, say the pleats in the middle, you best bet is to take in the sides and not to dart. My tailor, a very nice austrian woman who has been a seamstress and went to school for mens clothing ages and ages (i mean dinosaur) told me to never pleat when your yolk has pleats, it will throw off the proportions. You cant take out the yolk pleats either. So to make this link to this thread, find a better tailor. lol...JK

                "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"



                  I just got two shirts tailored with darts. I think I paid 12 bucks per. I didn't think that was two bad. Also got a Mark Shale herringbone blazer (thrifted it for $1.50!) tailored for $25. I just got into the tailoring scene and I've only used this guy one other time (he took in a jacket for me). That worked out well so I figured I'd stick with him.



                    Hmm...I'll continue to look around for a tailor that charges reasonable prices to get the seams taken in. I think the reason why the quoted prices are so expensive is because the tailors I went to were located in the heart of downtown Toronto, where busy professionals are willing to pay those prices.

                    I'll try looking for a tailor near my place in the suburbs. Thanks all!



                      Other differences between darts vs. taking in at the sides:

                      * For subtle changes, either can work. But if you have a lot of fabric to take in, big darts will look weirdly hourglassy and structured in the back.

                      * Longitudinally down the body, a dart has a beginning and end to the reduction. Taking in a shirt at the sides has a beginning (somewhere under the armpit) but not necessarily an end; the reduction can continue on down through the shirt's bottom.



                        Theoretically you could let the dart seam also continue down through the shirt's bottom as well, but if the shirttail is not flat-cut, the two sides won't match up and you'll have a broken line there.



                          Another thought on side seams: there's a big difference between a pristine new felled seam vs. one plain seam and call it a day, which might account for differences in price.

                          Not that I have ever seen a side-seam alteration done with just a plain seam, but it's not unimaginable.