If your child attends a school that has a uniform dress code, you are probably well aware that one style does not fit all body shapes, and that growth spurts can strike at any moment. Having clothes that fit properly can increase confidence, as well as comfort, both important considerations when it comes to your child’s self image and school performance. Here are a few tips from Best Cleaners’ team of tailors and seamstresses on how to get a good fit and extend the useful life of each piece:
Size It Up. If your child has yet to reach puberty, growth spurts can be unexpected and unpredictable. Limbs may grow quickly while waistlines remain the same. What fits your child in August may no longer fit three months into the school year. Given the cost to purchase school uniform pieces, consider purchasing a size larger than needed, especially if your child seems to be in between sizes or the school’s supply of sizes is limited, and then have alterations done to personalize the fit.
Hem Not Haw. Adjusting the hems of pants, skirts, skorts, and blazers to decrease or increase the length is usually a fairly simple and quick process when tackled by a professional. If you are shortening items, be sure to make your tailor aware that you plan on having the hems taken down again as your child grows. He or she will then know to leave a few inches of fabric for the hem as an allowance.
Contract or Expand. The fit of a waistband is probably the one area where there is no standard– there is a wide variance between styles, manufacturers, and people’s body shapes. As children grow, waistlines may get larger before legs or arms grow. The good news is that most school uniform waistbands can be taken in or let out with relative ease to accommodate your child’s current and future body dimensions.
Box Out. Buying a size up in shirts and dresses can stretch your school uniform budget over the long term, but it often means the fit will look a bit “boxy” until your child grows into the size. Most styles will allow for the sides to be taken in, and then let back out over time as needed. A professional tailor can tell you ahead of time if the sides can be tailored and the process can be reversed. The same applies to altering the length of shirt or dress sleeves. Most can be shortened then lengthened, but be sure to check before you have any work done.
The Long to Shorts of It. If the hem on your child’s uniform pants have been let down to maximum length and they are still coming up short, it may be time to repurpose them. Consider having them cut down in length and turned into shorts, provided that the fabric is still in good condition.
Zip It or Button Up. Daily wear and washings can take a toll on buttons and zippers. Having missing or broken ones doesn’t mean the end of the road. Having them replaced or repaired will breathe new life into your child’s school uniform. At Best Cleaners, most repairs are done in 24-48 hours with no appointment necessary, drastically reducing the wardrobe downtime.
Patch On, Patch Off. Many schools also require that a patch with the school crest or name be placed on blazers, sweaters or vests. For a professional look and fabric safe process, let an expert handle the sewing on as well as the removal.