6 Surprising Stores That Offer Quick (and Sometimes Free!) Tailoring

Where to make those little adjustments before your holiday soiree.


Image via Madewell

Unless you’ve got fit-model proportions or just happen to be extremely lucky, finding garments that fit perfectly is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If anyone is to blame, it’s not you — sizing in general is alarmingly inconsistent. This can result in disappointing purchases (i.e. pants that fit in the thighs but gape in the waist, or vice-versa) and internal struggles: Do you return them, make do with quick fixes (hem tape, anyone?), or bite the bullet and shell out for pricey alterations?

Here’s a tip: Finding the perfect fit doesn’t have to be expensive, or even require an extra trip to the tailor. (In the midst of holiday craziness, who has the time?) You simply have to know where to shop. Head to one of these stores for no-fuss – and sometimes free! – alterations. Keep reading: The list might surprise you.  

J.Crew // Multiple locations
Why: Complimentary standard alterations on full-priced merchandise purchased with a J. Crew membership card.
Details: Longtime J.Crewers are most likely aware of the company’s free alterations services, but new-timers can also request basic hems on men’s and women’s pants, jackets and skirts for a modest $8. Unfortunately, J.Crew is quite selective about what items they’ll mend, excluding sale items, purchases from J.Crew Factory, and all leather, suede and beaded apparel. But it’s a great option if you’re looking for a quick adjustment to your workwear.

Uniqlo // Rittenhouse and Willow Grove
Why: Same-day or one-day unisex alterations for only $5 to $10 per item.
Details: The Japanese retail giant offers speedy, affordable tailoring services on select bottoms. Bottoms under $29.90 cost $5 for normal stitch hem and $10 for a blind stitch hem; items valued at more can get normal stitch hems at no cost and blind stitch hems for $5. Normal stitching alterations have same-day pick-up and blind stitching alterations will be complete by the next day. All you need to do is bring the original receipt or tax invoice.

Lululemon // Rittenhouse and Ardmore
Why: Free alterations! Because you actually wear those track and lounge pants all the time, and you don’t want them dragging on the floor.
Details: No one wants their  workout clothes to be uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Bring in your Lululemon tops or pants to any location and receive free custom alterations (no tags or a receipt necessary). A store associate will ask you to try on the item and pin where you want the hem or take in, and the store will send the item out to be tailored to your liking. There’s a three-day turnaround, so you’ll be back to your fitness routine in no time.

Suitsupply // Rittenhouse
Why: Three types of tailoring services that cover all the bases, from minor alterations to head-to-toe suit construction.
Details: This menswear shop will alter your suit pants, shirts and jackets while you shop; prices start at $8 and cap off at $28. Have more time and want a fully custom suit? Check out their Blue Line and Suit Up personal tailoring services; fit specialists will help you create a tailored-to-you suit from over 200 varieties of luxe Italian fabric and design options ($649-$1,049; allow four to six weeks for delivery). Your measurements and preferences are conveniently saved for future orders.

Nordstrom Rack // Willow Grove
Why: They offer simple to complex alterations and one-on-one consultations with expert in-house tailors.
Details: This location has an on-site tailor five days a week. Simply bring your new or dry-cleaned items with their respective receipts (items need to be purchased from Nordstrom Rack or its online counterpart, HauteLook) and the tailor will assess your alteration needs. For alterations up to $100, you are reimbursed the cost in store credit. You can find their complete price list here.

Madewell // Multiple locations
Why: Free Madewell jean hemming at any store location.
Details: Head to J.Crew’s little sister store and get free hemming on any of their jeans. (This is pretty much a godsend for short girls who constantly have to deal with lopping off the bottom four or five inches of denim.)