One of the perks of working retail is learning the art of textiles and the appreciation for tailors.
A savvy shopper pays attention to the care label of garments, it dictates the price and technique used to create it. This is key when tailoring because prices vary on how the garment is sowed.
Who needs a tailor
If it's difficult for you to find "the perfect (whatever)," then you need a tailor.
Vendors have a standard of design to ease in the process of creating fashion pieces. This means one size does not fit all. Perhaps, you have a favorite store for bottoms quite different from your friend's-- even though y'all have the same style. Shoppers want garments straight off the rack, meaning ready to wear once bought. This narrows the window of fashion opportunities because of fit. Determine if tailoring would make the garment better, then get it tailored.
What to look for in a tailor
Location: find a tailor nearby your workplace or home. Some may even drop off your garments when they're ready (tip your tailor of course!)
Pricing: don't be afraid to spend money on a good tailor. Expect to spend anywhere from $7 - $10 to hem pants, $10 - $15 to taper pants, $20 or more to replace a broken zipper.
You're the boss: walk in knowing what you want. Tailors are there to work for you, not a personal stylist. Be as descriptive as possible; otherwise, the tailor will use their best judgement which may not meet your expectations.
Seamstress VS Tailor
There's a difference y'all.
A seamstress does hem on bottoms, tapers a leg, takes in a waist, lets out a waist, and shorten sleeves on a shirt. A tailor will be able to do all of that and work on outerwear and suits.
For your knowledge
A master tailor can draw paper for a custom garment (dresses, suits, pants), meaning they'll take measurements and start drawing outlines to make it by hand. With the help of a machine, you'll have a custom item in no time... I mean it takes long time. Master tailors are rare and expensive.
Textiles 101: aiding in finding pieces that best fit your environment.