the cheaters method of shirt downsizing

HOW TO: cheaters shirt downsizing

Remember this shirt? At $2 it was such a bargain from my local thrift store (and toooootally made me think of this Madewell shirt and this Jcrew shirt my lovely friend Kendi has), but was 2 sizes too big. So I made a “quick and dirty” alteration, and now it fits perfectly. Admittedly, I hate mending, and I hate alterations – but they are necessary evils, and an alteration i end up doing A LOT is downsizing shirts.

I think you will love this, because this little trick is an easy way to make a too-big shirt fit. I call it my “cheater” method, because it is definitely not the correct way to downsize a shirt, but works most of the time, as long as the shirt is only 1 or 2 sizes too big. Any bigger than that, and you risk weird proportions at the end.

Here’s what you do…

Tadaaaaaaa!!

HOW TO: cheaters shirt downsizing
Now, don’t forget: this will only work for shirts that are 1 maybe 2 sizes too big. The reason for this is that the top of the sleeve seam should sit on your shoulder correctly, and every size larger than your actual size pushes the shoulder seam further away from your actual shoulder – meaning that using this alteration for a shirt that is way too big will result in the shoulder seams hanging down your arm, and well, that just looks weird. Not to mention, it’ll be uncomfy. If your shirt is a couple of sizes too big, it’s best to remove the sleeves completely, alter them separately from the shirt, and then add them back.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ll definitely have to try this! I find a lot of great shirts at the thrift stores but usually they are too big for me. Now I have a way to alter them! Thanks!!

  2. says

    This tip is pretty handy and has great timing… I am about to embark on a downsizing effort for a friend who’s lost 2 sizes in recent months!
    Do you think it would work with french seams, for longevity’s sake?

  3. Theresa says

    This is great! Shirts are often too wide in the bust and waist for me (but fit my relatively broad shoulders) – this method seems perfect to fix this problem!

  4. says

    Thaaaaaannnnkkkkk you. I’ve been considering and hacking at a much more annoying way of doing this and I OFTEN pick up a shirt 1-2 sizes too big. Thank you. Thank you, Megan.

  5. says

    Great tip but I don’t think this is really cheating. I do professional alterations for a living and this is exactly what I would do except I would pin it on the customer to get the fit they want. I usually finish with french seams because they are easy and look nice.

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