We tried zTailors, an at-home tailoring service. Was it weird or wonderful?

By Alex Apatoff
Updated July 02, 2015 08:42 PM
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  • Who Tried It: Four members of PEOPLE Style’s Fashion Team
  • What I Tried:zTailors, an on-demand tailoring service that will come to your home or office
  • Why I Did It: Because there’s nothing grosser than those weird half-closed curtain rooms at the dry cleaner’s, and because, let’s be honest, clothes that don’t fit just fester in our closet until we finally give them away.
  • Level of Difficulty: 1 — it was probably the most seamless (pun intended) tailoring experience ever. The extremely professional Deborah (below) met us at our office on one Wednesday and delivered everyone’s clothes back (and tailored to perfection) by the following Wednesday. (She specializes in womenswear, but zTailors will match you up with a tailor whose expertise matches your needs — i.e. men’s suits, bridal, etc.) And prices are painless — about the same or less than you’d be charged at any standard N.Y.C. tailoring shop.
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Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director: The thing about shopping all of the amazing sales happening online right now (my current favorite hobby), is that it’s so tempting to ignore the words “final sale” in favor of “buy it now.”

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I’ve done that countless times and ended up with a pile of garments that require a good tailor, which means adding yet another errand to my endless weekend to-do list. By the time I get around to it, the dress or skirt is out of season and I have to wait until next year to wear it. zTailors rescued a too-big Rebecca Taylor
dress from the aforementioned pile of forgotten clothes. Deborah meticulously took it in in four places (I’ve never seen a tailor do that and the results were stellar). I was able to wear it before it got too hot out and it’ll be ready and waiting come fall.
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Brittany Talarico, Style News Editor: I’m the worst at getting my clothes tailored. Usually they just sit in the corner of my closet until they go out of style. But I recently moved, and donated a lot. I also found some pieces that I LOVED and completely forgot I had (read: Those aforementioned clothes in the back of my closet that needed to be tailored). So when Alex told me about zTailor’s new on-demand service, all the stars aligned, and I was totally game to try it out — from the comfort of my office!

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Paige Denim Flares: I’m super excited flares made a huge comeback, but it seems like they’re only designed for supermodels with mile-long legs (hi, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). And mine desperately needed a mega hem. Thanks to the fabulous Deborah, my crazy-long bottoms are now wearable. I made sure to try them on for her with a pair of super-high wedges, because I still wanted them to have that boho feel, but didn’t want to trip all over them. And she did a fabulous job — the length is perfect and she restored the old hem. Luckily now I can channel my inner-Jessica Alba all summer long.

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Ella Moss Jumpsuit: I don’t know why I only buy clothes meant for 6-ft.-tall humans, but this jumpsuit was so long, that I had my own “Obsessed or Hot Mess” Kim Kardashian situation when I tried to wear it. Once again, I put on my same wedges and let Deborah do her thing. Now I can actually wear this to work without it dragging all over the streets of N.Y.C.

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Catherine Kast, Style Editor:When I bought this navy twill A.P.C. skirt on sale from Steven Alan, I was so convinced that it was the perfect office-ready basic that I didn’t try it on. Whoops, it was a full size too big.

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Deborah pointed out that it wasn’t only the waist that needed re-sizing; The bell of the skirt was too wide for my frame and it made my legs look super short and my hips look wider than they are. Now I’m confident that this skirt can live up to its full potential in my workwear rotation. I’m so grateful that my tailor gave me, ahem, personally tailored advice about a piece I thought I had the solution for that I’m going to use the service for the alterations I have on a bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding.
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Alex Apatoff, Senior Style Editor: Amidst much grumbling, I’d finally taken a lot of final sale items that didn’t fit to the tailor — and though he did an okay job, I hated the dirty dressing room in the window of the store, the schlep there and back and the worry that they’d mess up all my stuff. (zTailor carries insurance for the tailors, whom they background check and vet, so it spares one the anxiety of trying someone new.) So I had a very different challenge for Deborah: Could she fix my inexpensive, flowy and polyester clothes that I might have worn once and retired because they didn’t fit?

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Milly for DesigNation skirt: I ordered this a size up because I didn’t know how the scuba material would fit, and it was just overall too baggy – not a flattering look for a pencil skirt. But I was wary of trying to take in an allover stretch fabric, thinking it would pucker and buckle. Deborah took a very professional look at it, said she had the right sewing machine for the job and not only instantly pinned a few inches away, but recommended I hem it shorter for the right look as well. And she was absolutely right — as soon as I tried it on at home, I thought, Oh, this is how it’s meant to fit.

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Tommy Bahama maxi dress: Another lesson in not buying things you haven’t tried on. This dress was a cute idea but had me drowning in fabric. I was just hoping Deborah would be able to remove some of the volume up top, but again, she recommended taking in the skirt a bit too to keep the whole thing proportional. She pinned in seams on both sides of the bodice, then pinned down one leg, stopping by the knee to allow movement. Taking the maxi off was a bit tricky (ouch!) but again, I put it on and knew I’d actually get use out of it instead of just trying it on, sighing and sticking it back in my closet. (P.S. Yes, these photos are grim. My go-to photographer was in China for work.)

I’ll definitely use this service again — it couldn’t have been easier and the prices are super-fair — but the only snafu came when Deborah got stuck on the train on her way to return the clothes. It wasn’t her fault at all (and she was very apologetic) but I think having a courier service for the messengers to avoid them having to make the trip back themselves would be a lot kinder and easier for the tailors, who already have to work hard to schlep their kits out the first time. Otherwise, I’m a convert!

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