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The Telegraph

The 4 most common jeans dilemmas - and how to solve them

Favourite jeans too tight? You're not alone. Tailors are expected to be inundated with requests when they reopen after lockdown. 

Let’s not beat around the bush: shopping for jeans is a nightmare. Sizing notoriously varies between stores and styles, so finding your perfect straight leg mid-blue pair in one place, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that that’s your size in another style in the same store, or even in the same style from a different brand. It’s mind-boggling stuff. But among others, it’s the reason that we tend to stick to a great pair for years once we get our hands on them.

As the end of lockdown (and the reign of loungewear) is imminent, denim is back on our radar, and with it, tailors and alterations services are expecting to be inundated with requests.

Having left them in relegation for a year, it’s likely once you dig your jeans back out, they might need some altering. With the renewed focus on shopping consciously and getting maximum wear out of the pieces we have already, mending any issues with our jeans, rather than splashing out on a brand new pair, will be popular, too.

BLANC London is a tailor with stores across London, specialising in eco-dry cleaning and alterations. Denim requests are among their most popular.

“As the end of lockdown (and the reign of loungewear) is imminent, denim is back on our radar, and with it, tailors and alterations services are expecting to be inundated with requests.”

A common myth about tailoring is that it’s expensive and time-consuming, but having your clothes professionally altered and repaired is not only a simple effort, but it’s also an affordable solution to clothes that need an upgrade,' confirms Blanc's founder and CEO, Ludovic Blanc.

You might be surprised at what a great tailor can do to revive your trusty pair, so before writing off any because of a hole, fading, broken zips or a now too-big or too-small waist, it’s worth having a specialist take a look. Rest assured you’re not alone, either. These are the most common dilemmas asked of denim specialists:

Dilemma 1: I’ve put on a few lockdown pounds, but really want to wear my favourite jeans again.

To make the waist of your jeans slightly bigger, a tailor will remove some of the side seams, then will cut through the waistband, likely at the back of your jeans. Then they'll sew a slip of elastic to the two sides allowing for more give and greater comfort.

On the legs, letting out the seams - whereby the seams are opened and repositioned closer to the hemline, offering more room - is possible, but it depends on the particular pair and how they've been constructed.

Dilemma 2: I’ve bought new jeans and need to have them taken up, but they have detailing on the hems.

 Most reputable tailors and denim specialists can work with jeans that have raw hems or side slits, and can ensure the style of your jeans remains the same and that the length is the only difference. The exact step-by-step for this will depend on the jeans, but ultimately there are two processes: removing the details and putting them back after alterations, or recreating the design after the alterations.

Dilemma 3: I’ve bought new jeans, and the legs fit perfectly but the waist is far too big.

This is rather common in pear shape or hourglass figures, so requests to have waists taken in are among the most popular amendments, but it's challenging.

'Our tailors need to remove fabric from the back, but also from the side seams to make sure the cut and shape of the jeans remain the same as on the original,' says Blanc. 'It requires opening the waistband seam, removing the belt loops and then repositioning the centre back seam exactly in the middle of the two pockets.'

There's no denying it's a professional job, so avoid attempting this one yourself at home as it's rather complex, but is definitely worth it for a pair of jeans that are almost bespoke. 

Dilemma 4: I wore my favourite pair to death pre-lockdown, and now the crotch has thinned and looks like it might rip.

'The knees and crotch area on jeans are often in the danger zone of getting damaged or worn out,' says BLANC, 'but whatever the tear, a patch can usually solve the problem very easily and possibilities are endless.'

The simplest and most seamless alteration involves turning them inside out and sewing a similar denim patch under the thinned area or the hole. 

'Some people would opt for something rather discreet or invisible, but you can also spice things up and go for a more colourful patch to add a bit of creativity and customisation. Not only will the garment then last longer, it will also have a new look and become completely unique,' says BLANC. 

By Krissy Turner, The Telegraph, March 2021
Find the original article here.

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