What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Tailored Dress?

Sheri Cyprus

The main pro of buying a tailored dress involves having a well-fitted wardrobe staple, but a big con is that it may show any weight gain. A disadvantage is that the cost of a tailored dress may be more expensive than less-fitted, more casual options. Another advantage of a tailored dress is that it can be purchased in a classic look that allows it to be worn on many different occasions.

A woman wearing a tailored dress.
A woman wearing a tailored dress.

For instance, a dress that is tailored to skim attractively over the wearer's body in season-spanning fabric can often be worn year round. If it has short sleeves, adding a close-fitting turtleneck or other long-sleeved top plus tights under it may let the tailored dress be worn through the fall and winter months. In warmer weather, it could be worn alone or with a light cardigan or blazer. Some tasteful V-neck or scoop neck sleeveless tailored dresses can be worn like a jumper with a blouse underneath for work or alone for evening with a sparkly necklace, belt or other accessory.

One drawback of tailored dresses is that they tend to cost more.
One drawback of tailored dresses is that they tend to cost more.

Yet, there are tailored dresses that are too form-fitting to allow even a body-hugging top or blouse to be worn under them. If a woman gains a few pounds, this type of tailored dress may look unflattering. If the garment was altered from its original size, this can be a con when giving it away or selling it to a consignment clothing store as it will no longer be size-accurate.

Tailor-made clothing is customized to fit a person's precise body measurments.
Tailor-made clothing is customized to fit a person's precise body measurments.

A pro of tailored dresses is that it's often easy for a woman to pick one that is in her most flattering neckline and sleeve length. There are also a lot of good-wearing and beautiful materials used for many tailored dress looks, such as cashmere and wool. Color choices for tailored dresses also tend to be wider than in past decades and there are some pastel and bright options in addition to basic neutrals such as black, gray and tan.

Tailored dresses tend to flatter any body type, whereas ill-fitting, tent-like garments don't usually flatter anyone. For petite women, getting a dress tailored to her figure can allow for many options rather than only those made specifically for shorter figure types. A con of getting off-the-rack clothing tailored is that it may take several weeks of waiting, as well as time for fittings, whereas ready-to-wear clothing can be worn immediately.

Tailored dresses fit better and flatter the body better than non-tailored dresses.
Tailored dresses fit better and flatter the body better than non-tailored dresses.

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