Can T-Shirts Be Tailored? (Do’s and Don’ts!)

T-shirts are literally the foundation of every wardrobe. They are extremely versatile, look good with everything, and are socially acceptable in most situations.

Therefore, it comes as a great disappointment to me that most t-shirts don’t fit perfectly (unless you have the physique of a mannequin).

Luckily there are quite a few solutions to this problem, and in this article, I will be talking about the simplest one – tailoring.

Can t-shirts be tailored?

Yes, t-shirts can be tailored. The sleeves, torso, neckline, and fit of the shirt can be altered very easily. Experienced tailors can even alter the shoulder seam on these garments, albeit for a higher price.

However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before you rush off to your tailor.

Can a T-shirt be Altered?

tailored t-shirt

Yes, a t-shirt can be tailored to change its measurements. The tailoring procedure is pretty simple for most professionals, and can even be done at home.

T-shirts are perhaps the simplest garment to alter (except the shoulder region, that’s pretty difficult). Thus, there are literally no excuses for wearing an ill-fitting tee.

The only problem that you might encounter is related to the material of your t-shirt. While cotton, polyester, and nylon are quite conducive to tailoring, fabrics such as merino wool are not.

The same goes for wool blends and bamboo tees too. Therefore, you need to take a hard look at the composition of the garment in order to determine whether your t-shirt can be tailored. This information can usually be found in the form of a care label on the inside of your shirt.

List of T-Shirt Alterations

Here is a comprehensive list of every possible t-shirt alteration:

  • Changing the neckline from round neck to v-neck or vice-versa.
  • Increasing or decreasing the length of t-shirt sleeves.
  • Tapering of shirt sleeves.
  • Adjustment of shoulder seam.
  • Replacement of broken buttons.
  • Adding or removing a chest pocket.
  • Adding or removing a patch or emblem.
  • Slimming of the torso.
  • Increasing or decreasing the overall length of the t-shirt.
  • Slimming the armhole region of the shirt.

Cost of Tailoring a T-Shirt

AlterationCost of tailoring
Slimming the armhole$15
Changing the length$15
Slimming the body$15
Adding buttons and pockets $2
Changing the collar$15
Tapering of sleeves$10
Adjustment of the shoulder seam$30
Total cost of tailoring a T-shirt$102

The cost of tailoring a t-shirt can range from anywhere between $2 and $102, depending on the number and type of alterations wanted. The average median cost of tailoring a t-shirt is $15.

This number is of course affected by tons of different factors, including but not limited to the nature of the establishment you go to (how high-end it is), where you live (rural or urban), and the severity of alterations required.

Can a T-shirt be Tailored at Home?

Yes, a t-shirt can be tailored at home. However, certain regions such as the shoulder seam and the armhole require quite complex procedures and thus are best done by professionals.

In case of other alterations, such as adjusting the sleeve length, make sure that you have a quality sewing machine because doing these things by hand can get quite taxing.

And as always, only try this at home if you have some prior experience, otherwise, you can very easily destroy your garments.

There are other ways to reduce a t-shirt’s size too (apart from tailoring), so give them a try if you don’t know how to sew and you don’t want to spend any money. But in most such cases, you will not have complete control over the final product. So just keep that in mind if you want to go down this path.

Do’s and Don’ts of Tailoring a T-shirt


  • Do try and find a quality tailor in your area.
  • Do give your tailor enough time to make the alterations.
  • Do try and reuse your t-shirts through tailoring instead of throwing them away.


  • Don’t be vague in giving directions to your tailor.
  • Don’t do complex sewing procedure if you are in inexperienced.
  • Don’t overpay for simple stuff like replacing a button.

Final Remarks

In this article, I tried to utilize my experience in the fashion industry in order to provide you with everything you need in order to get your t-shirt tailored.

Now you must have an idea about the type of alterations possible, which of these can be done at home, and what is the amount that you can expect to pay in order to get the job done by a professional.

Here’s a quick recap.

Can you tailor a t-shirt?

Yes, t-shirts can be tailored. There are a number of different alterations that can help you in making your t-shirt fit better, and the cost of the entire tailoring process is pretty low.