How much do dress alterations cost in the UK?

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Price guide

£7 - £90

low

£7

median

£25

high

£90

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

It isn’t easy to part with dresses that complement your looks or represent beautiful memories. That’s why alterations are a practical way to enjoy your dresses for as long as you want. They can also give life to a vintage dress you've probably inherited from your grandparents.

So how much does it cost to alter a dress? You can expect to pay £7 to £90. They're relatively inexpensive compared to going out and buying a new dress. Alterations are particularly good for individuals who prefer sustainable fashion.

Price list for common dress alterations

Here are the prices of dress alterations for ordinary dresses and formal gowns:

a seamstress altering a dress

Skirts and dresses

Alteration

Price

Shorten plain

£15.00

Shorten with lining

£20.00

Take in waist and hips

£25.00

Lengthen

£15.00

Lengthen with tape

£20.00

Let out sides

£24.00

Let out waist

£20.00

Re-hem

£10.00

New zipper

£18.00

Shorten straps

£15.00

Shorten lined straps

£18.00

Shorten cord straps

£12.00

Shorten additional layer

£7.00

Hook and eye

£4.00

Snaps (small)

£2.00

Snaps (medium)

£2.00

Alter neckline

£16.50

Remove layer or frill

£10.00

 

Bridal gowns

Alteration

Price

Shorten

Starts at £90.00

Take in

Starts at £90.00

 

Bridesmaid dresses

Alteration

Price

Shorten

Starts at £30

Take in

Starts at £35


You might also like: Bridesmaid Dress Alterations Cost Guide

What factors affect the cost of dress alterations in the UK?


1. Job complexity

How much does it cost to get a dress altered in the UK? The price of different alterations, like zipper repair and letting out, mainly depends on job complexity. Suppose you want to give an heirloom dress a little makeover or turn your daughter’s gown into something she can wear more often. Alteration intricacy usually determines how much it costs to alter a prom dress or formal gown.

Shortening or tightening garments is the easiest, most common, and probably most inexpensive type of alteration, which costs around £7 to £25. Sometimes, clients require a dress to be enlarged (or the process of “letting out”) to fit bigger frames. For this kind of alteration, the seamstress might apply various tricks to add more material that makes up the garment.


2. Dress type

The more elaborate the dress, the more expensive it is. Altering a wedding dress can be a little more tricky. It is helpful to note that wedding boutiques often keep only one to two sizes of a specific design in stock for wedding gowns. Dresses like these are usually smaller, so probably need to alter the dress you purchased. It's very common for wedding dresses to be designed as more alteration-friendly than standard, ready-to-wear gowns. 

You might also like: Wedding Dress Alterations Cost Guide


It will be easier and cheaper to take in a dress than to let it out. However, too large sizes probably require remaking because the cuts will have to be remade, from the neckline and shoulders to the bodice and skirt side seams. But everything will be worth it because without proper alterations, you might have to deal with a wardrobe malfunction.  


3. Stitch type

There are different types of stitches, depending on the style of the dress. A blind-stitched (or invisible) dress hem alteration costs less than a top-stitched hem. Alterations requiring more hand sewing take longer, thus costing more. Most formal attires and bridal gowns with delicate fabric, intricate lace designs, or elaborate beadings require hand sewing to ensure that the embellishments are placed accurately. 

a woman sewing a dress

4. Fabric type

The thickness and machine requirements of the fabric also contribute to the dress alteration service’s cost. For instance, shortening and hemming a dress made of denim will require a seamstress to use a sewing machine with heavier-gauge needles and threads. Leather is a rare material to use in dresses, so having a leather dress altered will usually cost 50% more than a fabric dress.


5. Your location

Like in any other project, your location can affect dress alteration prices. A professional seamstress in a big city or state might have higher fees due to business costs such as storefront rental and taxes. Conversely, dress alteration costs are lower in rural areas.


6. Tasker experience 

The skill level of the tailor or seamstress you choose also affects the cost of dress alterations. More often than not, professional seamstresses with decades of experience charge more than newer ones.

Post a task for dress alteration

Now that you're familiar with dress tailoring costs, you can connect with a Tasker and discuss the look and size you want for your dress. Airtasker helps you save time and make sure that your well-loved pieces of clothing are in good hands. Once you post a task on our platform, you'll shortly receive offers from reliable seamstresses and be able to pick the best professional for your needs.

Price guide

£7 - £90

low

£7

median

£25

high

£90

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

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FAQs

Improperly fitted dresses don't look flattering on any figure. Most importantly, they're not comfortable to wear. Fashion nightmares such as unflattering photos and wardrobe malfunctions are some of the issues you can prevent by having your dress altered.

The process of making a beautiful dress requires training and skill. Unless you have training or experience altering dresses, doing it yourself might cause more harm than good.

A well-fitted dress must support and shape the bust. It should also accentuate your body shape. For most women, casual dresses should be comfortable to wear. For brides, a gown should be long enough to cover their shoes (if applicable) but not too long that it causes them to trip.

Improperly fitted dresses don't look flattering on any figure. Most importantly, they're not comfortable to wear. Fashion nightmares such as unflattering photos and wardrobe malfunctions are some of the issues you can prevent by having your dress altered.

A well-fitted dress must support and shape the bust. It should also accentuate your body shape. For most women, casual dresses should be comfortable to wear. For brides, a gown should be long enough to cover their shoes (if applicable) but not too long that it causes them to trip.

The process of making a beautiful dress requires training and skill. Unless you have training or experience altering dresses, doing it yourself might cause more harm than good.

It's free and takes only a minute.