It may be pretty hard to find the perfect outfit while shopping for a prom dress because most of them do not fit properly when purchased from a local store. Fortunately, there are alterations that can be made and an experienced seamstress will be able to adjust your prom dress and create the look of your dreams. But how much will prom dress alteration cost?
How Much Does a Prom Dress Alteration Cost?
The prom dress alteration cost is influenced by some factors such as your geographical location, the type of the dress, the professional/company that does it, and the amount of work necessary to make all the adjustments.
The cost of alteration for most prom dresses would be anywhere between $8 and $100, but it is recommended to budget anywhere between $35 and $70 and no more than $110.
For instance, you will have to pay for a hem which can be done low or high, anywhere between $25 and $45 per layer. “Per layer” refers to the layers of fabric from which a dress is made. There may be the dress itself and a layer of tulle on top of it.
Plan on spending anywhere between $8 and $25 if you need to lengthen or shorten a train. Expect to pay anywhere between $25 and $35 if the dress has to be let out and not taken in. If you need to add on the length of a dress you will have to pay $25 to $60.
If you need to add a small hook to keep the train up while dancing, you will have to pay $10 to $15 for this little piece.
Depending on whether or not the dress has sleeves, you will have to spend $20 to $40 in order to adjust the sleeves or shoulders.
In case the dress is strapless and you want to add straps to it, you will have to pay anywhere between $15 and $25, depending on the width and material of the straps.
Plan on spending anywhere between $45 and $95 for complex alternations like bringing the dress down two to three sizes.
According to some members of the Merchant Circle online forum, you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $30 and $75 for basic alterations.
Prom dress alteration details
The majority of the seamstresses are able to bring a prom dress down a few sizes. But, if you need to come down to more than three sizes, then the shape and appearance of the dress will change significantly.
You can get an alteration done by a family or private seamstress, or at a bridal shop.
The prom dress should look as if it is brand new when the alteration is done. You should not be able to tell what modifications were performed or where they have been done; the seams and hems must be flawless.
There should be some type of guarantee that the seamstress will fix the dress if this frays or comes apart after the alteration.
You will have to try on the dress in front of a mirror when getting alterations. The seamstress will be able to make the measurements and adjustments and hold them in place with pins. This way you can see what the dress would look like when it is done.
You may be able to get your money back if you are not satisfied with the final result.
What are the extra costs?
In general, a train needs to be held up with a piece of jewelry on the back, which is usually placed close to the calves. Most women choose a small fancy pearl, but if you want something fancier you will have to pay more for this piece.
Also, if you want to add a shawl to a dress this will come at an extra cost.
Expect to pay anywhere between $20 and $35 for a zipper that needs to be repaired or put in.
It would be more expensive to modify a complex dress, filled with decorations like beads and sequins. This rule is also available for dresses that have more than one layer. The cost per layer is anywhere between $15 and $20.
If you need your dress to be done in a short time, the rush charges are anywhere between $25 and $45.
In case you want your dress to be delivered or if you want the seamstress to come to you for measurements, you will have to pay for shipping and travel.
Important things to consider
The majority of the dresses are made for those who are over 5’9’’, so if you are under 5’9’’ you will need to get a hem done.
In case it may be hard for you to find an alteration company, take into consideration looking online for a “tailor”. However, when choosing one make sure you see a sample of their work because you can risk destroying your dress if you go to a tailor without experience.
The majority of the alteration companies will require you to bring in your dress at least four to five weeks before your event.
Always make sure you know your exact measures when purchasing a prom dress online. This way you will know that this will fit perfectly. Also, it is recommended to measure bigger instead of smaller. It will be easier and cheaper to modify a dress that is a few inches too long or a size too big.
How can I save money?
Make sure you ask the shop from where you purchased the dress if they can help you with the alteration. There are many stores that are able to do this job at a reduced rate or even free of charge.
You can even try to haggle and include the alteration cost in the dress cost.