14 Pros and Cons of Being a Tailor

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All Taylor Swift wannabes aside, a tailor is also called a dressmaker or seamstress.

Tailors can be custom sewers or workers for an assembly line at a shade cloth plant.

Whether you are interested in stitching one thread at a time or doing multi-thread embroidery repairs, tailors need to know one thing. 

You must be able to sew and enjoy the craft enough to sew clothing for hours at a time.

Want more insight into what it is like to become a tailor?

Here are more than a dozen pros and cons of being a tailor for a profession.

Pros of Being a Tailor

1. Specializes in Hand Sewing

Anyone who is good at hand sewing or wants to be employed to operate a sewing machine is a great fit for a tailor.

If you are interested in working in this area of fashion and clothing, you can do so quite easily.

Generally, you must be ready to spend a lot of time hand-sewing.

This is an ideal job for those who enjoy hand sewing and can complete sewing projects fast and in perfect condition.

2. Is a Creative Endeavor

In order to come up with a cleverly tailored dress or suit, you have to see the finished work in your head.

This takes creativity, to be able to envision the results of a project.

In addition, you may end up working with embroidery or applique to add personal touches to clothing.

Tailoring requires creative thinking, whether you are fixing a frock or sewing a couture creation.

3. You Could Be on Project Runway

Technically, the designers for Project Runway are all tailors.

You could be on Project Runway if you are good enough as a creative designer and hand-sewing extraordinaire.

If you truly are as good as you say you are, you could actually win the show.

This would be the break you need for your career.

Winning or even being on that show would help you gain the financial support and the tools needed to set up a tailoring shop or business.

4. Your Job Rhymes With That Taylor

That Taylor, with the last name Swift, is possibly the most well-known person with the actual name of tailor/Taylor.

As a tailor, you are somewhat associated with the country and pop music singer named Taylor.

You might as well get used to it, and maybe you will one day embrace this fact.

You could also get into the idea of decorating a sewing room with Taylor Swift swag, which would be highly ironic to your customers.

5. You Know Fashion…

…because you are making fashionable outfits for an occupation.

Along with knowing fashion like the back of your hand, you have the capacity to stitch up a quick outfit.

Whether you are going to a last-minute ball or need to fix an outfit for a sporting event, you will know how to stitch up the materials to make it work.

Never again will you mutter the words, “But I have nothing to wear,” when you become a tailor.

6. Attending Fashion Shows Makes Sense for Your Career

As someone who sews clothing, it actually would be sensible to attend a fashion show.

You could get away with attending the New York City Fashion Week and consider this a business expense.

You also can get away with buying fashionable clothing or accessories just for the sake of learning how it is sewn.

This is part–and parcel–of your job as a tailor.

7. Your Pants Always Fit Just Right

Once you learn how to stitch up a hem or take in a few inches on a pair of pants, you will never have an excuse for having pants that don’t fit right.

In fact, you will have the skills and insight that encourage a perfect fit for all of your clothing.

You could even look at yourself as a walking billboard for your business. 

When customers see how well your clothing fits, they will also want to wear well-tailored garments.

Bonus points if you get a stranger to comment on how well hemmed your pants are–and they end up being your customer.

Cons of Being a Tailor

1. Pay is Mediocre

You are looking at $35,430 a year on average as a tailor, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is not the best pay rate for any job, especially when the average median salary for US adults is $54,132 a year.

Tailors are also faced with attracting customers for more steady work. 

Since tailoring tends to be for fixing clothing that is in need of repair or does not fit right, there is a weakness in steady demand.

Therefore, finding a way to get more hours or projects in order to earn more money may be the problem.  

2. Taylor Swift’s Name Confusion

Back to Taylor Swift, you may have problems with being confused with the actual Taylor Swift as a tailor.

When people say, “tailor,” you might think they are calling you “Taylor” and feel confused when you do not get a callback for your music recording.

However, that is, again, part and parcel with being a tailor in a world where Taylor is as common as Prince.

3. Needlestick Stinks

Getting stabbed with a needle is called a needlestick in the medical world.

For those who are tailors, a needlestick stinks and can also lead to blood drops on all-white cloth.

You do not want to get stuck with a needle, yet tailoring and being a seamstress naturally leads to this.

As a result, you can expect to feel more like a pin cushion on some days than an actual tailor.

4. Allergies to Materials

If you are allergic to woolen fabrics, you will have trouble as a tailor.

The same goes for allergies to nylon, vinyl, and polyester–you need to be able to handle fabrics without scratching.

Generally, wool is the worst offender, but it would be a good idea to have a materials-handling test before becoming a tailor.

Otherwise, you could end up with rashes and blisters that prevent you from sewing clothing by hand.

5. An Indoor Work Environment

As a tailor, expect to spend a lot of time indoors.

Fabrics and garments cannot be subject to sunlight, which fades them, or water and wind.

Therefore, working outdoors is not a possibility.

Prepare yourself for weeks of seeing very little sunlight when you are busy as a tailor.

This is an occupation best suited for individuals who like to work inside and alone. 

6. Finding Steady Assignments

Typically, tailors either work for themselves as a specialist or for a manufacturer as product line workers.

If you are working alone or running a tailoring shop, there can be a dearth in a steady line of customers.

That is because there is no holiday for getting your socks darned or shirt buttons are sewn on. 

As a result, customers will be hit or miss, or you may lack demand in the area where you want to work as a tailor.

This results in a lack of revenue and can be detrimental to small business owners who are in this industry. 

7. Threading a Needle is Tough

Have you ever tried to thread a needle?

Inserting the end of a piece of thread into the eye of a needle can seem like an impossible task.

Yet this is what a tailor has to do to do anything.

Of course, there are handy gadgets to help you thread a needle with ease.

But really, only the most skilled seamstresses will stand the test of threading needles daily. 

Pros and Cons of Being a Tailor – Summary Table

Pros of Being a TailorCons of Being a Tailor
1. Specializes in Hand Sewing1. Pay is Mediocre
2. Is a Creative Endeavor2. Taylor Swift's Name Confusion
3. You Could Be on Project Runway3. Needlestick Stinks
4. Your Job Rhymes With That Taylor4. Allergies to Materials
5. You Know Fashion…5. An Indoor Work Environment
6. Attending Fashion Shows Makes Sense for Your Career6. Finding Steady Assignments
7. Your Pants Always Fit Just Right7. Threading a Needle is Tough

Should You Become a Tailor?

Working as a tailor and creating fashion-worthy outfits is the dream of many–especially with shows like Project Runway on the airways.

However, the occupation of the tailor is not one that is most common these days.

You won’t see a seamstress on every street corner as you do at Starbucks. 

In addition, not everyone goes to a tailor for their clothing.

This is a niche industry that generally serves those in high fashion or the business world.

Customers of tailors tend to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing and they expect the clothing to fit perfectly.

They may also be professionals who are expected to repair suits or garments received for work purposes.

This includes individuals in the military who must look spotless in every formation. 

You must be prepared to understand your customers and target audience in order to get anywhere in this industry.

Marketing and advertising to spread the word about your skills and business are also important.

Hand sewing and machine stitching clothing is a job that is hands-on and requires you to meet with customers in most instances.

Therefore, people skills and customer service are key to helping maintain a customer base. 

Finally, if you are someone who loves clothing or accessories and sewing by hand or with a machine, you can make a living in this industry.

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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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