Altering Linen – Ann Taylor Loft 00P Linen Pants

Dear Big Apple –
I’m sure you are fun and glam and packed with yummy restaurants on every block, but I’ll never know cuz I’m doomed to 12+ hr workdays and greasy takeout for every meal. Love, Jean.

On a more pleasant note, while home on Christmas vacation I found these great linen pants in my mom’s stash of clothing and kept them (thanks, Mom!). Now, my mom is several inches taller than me (and over 20 lbs curvier) so I don’t know what happened there with the genetics. Anyhow, she’s a great bargain hunter and found these Ann Taylor loft pants in 00P at some crazy discount. 

 $9.99 plus 30% off … oh yes.

A typical lackluster and unflattering fit from Ann Taylor Loft 00P pants:

The waist was a tiny bit loose, but I didn’t think it was loose enough to be taken in. I was, however, convinced that the hips down through legs needed to be significantly slimmed/tapered and the length hemmed. I brought these to my beloved Hemmingway tailors, and they said ….

“no, no, no! linen pants loose and flow. no taper. length ok. waist too big.”
…oh, alright. Sure. Apparently linen has almost no stretch (unless it’s a blend), and my tailors have seen linen garments tear before when they were made to be too fitted. The only alteration they did was taking the waist 1.5 inches. I was initially against a waist alteration because the pants would go from low-waisted to Steve Urkel-like.
Fortunately, my tailors were right again. The difference that a simple 1.5 inches made in the overall fit of the pants turned out to be nothing short of amazing. Once the waist and rise were shifted into place, the legs magically appeared slimmer and longer.
Front View – before (left) and after (right) alterations
Side View – before and after alterations
Back View – before and after alterations

The waist is now a little high for my tastes, however the hips and tush fit so much better after being shifted upwards. The length issue was also resolved by the waist alteration.

Close-up of the inside of the waist, post alterations. I just realized that I forgot to request to keep the tag and size label again before handing these over to the tailors. Darn!
And from the outside (looks nice and clean):
I’m normally not a fan of wide-legged pants on petites, but I’ve taken a liking towards these because of the material. In cold weather, I’m a sucker for tweed and boucle, and in the spring/summer … it’s linen. Currently there’s not many linen options for tiny petites on the market, but apparently they are a favorite of plus-sized women year round! I am sure AT & BR will each come out with a rendition as spring approaches.

Total cost of alteration: $12. They normally charge $15 to take in the waist from the back center for pants with lining, but I got a lil’ discount. Taper + hem is usually at least $25, so I’m glad they set me straight and saved me some money in the process!

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  1. ShyViolet wrote:

    Wow, those are super cute now! I don't normally like high-waisted things either, but for those I might make an exception.

    Posted 11.4.10 Reply
  2. Anon – I def know how you feel … visits to the tailor has become an integral part of my life! At least you are 5'5" so you don't ever have to see 12 year old girls peering DOWN at you wondering why you are invading their dept : )

    Posted 2.7.10 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for your blog, as well!
    I can't tell you how long I have griped to my husband about "vanity sizing" in my favorite stores like J Crew and Ralph Lauren, which seem to cater to big boned curvy women who are around 5'9". I always feel like a freak asking, whether the clerk could please check to see if they have any 0's left in the back, knowing I need to take those pants straight to the tailor anyways for a $40 alteration to prevent them from making me look like I am wearing hand-me-downs.
    What is up with sizes?? I am not that small, at 5'5" and 29-25-32, which is hard because most petite clothing is slightly to short in the sleeves and inseam. I couldn't believe it when I checked the size charts at JCrew kids and realized that the size 14 is exactly my (and this blog's author's) measurements (W25, H32). I am definitely NOT any where near 14 years old, BTW.

    Posted 2.6.10 Reply
  4. Tiffany wrote:

    just found your blog and love it! I'm a "petite asian girl" too, however not as petite as you but I have to alter a lot of stuff and am such a huge advocate of getting stuff tailored to fit. Love this post, really shows what a good tailor can do!

    Posted 1.23.10 Reply
  5. wow, what a difference!! u have amazing tailors:) i actually love wide leg pants hehe even though it's not the most flattering for us petite gals:D they're just so darn comfy haha!

    Posted 1.22.10 Reply
  6. Aney wrote:

    The slight alteration made definitely made a difference and it looks darling on you. I admire all the outfit posts on your blog – definitely some great finds for a petite Asian girl (I know how you feel, standing at slightly 5'3 which is still pretty short I must say). It is extremely difficult especially when shopping online – not generally one to go through the hassle of checking for measurements so I usually just add a Small to the shopping cart – but even a Small can be too big.

    Oh, and I love all the polished looks you put together!

    Posted 1.22.10 Reply
  7. Midori wrote:

    this alteration is brilliant! it looks like they did so much more than just take in the waist.

    also impressed that cost of pants + tailoring comes out to around $20. too awesome.

    Posted 1.21.10 Reply
  8. Thanks guys! I can't imagine life before finding a tailor.

    Lily- they are aldo pumps in "Bone" color (I posted a link in my last "Lookbook") but a 36 is too big. I thought I could make it work, but they have to go back. Very sad … the color is a gorgeous neutral.

    Amy – taking in the sides of a wool coat is $40 at Hemmingway, and will go up depending on difficulty. They get annoyed with me cuz I always ask "how much? how much? how much?" after trying on every single piece because they believe that all their prices are fair. I had to call them to ask about the wool coat pretending to be a new customer : ) If it's a nice coat that you will wear for a few seasons, I def think it's worth it.

    Posted 1.21.10 Reply
  9. Elaine wrote:

    They look SO amazing on you!!! And wide legs are okay on petite girls… just as long as you know how to work it and you certainly do!!

    Posted 1.21.10 Reply
  10. ch3r wrote:

    those turned out amazing! I love a great linen pant. I wish I knew about Hemmingway's when I lived in Boston last year. I was really afraid to take my clothes anywhere!

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply
  11. Jennifer wrote:

    They look great! It's amazing what one slight alteration can achieve!

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply
  12. Amy wrote:

    Wow, what a difference with the tailoring! You may have mentioned this in a prior post but… do you have an idea of how much it would cost to have a wool coat tailored to fit better at your place in Boston?

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply
  13. Kathleen wrote:

    Wow. They look great on you. Your mom is good at bargaining. She needs to teach me some tricks. 🙂

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply
  14. Lily wrote:

    Wow, those turned out great. I really like the pumps you are wearing in the "after" picture. Who are they by?

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply
  15. legalicious07 wrote:

    Those look fantastic! You are a great example of the way tailoring can make a difference. I rarely get anything (except fancy evening wear) tailored, but I'm now seeing what a difference it can make.

    Posted 1.20.10 Reply

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