Living with less: How to shop in your own closet

Consumers tightening their proverbial belts are saving money by altering clothes already in their wardrobes and not stretching their budget with pricey purchases.

Nick Nicolau, owner of Nick’s Tailoring, has seen more people recycling their own clothing.

"People go shopping in their own closets, with their own stuff," said Nicolau, who has been in business for 13 years.

A skilled tailor can re-size and modernize within reason — taking in a jacket, letting out dress, sometimes even updating a cut and style.

Spending $75 on a major alteration makes more sense than spending several hundred (or more) on a new suit or designer piece, said Nicolau.

What you will pay varies, depending on the amount of work required.

Francina Boykin at Fran’s Tailoring in Camden says more people are spending money with her tailoring older pieces from their closets, too.

She’s turning shirt collars, taking in dresses, even altering suits that belonged to customers’ fathers and grandfathers.

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