It is said that first impressions count and that people make their assessment of a newly met person in the first few seconds, so it is no surprise that what we wear has become increasingly important.

Widespread, affordable clothing shops mean that not many people these days are likely to consider making their own clothes.  How many people these days have the sewing and dressmaking skills to be able to create their own complete, well-fitting and stylish outfits? How many have the equipment or the time to do so?

Buying ready-made clothes that fit perfectly can sometimes be difficult, however.  Very few people are the perfect size and shape and the need for well-fitting clothes, especially when it is necessary to make a good impression, have made tailoring and alterations services more important.

Job interviews are one example of a situation where first impressions and appearance count and where confidence can make a difference to a candidate’s performance.

A smart, well-fitting suit is usually the outfit of choice for interviews for both men and women and it is possible to find an appropriate outfit off the peg but it may be that getting the right fit of jacket may means that the matching trousers, or skirt, are perhaps a bit too loose or not the correct length.

Fashion experts identify several female body types. They include the apple body shape characterised by broad shoulders, often a large bust and chest for their frame, amazing legs and top sizes larger than the bottom.

Pear shaped women have shoulders narrower than their hips or top sizes smaller than bottom sizes, while the round body shape is curved all over with weight is carried on the stomach, hips and thighs. The hips and shoulders can be narrow in relation to the frame.

Men, too, can have particular body shapes such as the triangle, inverted triangle, oval and rectangle.

Getting a suit altered by a professional to fit these body shapes properly can help a person to look good and feel confident when it really matters. It means the wearer does not have their attention partly diverted by an undercurrent of worry about what they are wearing.

Having a suit professionally altered can also be a way of subtly demonstrating attention to detail, which may be something an interviewer is looking for in a job candidate.

One useful tip when going to a professional for suit alterations is to take the shoes you plan to wear, and also the shirt, if appropriate.  The height of the heels of a pair of shoes will alter the length needed for a pair of trousers or a skirt and wearing the shoes will help the tailor ensure that they can get the measurements exactly right.

It may seem like an unnecessary expense but investing in getting a smartly-tailored, professional look just right is worthwhile because it is very unlikely that the suit will be worn just once.  Job hunts and interviews can be stressful enough without having to search out the right outfit for each interview and it is possible to ring the changes with the colours of accessories, ties, blouses or shirts so that the look remains fresh.