Tailors and Dressmakers


Tailors and Dressmakers


Tailors and dressmakers cut, sew, mend, and alter clothing. Typically, tailors work only with menswear, such as suits, jackets, and coats, while dressmakers work with women's clothing, including dresses, blouses, suits, evening wear, wedding and bridesmaids gowns, and sportswear. Tailors and dressmakers are employed in dressmaking and custom-tailor shops, department stores, and garment factories; others are self-employed. Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers hold about 24,110 jobs in the United States.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Apprenticeship or other extensive experience sewing and creating





Personality Traits



Salaries for tailors and dressmakers vary widely, depending on experience, skill, and location. The median annual salary for tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2019 was $31,520 for full-time work. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $20,870 a year, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $54,740 annually.

Workers emp...

Work Environment

Tailors and dressmakers in large shops work 40 to 48 hours a week, sometimes including Saturdays. Union members usually work 35 to 40 hours a week. Those who run their own businesses often work longer hours. Spring and fall are usually the busiest times.

Since tailoring and dressmaking require a minimal investment, some tailors and dressmakers work out of their homes. Those who work in t...


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment prospects in this industry are expected to decline through 2029. For the short term, at least into 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected all industries. The lockdowns and increased number of people working from home have diminished the need for tailors, dressmakers, and sewers. Going forward, attributing factors to the general d...