Tailors and Dressmakers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Get as much experience as possible by taking any sewing, tailoring, and clothing classes offered by vocational or family and consumer science departments. There are also a number of institutions that offer either on-site or home-study courses in sewing and dressmaking. Art classes in sketching and design are also helpful. Math classes, such as algebra and geometry, will help hone abilities to work with numbers and to visualize shapes.

Postsecondary Training

Tailors and dressmakers must have at least a high school education, although employers prefer college graduates with advanced training in sewing, tailoring, draping, patternmaking, and design. A limited number of schools and colleges in the United States offer this type of training, including Jefferson University, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and Parsons School for Design, also in New York. Students who are interested in furthering their career, and perhaps expanding from tailoring into design, may want to consider studying in one of these specialized institutions. It is, however, entirely possible to enter this field without a college degree.

Some aspiring tailors and dressmakers train for the field by completing apprenticeships with experienced workers.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for tailors and dressmakers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Try to obtain experience sewing and creating garments. Some aspiring tailors and dressmakers complete apprenticeships with experienced workers. 

Workers in this field must have the ability to sew very well, both by hand and machine, follow directions, and measure accurately. In addition to these skills, tailors and dressmakers must have a good eye for color and style. They need to know how to communicate with and satisfy customers. Strong interpersonal skills will help tailors and dressmakers get and keep clients.