Jill Aghassi, owner of Perfect Fit Design & Alterations, has always had a natural talent when it comes to working with clothing. Back in her native country of Iran, Aghassi took sewing classes when she was in high school, then in the 12th grade she made her mother a complete suit with lapels. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from the Kunst Academy in Germany and worked as a costume production manager in Iran’s entertainment industry, as well as for McCall’s patterns in New York City.
“I was the assistant to the designer so I would make first patterns, which they would grade and then create fabric samples of,” said Aghassi. “Twiggy was our model in those days and would always come in, so I had the pleasure of working with her regularly.”
In 1989, Aghassi opened Perfect Fit Design & Alterations in San Marino, which specializes in alterations, custom dressmaking, tailoring and restyling. Other services they offer include French reweaving, garment repair and mending, as well as special projects such as curtains, tablecloths and lamp shades. The business also has a retail store, which carries a variety of accessories, jewelry and clothing from wholesalers. Aghassi employs a dedicated team of skilled tailors, who help create perfect-fitting clothes for customers.
“We do things here that nobody else does,” she explained. “We’ve become popular over the years by word-of-mouth. Some of our customers will have their clothing altered in places likes Saks Fifth Avenue, then they bring them to us to redo them. People come from all over—some fly in from out-of-state and drive directly to our business from the airport. Customers even mail items to us, which we alter and send back to them.”
In 2013, Aghassi and her business were featured in the Style Section of the Wall Street Journal, which detailed how to create perfectly altered clothing.
“Alteration is hard because each person and item of clothing is different,” she said. “First you have to figure out the shortest way to an item and achieve certain results. Some people know how to sew but sewing isn’t enough. If you choose the wrong pinning and then do the alterations, you ruin the clothes. Alteration is an art.”
Along one of the walls of her shop, Aghassi hangs photos of her happy customers, which include actress Jane Kaczmarek and Paul Rusnak, founder of Rusnak Auto Group. There are also two picture frames that sit next to one another—one image depicts a woman wearing a wedding gown from several decades ago, and the other is of her granddaughter wearing the same wedding gown, which was updated by Aghassi using the original fabric to create a more modern and updated style.
“I enjoy when people bring in items that don’t fit right, and then afterward they look really nice,” said Aghassi. “We go out of our way to provide good service and accommodate everyone—we never let a customer go if things don’t look right. People say that we are addicting because once we fix one item of clothing, they compare it with the rest of their closet, notice the difference and bring their other clothes in. People are not like numbers in here—I know all of my customers and their families. I know their stories and many of them have become family. The people that work here with me are also like family, because we spend so much time together—it’s like a second home.”
Perfect Fit Design & Alterations is located at 924 Huntington Dr. in San Marino. It is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sunday. For more information, call 626-300-0074 or visit perfectfitanddesign.com.
Perfect Fit Design & Alterations Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 5.10.19. Support Local Business.