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How to unlock the tailor in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons tailor
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Upgrading your look from castaway to desert island chic is a must, but to fully unleash your clothing style, you'll need access to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons tailor. Still run by series classics Mabel and Sabel, it's not one of the services that's accessible right from the start of the game. No, you'll have to work a little to build up the reputation of your island before you can attract more businesses. With that in mind, here's how to unlock the Animal Crossing: New Horizons tailor. 

1. Upgrade Tommy and Timmy's shop to a real store

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The first step in getting Mabel and Sabel to relocate their tailor to your island is to actually get Timmy and Tommy Nook's store opened and moved out of the Resident Services tent. After spending a few days on your island, the Nook nephews will ask for your help to build a proper Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop, which will eventually be called Nook's Cranny. They need you to gather a variety of building resources in order to actually build the shop. Gather up 30 pieces of wood, 30 softwood, 30 hardwood and 30 Animal Crossing: New Horizons iron nuggets and donate them to the project.

Then pick a spot for the shop to be built upon, and wait until the next calendar day for Nook's Cranny to officially open its doors for business.

2. Spot Mabel at Nook's Cranny

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Once the shop has officially opened, pay attention to who's currently visiting Nook's Cranny. Keep your eyes peeled for Mabel, who for the unfamiliar is a blue hedgehog wearing a green checked apron. She runs the tailor with her sister Sabel, and it's she that you need to befriend in order to get the tailor up and running on your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

She'll actually arrive that first morning the shop opens properly, so make sure to head over to Nook's Cranny as soon as it opens to trigger the specific cut scene. 

3. Look out for Mabel in the plaza

(Image credit: Nintendo)

After that - and after you've had the Resident Services upgraded to a proper building, complete with the appearance of Animal Crossing: New Horizons Isabelle at last - you will want to look out for Mabel making visits to the island plaza. She'll have a temporary, travelling shop from which you can buy an assortment of clothing, from tops and trousers to socks and shoes. 

4. Buy clothes and other items from her as much as possible

(Image credit: Nintendo)

If you make a point of buying something from her every time she visits, she'll realise that there's demand for her wears on your island. Be persistent, and eventually she'll ask you to find a spot to build the tailors. I'll say that it was only Mabel's second time on the island before this happened for me. 

Find a spot to place the tailor, and then go back and talk to Mabel.

5. Wait, semi-patiently

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Then it's just a case of waiting for the tailor to officially open. Unlike other services on the island though, it takes more than just a single calendar day for construction to complete. In fact it took two full days for the tailors to appear, so prepare to be a little patient for Mabel and Sabel's official arrival. 

However, it's totally worth the wait. The Animal Crossing: New Horizons tailor is new and improved, with the star attraction - aside from bonding with Sabel - being the changing room that lets you try on any or all of the clothing on sale that day, with all the colour varieties accessible too. You can then walk out in a brand new outfit, or have all your purchases shipped to your home for free.

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