Friday, November 14, 2008

The Death of a Tailor

I was hoping to end my week of my favorite services in New York with a recommendation for a tailor, as I've come to believe that tailoring your clothes is crucial to making them look their best.  I think this view was inspired by something Michael Kors said on Project Runway about great fit?

Anyway, after hearing Michael Kors' bit of wisdom, I emailed a Saville Row tailor who had a blog and asked for recommendation for a professional in New York.  He wrote back telling me that Sal, who had a shop on 61st and Lex, would take care of me.  And boy did he.  Actually, a guy named Danny who worked in the shop did, but he was just wonderful.  I took virtually every pair of pants there (with the exception of those from an especially good Yigal Azrouel sample sale, which fit me absolutely perfectly with no alterations), and every fitted skirt.  You see, my waist to hip ratio is smaller than average (translation:  my butt is big) so I almost always need to have the waist taken in on new butt-covering items. 

I also took in what was a fairly average looking suit that I'd picked up on clearance at Loehman's and he completely reworked it.  He nipped the waist in on the jacket, shortened the sleeves, the skirt, reset the sleeves...god knows what else.  Now it fits me perfectly, the way a much higher end suit would.  All I know is that the whole thing only cost me $100 and now I have random receptionists complimenting me on the suit totally unprompted.

Then one day last year, after having not been in for some time, I brought the shop a few pieces that I had had made for me in Hong Kong that I was unhappy with.  Where was Danny?  I have no idea, but he had been replaced by some twenty year old kid wearing True Religion jeans a little too low on his waist.  I was wary initially.  I like my tailors old and wearing slacks, not ill-fitting expensive jeans.   

Now, the Hong Kong clothes really were terrible, so perhaps it is unfair of me to get annoyed that the guy couldn't get them to look good.  But, I think that when I take a pair of pants in to get fixed I should be able to sit down in them once they've been altered.  I wore them to work one day without testing them out in a seated position, and let me tell you, I was SORRY.  Picture it, an entire day of me attempting to sit in a chair without bending at the waist in an effort to preserve the integrity of some very sensitive areas.  Not fun.

A year and a few months has passed since this traumatic incident, so I think I'm ready to give the kid another try.  I suspect he may be related to the owner, so maybe he's been schooled a bit by now.  I'm taking my horrible Hong Kong clothes back, and actually a coat of mine needs re-lining as well.  I will report back on the results.

In the meantime, I will give you what I consider to be a good service recommendation, so as to fulfill my one-a-day-for-this-week commitment.  Sorry gentlemen, this one doesn't apply to you.

After years of wandering, I have finally settled on an eyebrow place that I'm happy with.  For some reason, perhaps because I have a tiny bald spot on my right eyebrow, eyebrow groomers can never get my arches even.  My left one is always higher than the right.  But then I read in some magazine for aestheticians that this is a common mistake, so maybe my bald spot is not to blame.  

Anyway, I had found a woman at Shobha who didn't seem to fall into this trap, so I was going there for a while, and then bizarrely, out of nowhere she started doing it, and I had uneven eyebrows again.  Dismayed, I (skeptically) gave Marissa's recommendation of the Anastasia Brow Studio in the Times Square Sephora a try.  This was hard for me.  I hate Times Square, and frankly am not the biggest Sephora fan either.

But...success!  It's sort of weird that they use a variety of stencils provided by Anastasia herself, literally laying it on your face and waxing anything that lies outside of the shape, but the outcome is consistently great.  I love that they leave my brows thick, I'm very into that Sophia Loren look with the strong, dark brows.  

Speaking of which, how funny is this picture of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield?  

Sophia's like, Mio Dio, you have got to be kidding me with these ridiculous American breasts.  And Jayne's like, No!  I'm actually not!  Aren't they humongous!  Sophia:  They will be down at your knees in twenty years.  Jayne:  Who cares!  Won't be an issue!  Would you like to see my nipples?  Either way, you will before the night's over!   

At $32 I'm not sure Anastasia qualifies completely as "good service for good value", I mean it only takes like seven minutes...$4.57 a minutes seems a little steep.  But the service is very good, and they're not completely taking the piss like these places that charge $50, even $100 for the same service.  So if you can brave Times Square, give it a try.  If you can't, head over to the location on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street. 

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