I love a good tailor, but for many a month, I was without one. It was a trying time, I was wandering, lost, through a sea of mediocre dry cleaner alternations.
But finally, once my black coat's lining had become truly shredded (and I totally mortified myself by handing it inside out to the coat check woman at a beautiful gala dinner at the University Club a few weeks back), I decided the time had come to rectify the situation.
I was looking for a small proprietor, preferably foreign (I'm sorry, I know this is obnoxious, with vague tones of racism, but in my experience American tailors just aren't that great), who charged reasonable prices (and obviously, did good work). After a bit of research on Yelp, I settled on Ardian's Tailor. He is Albanian and has no employees other than himself. Perfect.
After wandering around aimlessly on the southeast corner of Eighth Avenue and Horatio Street for a good ten minutes searching for 5 Horatio Street, a kindly doorman directed me to the northwest corner and told me to look for the barber shop, then head around the corner. Oh, joy! Not only was it a one man (foreign) shop, but it was also hard to find! I could hardly contain my excitement. I had a good feeling about this guy.
I rounded the corner and found a door marked "Ardian's". But the gate was closed. Boo. I called, he said he was closed but would open the store for me, and to come in through the barber shop. Loving this guy even more.
Now I know that people throw around the term "hole in a wall" a bit loosely, but this place literally is a hole in a wall. It is possibly the tiniest store I've ever seen. And clothes cover virtually every surface. Sort of like a bratty teenager's bedroom.
Anyway, I came, coat (and a cool but ill fitting dress I had picked up at the Yigal Azrouel sample sale a couple of weeks before) in hand. He took my coat, and directed me to put on the dress. After a minute or two of pinning, I handed the dress over to him, said a little prayer, and left him to work some magic.
Things got busy, the holidays happened, I didn't get back to pick my clothes up until Saturday. But the minute I walked in, he knew exactly who I was and what I had come to pick up. He handed me my totally relined coat (loving not getting my arm stuck in the lining anymore) and asked if I wanted to try on the dress. I did, and the fit was great. Maybe one little wrinkle in the back that could be fixed, but was certainly something I could live with.
But Ardian took one look, zeroed in on exactly the wrinkle I had been mulling over, pinned it, and told me to come back on Monday to pick it up. I am looking forward to picking up the most perfect dress ever.
And the best part? The relined coat cost $65 (the cheapest I found anywhere else was $80, and the prices at the higher end went up to $120) and the dress alterations cost $35 (and I should add that the alterations were pretty extensive).
So the moral of the story? I have found my tailor, and I'm sticking with him.