Monday, January 5, 2009

At Last

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.


Terry B said...

I love stories like this, Laura! We recently found an excellent cobbler here in Chicago, much the same way. His shop wasn't quite as obscure, but his work was excellent and inexpensive.

Laura said...

Oh that is VERY have a cobbler I mean. Not sure how it works in Chicago, but in NYC my shoes take an awful beating! And I am loathe to throw anything out so I fix and fix until I can fix no more...

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