The Repair Month Google Doc Is Here!
Crowdsourced recommendations for the best tailors, cobblers, menders, etc.
It’s finally here: The Repair Month Google Doc!
When I put out a call at the beginning of January for recommendations, the response was overwhelming. (In a good way.) I’ve since gotten about 200 replies on Substack — and replies to those replies — plus emails and DMs.
As promised, I’ve compiled everything in a Google Doc, here. To be clear: It is by no means comprehensive. There are so many wonderful tailors, cobblers, menders, etc., out there, and I’m sure we’ve missed a gazillion of them. I hope to do this again next year and expand beyond NY/LA. I’m also sure that I missed some of your recs, or wrote them down incorrectly. Send me a note and I will fix.
Because there’s so much information to sort through, I asked 15 ELITE FASHION EXPERTS to tell me their favorite repair spots. I’ve highlighted them in this newsletter and at the top of the Doc. I cannot emphasize enough how juicy this information is. One person told me she learned about a tailor through “an ex-boyfriend’s grandmother’s best friend who had a big career in advertising.” Gold!
In addition to the names of trusted tailors, I’ve learned so much this month. I learned that I cannot get the shoulders of my vintage cashmere Armani blazer taken in, but I can save my stained Geoffrey Beene vest. I learned that the dry cleaning industry took a hit when smoking was banned indoors. And I learned that I don’t wear shoes as often as I think I do. Plus, I found pants heaven.
Overall, the exercise was a helpful reset for me. I was also reminded that one of the first stories I ever reported was about what happens to clothes that get left behind at dry cleaners. I was still in college when the Cut accepted my pitch, and I trudged out in the snow over winter break to get some answers. It was a challenge, and I loved it. I did basically the same thing this month; a nice full-circle moment.
Anyway, thanks for joining me on this journey. I’ll let you get to the good stuff!!!
, author of 5 Things You Should Buy
Favorite Tailor: Mak's Hong Kong Custom Tailor (Upper East Side)
“They've never failed me. I take everything there. I send clients there and am now even having them make me a very specific pair of pinstripe cigarette pants.”
Favorite Stain Remover: Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover, $11
“This was a savior during my son's first couple of years... Food, spit up, etc... It just works!
Lauren Sherman, author of Line Sheet
Favorite Tailor: The grandma at Griffith Park Cleaners & Alterations (LA)
“I have to get pretty much everything altered these days and she does a good, clean job on simple things. I also always see stuff hanging that belongs to local Los Angeles designers and stylists, which reassures me, similar to when you see the Anna Wintour bag at that dry cleaners on King Street.”
Favorite Cobbler: George at George's Shoe Comfort & Repair (LA)
“It's not easy to find good people for repairs in Los Angeles. I'm lucky that George is in my neighborhood. He reminds me of Michael in Carroll Gardens, but a little less mean.”
Thom Bettridge, Head of Creative and Content at SSENSE
Best Denim Repair: Self Edge (Lower East Side)
“The most tried and true clothing repair experience in my life has always been the darning service at Self Edge on Orchard Street. I find the ambiance of the rockabilly jean temple to be slightly unbearable but their ability to surgically reconstruct all manner of crotch rips in denim is wild. They also charge you by assessing how badly you blew open your jeans, an experience I find delectably humbling.”
Ian Bradley, fashion editor and stylist
“Love the LES for tailors. My favorite is Stanton Tailors for suiting and jeans. Also my go-to is New Express on Rivington, more for simple things like hemming and they can do same-day.”
Rachel Tashjian, fashion writer at The Washington Post
Favorite Mender: French American Reweaving Co (Midtown)
“He's the only guy who can do what he does. He's an ARTIST.”
“Michael’s does very high-quality work, especially in resoling slippers. And Stanley's in the Financial District resoled two pairs of Chanel boots for me.”
Favorite Delicates Wash: Diva Glamorous Wash, $20
“For delicates, I use this totally ridiculous product called GLAMOROUS WASH in DIVA. There's also COWBOY, ENTITLED, HIGH MAINTENANCE...”
Jonah Weiner, author of
Favorite Tailor: Advanced European Tailoring (Berkeley, CA)
“My go-to tailor is a cult East Bay legend named Zoltan, whose spot is called Advanced European Tailoring, in Berkeley. He's been tailoring for 28 years, before which he was a commercial pilot (?), which suggests the kind of steely-nerved precision you want out of a man you're asking to carve up your pants. (Also I haven't seen it but apparently, there's a Pixar movie where he inspired a character because some Pixar people brought their clothes to him and he's the man.) He is a kind, serious, soft-spoken dude. He once recommended a cool Yohji Yamamoto YouTube interview to me. He wears a beautiful, simple, wool Filson vest all the time. And the work is top-notch.”
Lynette Nylander, writer, editor, and creative consultant
“My favorite tailor is Thao. She’s a tailor for photoshoots but also does some work on her own. She is what I would call a ‘creative tailor’ and a creative genius, to be honest. I’m not sample size, and she manages to find the most extraordinary ways of reimagining pieces and making things work, especially if they are vintage or seemingly impossible to change. She always finds a way. I’ve begged her to open an actual shop because she really is a designer at her core, but no luck yet. A very close second is the iconic Lars Nord — tailor to the stars, but someone you can trust with a piece close to your heart. He’s the nicest guy alive and a true NY legend. If I just have something that needs hemming, I go to this place on Rivington called Alpha Tailor Shop, which is affordable and great.”
Angela Koh, market editor at T magazine
Favorite Tailor: Carol Ai (NYC)
“She’s an immaculate tailor but she also has a very calming energy.”
Favorite Dry Cleaner: Madame Paulette (Garment District)
“Madame Paulette is the only one we trust to clean designer samples when they come back from a shoot and I also used them to preserve my wedding dress.”
Jordan Potter, one of my favorite publicists
Favorite Tailor: Alba Dry Cleaners (FiDi)
“Owned and run by Lumi, one of New York City’s finest and kindest people, Alba Dry Cleaners is a monthly to-go for me; from Thom Browne suits to vintage army fatigues everything always comes out just right.”
Favorite Cobbler: North 11th Shoe Repair (Williamsburg)
Favorite Laundry Service: WashClub (NYC)
“Have used them for 8+ years. Never fails, and I’ve never had any issues!”
Gia Kuan, another one of my favorite publicists
Favorite Tailor: Ramon Tailor Shop (Lower East Side)
“I've been to Ramon on Forsyth a few times for pants, and I love. My friend, Ariella Starkman recommended them to me and it's a family business, so he just knows what’s up when it comes to pants.”
NOTE:also vouches for Ramon!
, author of Consider Yourself Cultured
Favorite Tailor: Tailored by Ornela (Upper East Side)
“I found out about her through, and she's now my go-to tailor. I appreciate her speed and affordability. Regrettably, I waited until the last minute to purchase a dress for a wedding, and when I finally found the perfect one (a Richard Quinn runway sample with a feathered bustier situation), it was too small. In a week, she transformed the bustier into a corset, and the repair cost about the same as the dress.”
Favorite Cobbler: Byron Valarezo of Cowboy Shoe Repair (Soho)
“I used to live in the NYU dorm next to his shop, which is how I discovered him. He's quick, affordable, and skilled in anything shoe/leather-related. He even dyed a pair of suede moccasins for me!”
Hilary Reid, senior editor at The Strategist
Favorite Repair Shop: David’s Watch and Shoe Repair (West Village):
“I worked across the street from here for a while and first went in when the heel of a pair of vintage flats fell off in the rain. He hammered it back together on the spot and only charged like $5. Since then, I’ve brought in boots, a handbag with a broken clasp, plenty of different pairs of shoes, and my watch to be repaired with a new battery and bands. The prices are surprisingly reasonable and David, the owner, is a very sweet and quiet man. The catches are that it’s cash or Venmo only, and the hours are a little tricky. But they do such a good job for a good price that it’s worth planning your day around their schedule.”
Sarah Leon, co-author of
Favorite Cobbler: Rago Brothers in Morristown, NJ
“Worth the trip for really special bag and shoe repairs. It’s where a lot of the luxury brands send their stuff.”
, author of Earl Earl
Favorite Watch Repair: Montana Clock Shop (Santa Monica, CA)
Charlotte von Hardenburgh, my chic subway friend!
Favorite Tailor: The Tailor Fit Studio (Long Island, NY)
“Rainy and her sister Ellen are meticulous in their attention to detail, quick in their turn-around time, and so incredibly sweet. This summer, I relied on them to tailor my gown for my sister's wedding and they did such a spectacular job. Email Rainy: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Favorite Cobbler: V Zeev Express Shoe Repair (Prospect Lefferts Gardens)
“Vlad is unreal. The first time I met him, I brought in some vintage Manolos that needed new heel tips. He took one look and said, ‘Give me $5 and ten minutes.’ I've been in love ever since.”
And Yours Truly
Favorite Cobbler: Bob’s Shoe and Leather Service (Park Slope)
Not cheap but Bob doesn’t miss. I’ve only lived in the neighborhood for two years, and I’ve already taken about a dozen pairs to him to be re-soled, including those damn shoes from the Row.
Favorite Tailor: Allen Tailoring (Lower East Side)
Designer Daniella Kallmeyer directed me to Allen Tailoring when I needed to have a faux leather pencil skirt taken in, and I trusted her fully. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had, and I’ve been to a lot of tailors. They were fast, cheap, and friendly. They even gave me a free pen! When I picked up my skirt, the tailor, whose name I believe is Eduardo, told me the job was not easy. But the result was flawless. Another customer picking up a bunch of stuff said that he brought Jay Z’s suits there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Favorite Jewelry Repair: Spur (NYC)
Spur is more “renovation” than repair, meaning they can take pieces you never wear for whatever reason and work with you to create something new and one-of-a-kind. A brilliant idea!
PLUS! A TIP FROM CHANEL BONIN, THE WOMAN I INTERVIEWED WITH THE @CHANEL INSTAGRAM HANDLE WHO WORKS IN COSTUMES/FILM:
“A 50/50 mix of vodka (the cheapest stuff) and water sprayed on clothes removes the sweat smell, and often mustier scents from vintage clothes. Doesn’t work on shoes, but great for stuff like jackets! Won’t leave a stain and the alcohol dissolves as it dries so it doesn’t leave any alcohol smell, either.”
…AND A WILD TIP FROM, founder and CEO of Drink Ghia
“If you also sometimes get your period in your favorite pants, I got this tip from my grandmother and it’s never failed me. If you bleed on a garment, bite the tip of your tongue to create extra saliva, spit/drool on the stain as needed. Rub for 30 seconds to get the whole stain, then wash off with soap. The enzymes in YOUR saliva can break down the stain of YOUR blood.”
OKAY HERE’S A LINK TO THE FULL GOOGLE DOC! HAPPY REPAIRING!
To reiterate: This is just a start. I’d like to keep adding to the list and expand it beyond NY/LA. Stay tuned! In the meantime, keep the thread going. There are so many great recs in there.
NOTE: There are THREE TABS! Ones for tailors, cobblers, and everything else.
FINAL PLEA: I am not putting this post behind a paywall because I want everyone to have access to it, but compiling this list and the Google doc took me for-freakin-ever, so if you’d like to upgrade to a paid subscription, now is the time :) Thank you! I love you!
NEXT TIME: Everything I consumed in January, the longest month, ever?