The best tailors in NYC
Where to get snipped, clipped and expertly fitted in every borough.
Mon May 10 2010
Bridge Cleaners & Tailors
Don’t let the grunginess of nearby DeKalb Avenue deter you from patronizing this highly touted tailor. The shop itself is outfitted for a king, complete with marble floors and countertops, silk embroidered curtains in the dressing rooms, gold frames on the walls and two sparkling chandeliers. Pants hemming start at $16, and there’s no material (including leather and fur) the 10-person tailoring staff won’t tackle. 204 Livingston St between Hoyt and Smith Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-625-1438, bridgecleaners.com). Mon--Thu 7:30am--6pm, Fri 7:30am--6:30pm, Sat 7:30am--4pm.
Object Custom Tailor
This onetime Carmine Street staple relocated to Boerum Hill in 2003. The new space channels an old-world feel, with wood floors, a tri-fold wooden mirror, a fit mannequin, an antique barber’s chair and music playing in the background. Though the decor is lovely, clients really flock here for owner Aaron Lett’s bespoke suits ($700--$1,200) and top-notch tailoring (servicing all garments and fabric, except leather, fur and suede). Expect to pay around $15 for a pants hemming or $20 for a zipper replacement, with 24-hour turnaround. 68 Bond St between Schermerhorn and State Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-596-2086). Mon--Fri 11am--8pm, Sat 11am--7pm.
Noble Dry Cleaners
A family-owned business for more than 20 years, this no-frills tailor (once located in the Bronx) boasts regulars from as far away as Staten Island. A pants hemming costs about $12 with same-day turnaround; no materials are off-limits. 284 Court St at Douglass St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-237-0093). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 8am--7pm.
Eminence Cleaners & Tailoring
Owner Anthony Jaramillo operated a full-service dry-cleaning plant for 16 years before opening this small but immaculate shop, which does all of its tailoring on-site. Jaramillo is on a first-name basis with most of his clients, and there’s no material he won’t tailor (including leather, suede and fur). Turnaround is same-day, and prices are reasonable (around $12 for a pants hemming). 389 Henry St at Congress St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-834-6367). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 8am--5pm.
This Lilliputian shop, opened by the late soap-opera producer Edward Burden, stands out from its many Slope competitors thanks to its cleanliness, efficiency and attentive service. Prices are decent (expect to spend $12 to have pants tailored), and the workmanship is unrivaled. 179 Berkeley Pl between Seventh and Eighth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-638-2699). Mon--Fri 7am--8pm, Sat 8am--7pm.
Brother’s Cleaners and Expert Tailoring
Tony Blake learned the tailoring trade in his native Dominican Republic, and his shop feels as if it were plucked straight out of the Caribbean. Merengue jams play in the background, and the front door is propped open on warm days. Blake tailors everything on-site and takes pride in his 16-year-old family operation. “What’s the point of not doing what the customer wants?” he asks. Most pieces can be turned around in a day or two; a pants hemming costs $8. No leather or fur. 76 Havemeyer St between North 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-6744). Mon--Fri 8am--7pm, Sat 10am--3pm.
Ricky Belopolsjy learned the art of tailoring in his native Russia at 14 years old and opened this shop 19 years ago. The space boasts bright yellow walls and blue counters, and Belopolsjy handles every material, except leather and fur. Prices are lower than average ($10 for a pants hemming). 186 Bedford Ave between North 6th and 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-7341). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 8am--5pm.
This Hawaiian-themed space may sell beaded jewelry and faux-hair extensions, but it’s the precise tailoring and dry-cleaning services that have made it so popular with Fordham University students. Seamstress Anne Chi has more than 20 years experience, and prices are double-take cheap ($6 for a pants hemming). Leather and suede are okay. 550 E 187th St between Hoffman and Lorillard Pls, Bronx (718-367-4441). Mon--Sat 8:30am--6pm.
Though primarily a Laundromat, this is still a good drop-off spot for simple alterations. Prices are low ($6--$12 for a pants hemming), service is fast (24-hour guarantee), the staff is bilingual, and the seamstresses can fix almost anything (including some furs). 2429 Arthur Ave at 188th St, Bronx (718-329-3175). Daily 24hrs.
Bang Fun Fashion
Bang Fun is one of those best-kept secrets you always hear about but can never seem to find. Tucked in the back of a Chinese minimall selling phone cards and jade necklaces, the small stand sells plastic beads by the bag, crystal key chains and offers some of Manhattan’s cheapest tailoring services. Despite a minor language barrier, tailors Kenny Fung and his mother, Yoyo, are attentive and amicable. Prices start at $4, and quality of service is superior: It costs just $6 to tailor a $600 evening gown with overnight turnaround. 138 Mott St between Grand and Hester Sts, booth eight (212-528-0182). Daily 11am--7pm.
Chris French Cleaners
Basil Mitrofanis, whose shop is located just south of Union Square, identifies himself as “a tailor who happens to do dry cleaning.” He took over the 50-year-old business from his father and employs four European-trained tailors, including a full-time, in-house tailor that specializes in wedding gowns. Leather and fur are welcome, and prices are competitive ($15 for a pants hemming). Average turnaround is five days. 57 Fourth Ave between E 9th and 10th Sts (212-475-5444, chriscleaners.com). Mon--Fri 7:30am--7pm, Sat 8am--5pm.
East King Cleaners
This eight-year-old hole-in-the-wall would go totally unnoticed if not for its word-of-mouth buzz: Neighborhood residents flock here for the decent turnaround (three days on average) and sharp tailoring at bargain prices ($25 to hem a lined jacket). Owner Steven Wong also mends home items, including curtains ($15--$60) and pillow cases ($15--$25). No fur or leather. 66 E 7th St between First and Second Aves (212-473-2117). Mon--Fri 8am--7:30pm, Sat noon--6pm, Sun noon--5pm.
Meurice Garment Care
Save this small chain for your couture garments—the kind of pieces you store in plastic and handle with white gloves (or should anyway). Meurice has garnered a cult following for its ability to treat investment pieces, offering dry cleaning, tailoring and restyling. Naturally, prices are higher than average ($20 for a pants hemming, $45--$50 to alter a dress). 31 University Pl between 8th and 9th Sts (212-475-2778, garmentcare.com). Mon--Fri 7:30am--6pm, Sat 9am--6pm, Sun 10am--3pm.
Part of the Legacy Garment Care chain, Aphrodite’s tailoring is acclaimed by neighborhood residents and upscale boutiques alike. House tailor Antonio Batista learned to tailor in his native Dominican Republic and is always dressed to the nines. The shop, which does double duty as a dry cleaner, can handle anything (including leather, suede, fur and home items). Prices and turnaround are standard ($14 for a pants hemming, completed in two days). 169 Lenox Ave between W 118th and 119th Sts (212-864-1459). Mon--Fri 7:30am--7:30pm, Sat 8am--6pm.
King West Cleaners
This 15-year-old shop offers precise tailoring at outer-borough prices ($8 pants alterations). The space is zero-frills but accepts most garments (including leather, suede and some fur) and offers same-day service. 3200 Broadway at 125th St (212-665-2650). Mon--Fri 7:30am--7pm, Sat 8:30am--7pm.
Lower East Side
Rene Tailor Shop & Alteration
Owner Rene Mendaz learned the tailoring trade in the Dominican Republic and, along with a team of four tailors, has offered his services to LES residents for the past 11 years. The shop will alter any fabric, except fur, at remarkably low prices ($5 for a simple pants hemming). The tailors also do custom suiting, starting at $300. 164 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-358-0899). Mon--Sat 9am--7:30pm, Sun 9am--6pm.
Stanton Tailor Shop
At Pablo Vargas’s shop, a team of tailors work feverishly behind the front desk, which is shielded by racks of newly tailored garments. Most fabrics are serviced (sorry, no fur) on a quick-ish turnaround (two or three days), but the main draw is the pricing: around $10 for a pants hemming. The only drawback, given Stanton’s popularity: the long lines. 90--96 Stanton St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-353-9753). Mon--Sat 10am--7pm.
Brothers and third-generation furriers Steve and Larry took over their father’s business a quarter century ago; now they’re experts in their field, specializing in fur alteration, repairs and storage. Prices are fair: A minor tear can be fixed for around $25; cleaning runs around $50. They also stress fur’s recyclable nature and can suggest creative ways to alter your current pieces (a floor-length fur coat can be transformed into a jacket, with excess material used for a hood or hat). The shop also sells new and used furs, including coats, hats, shawls and blankets. 151 W 29th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-594-5744, cowitfurs.com). Mon--Fri 8am--4:30pm, Sat 10am--3pm.
During Fashion Week, Mary Salvemini and Jean Ipeziyan’s 15-year-old tailoring shop bustles with last-minute alteration requests from runway designers. Located in the center of the Garment District, the sisters offer fast, precise and affordable tailoring (a pants hemming costs $13). The space itself channels a seamstress shop of yesteryear, with three stand-up mannequins greeting visitors, a floral 1970s YSL gown on display, magazine tear-sheets decorating the walls and thank-you letters from Vogue Paris’ editors. If you’re feeling frisky, ask the sisters to whip up some handmade lingerie or bustiers ($200 and up). Leather, suede and fur are welcome. 307 W 36th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-564-2827). Mon--Fri 8am--7pm, Sat 10am--5pm.
New York Tailor Shop
Owners Jesus and Juan Rivis have served Nolita locals for more than a dozen years, offering quick service (two to three days) and low-cost alterations. A vintage denim patching starts at $8; a ripped leather jacket can be fixed for about $15. 60 Kenmare St between Mott and Mulberry Sts (212-343-8790). Mon--Sat 9am--8pm, Sun 10am--6pm.
JEM Fabric Warehouse
In the back of this two-story, 10,000-square-foot fabric shop toils the very capable Frankie Jeffrey, who works on clothing, accessories, upholstery, drapery and pillows, and can also custom-make and replicate whatever you fancy. Prices are average (a pants hemming costs $10), and half of the fun is the all-in-one shopping-and-tailoring experience: Select fabrics and trimmings, and then have your creation made on the spot. 355 Broadway between Franklin and Leonard Sts (212-925-4488). Mon--Sat 10am--7pm, Sun 11am--7pm.
Upper East Side
For the past 30 years, this tiny shop has served as home base for one of New York’s most talented tailors: Bilal Egilmezi. Originally from Turkey, the always-dapper Bilal spent years training under numerous Turkish tailors, and his shop looks as if it were plucked off a street in an Aegean coastal town. Whitewashed walls, Mediterranean-blue curtains, stone floors and scattered oriental carpets are punctuated with a Mies van der Rohe chair and a 1923 antique Singer sewing machine. Within this idyllic space, Bilal creates exquisite custom clothing and can alter any garment, including leather, suede, fur and accessories. Prices are competitive (starting at $15 for a pants hemming), and turnaround time is quick (averaging three days). 347 E 65th St between First and Second Aves (212-628-0086). Mon--Sat 9am--6pm.
Located above Gino’s restaurant, this 30-year-old tailoring shop is almost always packed—no doubt a sign of solid service. Despite high demand, the staff works furiously to minimize wait time and interact with many customers on a first-name basis. Owner Julio Garay offers affordable prices on all services (zipper replacements start at $15, and it costs about $35 to have a pair of pants fully reworked). Turnaround generally takes three days to one week. 780 Lexington Ave between 60th and 61st Sts, second floor (212-832-3844). Mon--Fri 8:30am--7pm, Sat 8:30am--4pm.
Upper West Side
This dry cleaner and tailor offers applauseworthy service, with staff frequently working overtime to serve the shop’s many clients. Whitewashed brick walls are shaded by racks of recently tailored or cleaned garments revolving overhead. The shop stands shoulders above its neighborhood peers, thanks to its pristine and professional work, same-day service, fair pricing ($14 for a pants hemming, $25 and up for a jacket alteration) and ability to tackle tough fabrics like leather and suede. 251 W 95th St between Broadway and West End Ave (212-663-5868). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 8am--6:30pm.
Christopher Street Cleaners
Resident tailor Claude Haynes has been sprinkling his TLC on Villagers’ garments for the past 16 years. He’ll tailor any fabric (including leather and fur) in two to three days, and charges approximately $12 for a pants hemming and around $60 to replace a coat lining. 120 Christopher St between Bedford and Bleecker Sts (212-242-8843). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 7:30am--6:30pm.
Hong Kong Tailor Jack
Tailor Jack Ko perfected his skills in Hong Kong before relocating to New York and opening this shop in 1984; these days, he’s especially praised for his Saville Row--style custom garments. The front of the space, which has walls lined with Scabal and Holland & Sherry fabrics, is used for fittings and consultations; the tailoring takes place in the back. Prices are a bit higher than average ($18 to alter trousers), but Ko’s meticulous hand is ideal for delicate evening gowns and wedding dresses. 136 Waverly Pl between Sixth Ave and Gay St (212-675-0818, hktailorjack.com). Mon--Sat 10am--6:30pm.
Astoria/Long Island City
Cyprus native Pat Pelengaris’s 25-year-old corner shop is an ode to her love of fashion and design. A carefully arranged window display features a vintage wedding dress, old Vogue and Butterick dress patterns, an antique sewing machine and steel irons, as well as gold-framed black-and-white wedding portraits (gifts from satisfied customers). Clients are greeted on a first-name basis, quality is optimum, and prices are fair ($10 for a pants hemming). 28-01 23rd Ave between 28th and 29th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-728-5272). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 8am--5pm.
This four-year-old place is nowhere near as luxe as its name implies, but service is dependable and turnaround average (three to four days). Owner Paul Kim offers dry cleaning and tailoring: A pants hemming runs $10--$15, a zipper replacement $12 and a full lining replacement $50. 30-05 30th Ave between 30th and 31st Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-932-3125). Mon--Fri 7:15am--7:15pm, Sat 8:15am--6:15pm.
French Cleaning by Carol
This 30-year-old business, located in the suburban Crossings strip mall, may look outmoded (hello, faux-bois countertops and geometric paneling), but service is fresh, fast (same-day) and affordable ($10 for a pants hemming). The space also offers same-day, on-site dry cleaning. 280 Marsh Ave at Platinum Ave, Staten Island (718-494-0208). Mon--Fri 7am--7pm, Sat 7:30am--6pm.
Salerno French Cleaners
Moshe Kesselman’s shop has been a New Dorp staple for 21 years. Resident seamstress Joanne has more than 40 years of tailoring experience and specializes in fancy dresses, including Holy Communion and wedding gowns. Expect to pay $12 for a same-day pants hemming. 312 New Dorp Lane at Clawson St, Staten Island (718-979-5632). Mon--Sat 8am--6pm.