Sunday, August 9, 2009

$5 nip and tuck: Express Tailor Service, Lower East Side, NYC



That's what they charged me to take the waistline of my jeans in - and in about 10 mins flat. Nicely taken apart, cut, and re-sewn like new. Most other stores a few blocks west in Chelsea charge $15.

$15 was the quote for tapering the delightfully garish florid Debra Rodman shift I got from my favorite consignment store, New and Almost New. But the job was done properly - armhole binding opened and restitched, not simply run up both sides like I would have done if my sewing machine was her instead of downunder.

While I waited a woman brought in some green pants to be shortened and the hems were cut and sewn before she had a chance to sit down.

"$5," said the cashier.

"$4?" she ventured.

"OK, $4."

"You bargain here?" I asked her, incredulously.

"I do," she said. Pensioners (or pensioner-apparents) can get away with anything!

At $5 there can't have been a lot of profit in it. I just hope the workers are treated well.

What's interesting is the two rows of hombres beavering away at the machines - "not a mujer in sight" I said in my best Espagnol. Turns out they're largely from Puerto Rico and Mexico.

There's a plaque on the wall that says "Best Quickie Tailor" awarded by New York Magazine.

I actually dropped the dress off at 8pm - they were still open although the sign says the close at 7pm.

"You're the classiest customer who's come in this store," said the cashier in Spanglish. Classy? I noted the smart gent who came in to collect his Armani suit, seemed unhappy with the job, and showed it.

"I mean friendly", said the cashier. I'm glad they didn't mind me practising my Spanish on them. Love that language ...

Express Tailor Service
92 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
(between Orchard and Ludlow)
Phone 212 674 7341
Open 7 days 9am to 7pm but they were still open when I swung by at 8pm and took my order.

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