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One of the most frequent questions I get asked on the site is where I would recommend for getting suits altered - or knitwear repaired, or shoes resoled.

I’ve been meaning to create a single page with all these recommendations for a while, so I can point readers there and don’t have to reply in full every time.

So a selfish motivation, primarily. But I’m also hoping that this Resources page will become a useful reference document - something readers might bookmark and refer to.

Of course, as with most things on this site, this is just a list of my experiences and recommendations. So that does limit it a little, particularly geographically.

As a result, I’m thinking that if three or more readers recommend somewhere else, I will add it to the list, making clear that is why it is listed.

If anyone has any views on a different way to handle this, please do chip in.

Below, then, is a list of the places I have used, liked and can recommend, with a few comments and details on each.

 

Dry cleaning

Although dry cleaning should be done as infrequently as possible on tailoring (perhaps once a year depending on usage) there will be times when it is required, often with particularly tough stains.

The key to a good cleaner is one that will do pieces individually, and can press well - most high-street cleaners fall down on this point, ruining lapels and collars by pressing them flat.

Michael Norman

  • No street-facing space - operates through pick-ups (most areas in and around London)
  • michaeldrycleaning@gmail.com
  • I’ve used Michael for a few years and he has been consistently good, on cleaning and pressing
  • There are a few other good dry cleaners in central London used by Savile Row tailors, but they tend to just clean, with the tailor then doing the pressing.
  • Those include Buckingham Dry Cleaners (Duke St, Mayfair), Mr Steeds (South London, collects) and Celebrity Dry Cleaners (Green’s Court, Soho)

 

Pressing

Suits and jackets often need a press once or twice a season, rather than a full clean. And while most tailors will happily do that for their customers (often for a small fee) this isn’t possible with foreign tailors. So it’s useful to have somewhere that can do it locally.

The Pressers (George Varvara)

  • 59 Brewer Street, top floor, London
  • ThePressers@ThePressers.com
  • George does pressing work for many Savile Row tailors, and I have used him on a number of occasions
  • Only pressing - not cleaning, repairs, loose buttons etc
  • Does not collect, but will receive deliveries of tailoring

 

Invisible Mending

Holes or cuts in tailoring can often be repaired invisibly, reweaving the cloth so nothing shows afterwards. This can be expensive, usually from £80 up to £200 or £300; but if it saves a £4000 suit, it’s worth it.

Tailors use various people, mostly based at home outside London. But there is one good resource in Marylebone - British Invisible Mending.

British Invisible Mending

 

Tailoring alterations

Most alterations should, again, be done by the original tailor, but that’s not always easy with foreign tailors, or possible with ready-to-wear brands.

The ideal here is somewhere that is a tailor themselves, but is happy to do alterations on other tailors’ work.

Graham Browne

  • 12 Well Court, London
  • www.grahambrowne.co.uk, 020 7248 7730
  • I’ve had suits made at Graham Browne (run by Russell Howarth) and had many alterations done over the years.
  • Some high-street dry cleaners have tailors in-house, who can deal with simple changes like shortening trouser legs, taking in trouser waists, and perhaps narrowing a jacket waist. I’ve used Atelier Colpani for such changes.

 

Knitwear repair

Most people should clean their knitwear more than they do - once every few months perhaps - and that helps with pilling and other signs of wear.

However, those that specialise in it can remove all pilling very effectively, as well as darning moth holes, and repairing collars and cuffs.

Love Cashmere

  • Ladylaw Mill, Hawick, Scotland
  • www.lovecashmere.com, 01450 377648
  • Operates by post.
  • I’ve used Love Cashmere a few times and been very impressed - see post here. Knitwear comes back cleaned, de-pilled, repaired and feeling like new - and it’s cheap, usually £20-£50.
  • They can do all forms of repair, and even some alterations, such as slimming bodies. The latter is risky, however, and I sewed my own alteration for them to then fashion properly

 

Leather clothing repair and alterations

I wish I'd known I could get leather jackets altered earlier in my life. Stuck between a medium size on the shoulders and a small on the waist, I would often get the small as I knew a big waist would annoy be more.

In recent years, I've always bought the right fit on the shoulders (as should be done on tailoring) and had the waist taken in.

Cromford Leather

  •  56 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London
  • www.cromfordleather.co.uk, 020 7935 1041
  • Pauline and her team make for some large brands, offer their own line, and do all manner of repairs and alterations. I've had two jackets altered, and one repaired in the collar. I'm now having a made-to-measure jacket made.
  • You can read more about her work and alterations on old pieces here

 

Shoe resoling

It’s usually best, and safest, to give your shoes back to the original maker to be re-soled. However, many of the English makers also use re-soling places in London for this work, and the three I’ve listed here are all used in that way.

They will also do some things you might rather not give to your shoemaker - such as changing the sole for a different style.

Tonys Heel Bar

Kokos Shoes and Repairs

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repairs

 

Shoe polishing and patination

There is a very particular pleasure in polishing your own shoes. But if you’re lazy, bad at it, or want to change the colour with dyes (patination) then a specialist is needed.

They can also often help with things like cleaning or damage, and recommend other places for resoling or repair.

The Jaunty Flaneur

  • c/o Cad and the Dandy, 13 Savile Row, 1st Floor, London
  • www.thejauntyflaneur.com, 07546 324641
  • Tom Beecroft and Parijat Upadhyaya are ‘the Jaunty Flaneur’ based in the Cad and the Dandy space on Savile Row. PJ has patinated shoes a pair of Dovers me and helped clean some white nubuck ‘bucks’, both with great results.
  • They also work on leather goods such as bags and wallets, and can sometimes carve a tighter waist on shoes.

 

Trimmings and equipment

Resources to buy the things you need to look after clothes yourself

 

Please do add your own thoughts, experiences and recommendations.

And by the way, things you should be able to do yourself include polishing shoes, sewing buttons, darning small holes, pressing trouser creases, steaming jackets, and looking after suede.

Some resources on PS that could help there are:

Here's to buying better, lasting longer, and loving more.