The Valet: Becoming a one-stop shop for clothing care

Monday, March 18th 2024
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The Valet has become an all-round care and repair location in the past couple of years, which is great for our general push to encourage readers to look after their clothes better. Having started with pressing, then adding dry cleaning and shoe care, they now also do alterations and knitwear. 

Interviewing them (George and Tom, below) about this expansion was something I wanted to do during Dry January, for that reason. But like many ideas, it didn’t quite happen in time. Nice to add it now. 

The Valet has been in its current location in the Piccadilly Arcade for 18 months. Before that, it had a space on Savile Row for almost two years and before that, George had a pressing-only business on Brewer Street. 

That was where I first profiled him, back in 2018. At the time, it was clear George wanted to expand the business beyond just pressing, despite having a solid business among Savile Row tailors. 

The more junior members of Row staff were constantly walking up and down those flights of stairs, delivering and collecting their pressed garments, but George wanted to go into retail as well - to offer this level of suit care to the likes of you and me. 

The first stage of that was adding dry cleaning, because the biggest problem with dry cleaners is not the way they clean tailoring, but the way they press it. 

Dry cleaners tend to press everything flat, crushing the three-dimensional shape of a bespoke shoulder and chest. Plus they have a real issue understanding the difference between a three-button and a three-roll-two. You’d think it would be easy to feel where the break line in the lapel was, but apparently not. 

So George joined forces with a dry cleaner, and that was what emerged on Savile Row as The Valet. Shortly after, Tom Beecroft wandered in and began talking to George about the shoecare business he’d built up across the road, and they found they had customers in common. So Tom joined, expanding the offering.

Savile Row was always a temporary space however, and eventually the team found a permanent location in the Piccadilly Arcade. All the pressing went upstairs, appointments were downstairs, and the ground floor was an effective retail space, for those coming to drop off or pick up. It also allowed them to add some end products like shoe polish, books, socks and hangers. 

A year and a half later, they’ve now added knitwear care as well - knits can be dry cleaned but also repaired, with darning being handed over to a third party. The same happens with specialist cleaning, mostly of fur and leather. 

This outsourcing is how the shoe repair has always mostly worked as well, but that’s never bothered me - I liked the relationship I had with Tom, and as the Valet offering has widened, this approach also makes everything more efficient. I can drop in shoes for a new sole, a suit for a sponge and press, and a shirt for alterations all at the same time. 

The latter service, the alterations, is one area I’ve had problems. Early on I asked the guys to let out a pair of trousers that had become too tight for me - in the waist but also in the seat and thighs. This was done a couple of times, but each time the fit wasn’t right, becoming loose or tight in a different area. 

They’ve learned from this, however. They now call in the tailor when an alteration is even remotely complicated, rather than doing it themselves. So if it’s a case of shortening a shirt sleeve or hemming a pair of trousers, they can take that themselves; but if it’s anything more complicated it’s best to make an appointment so the tailor can be there. 

“The nice thing about this is we’ve been able to do some really complicated alterations,” says George. “We had someone recently who wanted to alter his father’s Prince Charlie jacket [the formal Scottish jacket worn with a kilt] so it would fit him. It was huge, so the change wasn’t easy, but it meant a lot to him.”

I've also, more recently, had them slim down a work shirt, which was complicated because the side seams had two lines of stitching. This was very well done, and the thread matched perfectly.

A few other services are worth noting:

  • Remote services. Pressing, cleaning and indeed everything else can be done remotely, just sent into the shop. The only issue is that a pressed suit really has to come back in a suit-hanger box, which costs £30. 
  • International services. Currently not available, but the guys are looking to work with partners in other countries to potentially batch up work and so make it more efficient. Also looking at doing in other parts of the UK. 
  • Trunk shows and cloth. The downstairs space is regularly used by visiting artisans for appointments, with no fee. If you know someone who would be interested, get in touch. Some bunches are always there, and there are old bolts of cloth to browse too. 
  • Leather repairs and alterations. Not something they would take on as they don’t have the expertise to assess in-house. Best to go and see Cromford on Chiltern Street. 

“We had a customer come in recently asking us to shorten the sleeve of a leather jacket from the shoulder,” says George. “I think it’s important to make clear when we can’t do things, and that’s what we did there. You don’t want to overpromise. The important thing for us and the customers is the long-term relationship.”

It feels like that’s what George and Tom are building here. Existing customers are bringing in a greater range of clothes, and new customers are discovering them (the Arcade has much better footfall than the Row). It’s a great resource to have in London. 

Shoe care and garment cleaning prices at The Valet are listed on those respective pages. Other prices are on request. 

There is a Permanent Style page that is kept fairly up to date with all care and repair options in London here

We’ve never done a similar page for New York, but would like to. If anyone has any similar services to recommend in New York, please do let us know. 

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I have been using them for shirt laundering and other services (sponge and press, knitwear) for over a year, and the results have always been consistently good, and great guys to interact with.


Thank you for this article, I’ll give these guys a go next time I need one of these services. If they read this I’d be interested to know if they de-bobble cashmere sweaters as well as dry cleaning them.

Tom at The Valet

Hi Alex, yes we do de-bobble; in fact we do that as part of the dry cleaning service if requested.


Is the brown loafer in the first picture George Cleverly?


Do you have any experience of their shoe care – didn’t that department used to be called the Jaunty Flaneur? I need to get a pair of Foster & Son shoes resoled and they have now sadly disappeared from Jermyn Street. It needs to be a closed channel resole and is not cheap at £195.


Canons has taken over the Fosters bespoke business.

Lindsay McKee

Very interesting indeed, Winston.
I just had a look at their webpage and I can see that the name has indeed changed.
I hope that they retain the values that Fosters / Maxwells we’re famous for.

Ian Skelly

Looks a good service , does anyone have any experience or services offering repairs to Tod’s driving shoes ? I have emailed Tods but not had a response ( its the usual worn heel issue)


Hi Ian, if you’re talking about resoling their model with a sole made of rubber nubs, I don’t know that you’re going to have much luck. They don’t really design that style to be repaired, which is unfortunate at best. Some folks will cut off all the nubs and glue on a thin rubber outsole, but most will sadly just chuck ’em in the bin. Hopefully some others here with more experience with come forward and offer a better solution.


I love the name ‘The Jaunty Flaneur’. It is much better than ‘The Valet’.
Have they considered re-branding ?
Also, how does their knitwear service compare to ‘I Love Cashmere’ ?


Flaneur is a great word. There happens to be a British magazine called The Idler. It all connects.


I have used Madame Paulette in the past in NYC. They are quite pricey, but they do dry cleaning, they offer hand pressing, and garment repair.


I don’t recall the pressing on the suits, I get my suits cleaned so infrequently. The hand pressing on the shirts was well done, unfused collars always came back correctly pressed, etc. They also always did a nice job of fixing bad seams and loose buttons.


I was a fool years ago to take a seersucker shirt to a dry cleaner.
Of course they smashed flat the nice “crumple”.


For invisible repairs to tailoring would you recommend these guys, the specific invisible repair people you mention on your clothing repair resource page or going back to the original tailor (Whitcomb & Shaftesbury in this case)? I’m thinking about quality and cost considerations. Thanks.


I, for one, would be elated to find a sponge and press operation in New York that’s been vetted by other Permanent Style readers.


This is a fantastic article! Most places, mine included, don’t have this kind of service and it is so needed. I found an excellent alterations tailor who does a fantastic job on normal alterations, but also will press properly any suit, jacket etc without crushing the garment or damaging the jacket roll. It’s not a complete solution like the Valet, but does solve an important part of the need for quality garment care.


Of course. Zoe’s Alterations in Memphis, TN. I recently received another recommendation from a very reliable source for PK’s Alterations. He also works on leather garments and I plan to have him alter one for me. If any readers are interested, I can report on the results.

Lindsay McKee

Nice article on the Valet. I did call in with them and they were nice guys.
What would you use the Valet moss for Simon?
Can I confidently go there for a sponge and press, a dry clean or shoe repair or get my good shirts laundered and expect good results?
I may well be using them one day.

Lindsay McKee

Many thanks


Is there a pressing service for bespoke suits you’d recommend in Paris?


Also keen to know a place that does pressing service in Paris. Put a jacket in a dry cleaner and they smashed it flat

joe cook

Great service, friendly and accommodating. Have had several pairs of shoes done and, recently, a pair of leather gloves repaired. 👌🏻


Not in New York but I’ve heard Rave Fabricare ( in Arizona is good and they accept garments by mail. They have a whole section on their site that addresses tailoring.

Jim Bainbridge

When I took them my suit last year, they helped me decide if it needed a full clean or just a sponge and press, and when I came to get it I could hear them making approving comments about it. They did a wonderful job of the pressing of course and the price is very reasonable for what you’re getting, but it was just a great experience. I will definitely use them again.


Hi Simon, on a (somewhat) related topic, is there a way to remove — or at least lessen — the shine on a wool suit caused by an over-zealous dry cleaner?


Tom is my go-to shoe care expert. His excellent patination work is worth a particular mention. The attached photo is a dark blue patination on a pair of Cleverly monk he did for me years ago. The rich understated colouring is just exquisite. Quick turnaround time is another plus for those who travel in and out of London a lot. I wonder with business expanding, whether the same turnaround time can be maintained.


Just collected my Crockett and Jones today after a simple polish. Very happy with the speed and quality of Tom’s work