23 December 2009

My Tailor

I went to the tailor today, to pick up some dry cleaning. They were kind enough to allow me to ask a few questions and snap a few shots shots of the shop (Mr. Lee was a bit leery of having his photo on the Internet...understandable). So, without further ado, a quick profile of the tailor I am lucky to have as mine:
The shop is called "Chris Fine Tailoring", but for the past 15 years it has been owned and operated by the kindly Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Originally from South Korea, the Lee's purchased this shop shortly after arriving in America. Prior to that, Mr. Lee had more than 40 years experience making custom suits and menswear in Korea. You've all seen his work here on the blog...I always knew he was good. Quick, reasonably priced, and perfectly finished, the work done here is the real thing.
The shop is tiny, and always hot from the steam of the pressing machines. Both walls of this narrow space are lined with clothes...the left in progress and the right finished goods. Note the Styrofoam drop ceiling, old tile floor, and old steam pressing machinery. Now that's what a tailor shop ought to look like, if you ask me.

The counter top is strewn with the detritus of the trade...chalk, safety pins, curved rulers, an iron, scissors...you name it. Perfect!

The dressing room is a little wood panelled booth with a curtain across the front, right in the middle of the shop. Again, perfect!
The window is adorned charmingly with a a pair of dusty mannequins in out-moded dress.
If you live in the general area of Boston, this is where you need to bring your alterations. The work done here has been perfect every time. I have never once had to ask for something to be re-done. And this guy has shortened jackets, tapered pants, and repaired metal zippers for me. He's an old master, the practitioner of a dying art.

Mrs. Lee does most of the talking. She writes your slip on a carbon copy pad, you take the pink copy. But you don't need to keep it, because she remembers you and what you came to pick up every time. That kind of customer service is also a dying art.

So, in a few days when Christmas is in the rear view mirror, take that item of clothing that fits wrong to the Lee's. If you find a suit made of beautiful wool at the thrift, but it needs some work, take it to the Lee's. Hell, if you just need a sweater dry-cleaned, take it to the Lee's. They really know their trade.

Chris Fine Tailoring
1169 Broadway
Somerville, MA, 02144


Oxonian said...

"Mr. Lee was a bit leery of having his photo on the Internet...understandable".

Why "understandable"?

Sophie said...

Good tailors are hard to find and worth their weight in gold.

Merry Christmas G, Mrs G, junior Gs, and the Lees. looking forward to catching up with your blog in the new year.

PS I'm as leery as Mr Lee about having my photo posted online.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what we call an
acoustic(al) suspended ceiling?

Anonymous said...

I've been unable to find a good dry cleaner/tailor since moving to Boston in August. I'll have to give them a try.

Diane @ Haute Flashion said...

It is always scary trying to find a good alterations person. I wish that I lived closer. I have quite a pile of thrift projects that need attention!


does he make suits?

Young Fogey said...

An alterations tailor employs different skills from a suitmaker. I would not use the same person for both services, as suit making and alterations are different skill sets, and the tailor would inevitably be better at one than the other--or, worse yet, bad at both.

Go to a specialist in one or the other.

J.P. said...

I am moving to Medford so I will definitely give them a try.

David M. said...

Just got back from "Chris Fine" today. I gave them a Brooks Bros. duffle coat that needed the sleeves lengthened. There wasn't much to work with either and Mr. Lee did a great job.
When I walked in my coat was hanging right next to the door (like they knew I was coming). And just like Giuseppe said, they remembered who I was when I walked in.
FYI, they only take cash. I forgot, the total was $54 and I had $53, of course Mrs. Lee let it slide.
Thx for the tip on the great tailor!

Some Assembly Required said...

I took two pairs of pants to them recently, one to be hemmed and one to have the waist (the kind with a split in the back) let out. Great work, and only $27 total for both.