Have you ever had clothes altered? I’ve muddled through in the past mostly because I simply didn’t know who to trust and it was usually more costly than I felt was worth the trouble at the time. Yesterday, I took the plunge and went to Austin Reed to have a coat shortened. It’s just too long on me and I love it so much, I couldn’t bear for it to hang neglected in my wardrobe until I grew a couple of inches taller – ha! So I discreetly inquired a little while ago if they ‘do’ alterations because in the past some stores and boutiques would turn their noses up at that sort of thing. The female manager in charge of the women’s department said yes but only on their own label which I thought was fair enough. I didn’t dare ask the price at that time.
I did a google search of tailors in my area and 3 names turned up. I called the first one which was a dressmakers and the second was a bespoke tailor and I did ask the price feeling brave in my anonymity.
They told me which days their tailor visits so to make sure to come along the day before to be ‘pinned’ and he could then take the item away the following day. I had a lot of errands to run (cramming in as much as possible before school throws out) and went to the store after a snack of sandwiches and hot chocolate at M&S – a rare occurence for me. I wore my Aquascutum Lana trench coat in dark beige (= brown!) and went straight up to the womenswear department where I was greeted at the top of the stairs by a very young man. I told him what I’d come for and he asked if I had the coat with me. I told yes and looked at my shopping bag. He said ‘Oh, right I thought you meant the coat you’re wearing which fits you extremely well already!’. It’s one of 2 ‘winter’ rain coats that I have, the other is a Burberry.
The put the coat on and let the Manager pin up the required amount which was much less than I originally thought. It’s a full length coat and I desperately wanted to keep the length but had resigned myself to losing at good 5 inches off. Anyway it turned out only to be exactly half that to my relief. He took the coat away after I kept the belt in case it got lost and left the very young man to sort out the details of payment. I knew roughly how much it would be from the quotes I got and luckily it was less. I took the chance to ask the very young man if he knew someone who would alter other clothes not their label. We went to speak to the Manager again who said they do in fact alter other labels but have to cover themselves in the unlikely event of something going wrong in the process. Since it’s not an Austin Reed label there’s nothing they can do so in effect it’s at your own risk though minimal. I thought that was fair enough too so will see how the coat turns out first and then if that’s ok, will get 3 other things altered.