It doesn’t matter how high or low end your clothing is if everything fits like a dream. The secret behind the best-dressed people isn’t designer labels or trendsetting threads – it’s a good tailor. For pants that are a little too long, shirts that are too boxy, or a vintage item that you love but just doesn’t fit the way it should; a few new buttons, darts and hems can transform a pair of ill-fitting pants into a polished set of trousers. Even if you think you can get some of your clothes to pass with some alterations, consider tailoring to be like a face-lift for your wardrobe. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, just a little nip and tuck to bring everything right to where it should be. Here are some of our favorite places in Chicago for when our wardrobe needs a little tuneup.
The Tailor Shop
19 South LaSalle Street, Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60603
Mon-Fri 9:30 am – 6 pm
Eric Boasmand of The Tailor Shop has a title few can boast these days: Master Tailor. With an old-school sartorial knowledge, Boasmand works magic on everything from wedding gowns to designer jeans, helping customers update an out-of-date silhouettes into something fresh and wearable. With prices around $15 for a new jeans hem and $40 to re-shape the sides of a jacket, bringing your suits into the 21st century won’t break the bank, either.
Thorndale Cleaners and Tailors
1112 W Thorndale Ave
Chicago, IL 60660
The average dry cleaner and tailor on the block can admittedly be hit-or-miss, but the miracle workers at this neighborhood shop in Edgewater are doing something right: customers can bring almost any odd repair or alteration in and receive a spiffed-up garment with a relatively quick turnaround at a competitive price. A pair of worn-through-the-leg jeans that is all but ready for the scrap heap can be revived (inside-out patchwork and actual fabric re-threading) for about $30.
520 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Mon-Thu 10am-8pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm Sun 11am-6pm
Famous for their top-notch customers service, the upscale department store is still home to many of the city’s best tailors and seamstresses (many of whom work independently outside of Nordstrom’s). While their tailors will take any garment schedule permitting, it’s customers who buy something from the shop that should look to this option. High-quality tailoring and alterations are offered on merchandise purchased in-store with prices based on the garment and complexity of the alteration. However, some duds, like jeans and trousers, are often hemmed or fixed up free of charge. If the work isn’t gratis, Nordstrom’s will usually get the job done well without astronomically sky-high prices.
Gus’ Tailor Shop
913 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Mon-Thu 10 am – 7 pm; Fri 10 am – 6 pm
Gus the tailor embodies the adage that good things are worth waiting for. Emergencies, tight turnarounds and last-minute repairs are not Gus’ specialty. Instead, he follows the woodworker’s mantra of “measure twice, cut once,” emptying seemingly entire containers of straight pins to get just the right fit. Whether it’s making a piece of vintage clothing like new with some reweaving or patching, or taking a saggy pair of pants and giving them a Milanese flair, Gus can work some magic – if you’re patient.