Monday, February 9, 2009

A pile of clothes at the Royal Tailor

Jeremiah has written about one of the treasures left in the East Village, Gino DiGirolamo, the tailor who has been plying his trade here for more than 40 years. He moved to 14th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B in late 2006.

I walked by his shop Friday night at 10...Per usual, he was still at work...barely visible behind a pile of clothes...

It appears business is good, which makes me happy...

For further reading:
Still Shopping, Maybe, but Now it's For a Tailor (New York Times)


Anonymous said...

I mean no disrespect by this question, but is Gino a good tailor? I would imagine he is after being in business that long, but I'd appreciate hearing personal endorsements (I've been burned by a tailor before). I'd love to support him (I'm a neighbor) and I do have a coat I need hemmed.

EV Grieve said...

Hi. Thanks for the comment. I've taken stuff to Gino through the years...and he has always done quality work. (And for very reasonable prices...I don't think he has increased his prices in some time.)

Anyone else care to share any experiences with Gino's work?

Jill said...

I have a very long answer so I apologize for my verbosity and lack of editing skills.

Gino is a very good tailor. However, the place smells not so great, my son refuses to go inside. He took the smell with him, and all the piles of clothes that are years old that nobody ever picked up when he moved. When I asked him why he bothered he said that I would be surprised how people come back years later to collect their goods, and he isn't going to be the one who tosses them.

Once, I brought back a pair of pants years later that had gotten too short (or I had gotten too fat and they were now too high) and he lengthened them for free.

He charges $5 to hem pants and $7 for a cuff and hasn't changed the price since I started going to him in 1992.

You will never get a ticket but he has never lost my clothes. I can't testify that he never lost anything, that would seem crazy since he has no system to find things. Especially black pants, which he seems to always have several pair on the table at any given time. Make sure you remember what you brought in, and put your phone number in a pocket, or write it on a tag, just in case.

Usually, you have to go back a couple of times before he actually takes the 5 minutes to hem the pants, or do the work. So here is what I do: I go back to pick up my clothes on the assigned evening (he's not open in the morning) with another errand in mind. We exchange the usual "oh no I didn't do it yet" and then I tell him I'll be back in 10 minutes. I go to Associated or the post office, and then come back and the work is done. Sometimes I go to Blarney Cove and have a beer while I wait.

Once I bought a leather coat that needed the sleeves shortened. He did a wonderful job for $20, which is really a bargain for working with leather, and also made sure the lining was right too.

I hope you go to him. He is an EV institution and weirdly he hasn't aged a day. I am sure he'll be tailoring until the day he dies. His age is indeterminate. He's still missing the same teeth and wears the same clothes as the day I met him. Also, he never ever remembers who I am and I'm a pretty regular customer.

Jill said...

Oh one more thing: if you need something special like an unusual button or a clasp it is unlikely he'll have it on hand or get it anytime soon. He's honest about it, though so he won't tell you he'll do something and then after a week tell you he couldn't get the button. But if you bring him the buttons he'll put them on. He also does an excellent job replacing zippers, and again, he's really honest about what he can do and if it is an unusual zipper he'll tell you he doesn't have it and might not be able to get it anytime soon.

Once I had this vintage fur (sorry but it was $10 from a bin) coat that kept ripping in the back. He fixed it twice, and the third time he told me to stop bringing it in because it was going to keep ripping and he didn't want to fix it any more.

Is that enough? Ok I'll stop.

EV Grieve said...

Hi Jill,

Thanks for your input!