Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A trip to the tailor

Last week, we began freshening up the old wardrobe. Some of our suits are getting a bit raggedy and there is nothing to lift the spirits and put a spring in one's step like a new suit. We went to Porta Classica in Mattapan for the cure to our sartorial doldrums. The on site tailor offered to make alterations but we declined, not wanting to take the Mattapan High Speed so far out of our way this week to pick up the finished goods.

There are two tailor shops in my Fourth Haven neighborhood where Columbia and Savin Hill intersect. On of them is the space shared by Vietnam Records and Kim Ahn Alterations. The other is Lien's Bridal at 932 Dot Ave. Lien's is marginally closer to to my home so I opted to give them a try. I picked up my hemmed pants this afternoon, satisfied.

This is primarily a bridal shop and men may be turned off by the racks of gowns and wedding froo-froo that take up the majority of the floor space. They shouldn't be. The shop's proprietor is a seamstress with nimble fingers who sews a mean cuff at the bottom of an inseam. We haven't tested the finished product yet, but her handiwork was offered for inspection and it seems as durable as a parachute seam without any stitching visible from the outside. We also brought a pair of pants for repair at the same visit and left today with a superior product, better than the original. No shoddy thread or wispy filigree here. This is quality tailoring that looks like it will stand up to being caught in a motorcycle's kickstand.

I'm sure my accent was as difficult for the seamstress to understand as hers was for me. We weren't discussing Shopenhauer, just getting pants hemmed, so subtleties and shades of connotation weren't important to hammer out the work request. To repair the hem on my pants cost $5.00. To hem the new pants cost $12.00 apiece. I paid with two twenty dollar bills and received eleven crisp Washingtons as change.

The conditions printed on the bottom of the receipt are a bit muddled but mostly understandable and reasonable. "We do not shrink any justifiable responsibility..." "We can not [sic] be responsible for weak, tender, defective or adulterated materials..." "Errors in budie [sic]count must be reported to the company withing 48 hours." All in all, a good deal at a good price and we are sure anything lost in translation can be solved to every one's satisfaction. We didn't detect any error in budie count.

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