I just relocated from LA to NYC. Out west I had the holy grail of tailors. His name is Gary Gillan from Antoine’s Tailoring, and he is one of the best people I have ever met. Not only is he intelligent, as sweet as a grandfather is to his grandson, and a true gentleman, but he’s above all a brilliant tailor. When we first met, it started out as a 15-minute operation: Walk in, pin, tuck, clip, discuss pickup, and see ya later. Now it’s at least an hour-long operation. We talk clothing, style, silhouettes, materials, soccer, women, traveling, drink fresh juice together, and talk about lessons of life. Your article about finding a tailor reminds me of him. If I could have a new grandpa, this guy would be it.
I need to find my Gary of NYC. So far I have failed miserably. I went to one guy who was all business and no fun, made me pay half up front. I went to another that made me pay in FULL upfront, then forgot to do the entire tailoring job and had the nerve to ask me if I was interested in a custom suit.
I am 6’4”, 195 lbs., athletic build, and I like my clothes to fit properly. Why spend $800+ on a suit, $150+ on jeans or dress shirts if you’re not going to wear them properly? I’m not rich, so I can’t afford custom shirts and suits, so until then I’ll be ruthless with off the rack clothing and the best tailor I can find. Sometimes the tailor is right on what should be done, and sometimes the customer, but the relationship, mutual respect, and understanding of the goal for the pieces are what’s important.
Do you have any recommendations? I’ve looked at Yelp, I’ve called friends and had them call friends, I’ve tried Facebook and nobody seems to know a good one here in the city, which I straight up don’t believe. This is New York City, Fashion Capital of the World.
What do you think?
What I think is that you’re being egregiously, inexcusably let down. On the positive side, you’ve finally arrived at the right place (no offense to Yelp; they helped me find my plumber). Our staff is made up of sartorial obsessives—my 6’5″ self included—and we’re happy to share our hard-won experience in this department.
I recommend Joseph Ting from Dynasty Tailors on East 38th Street. I’ll admit, I’ve never talked soccer or women or drank fresh juice with him, but he’s done great work for me over the years, and he regularly works with GQ and designers like Michael Bastian. With that sort of clientele, Joseph isn’t exactly inexpensive, but quality tailoring rarely is. My colleague Andy Comer, formerly of GQ, is also a fan: “I’m lanky and extremely hard to fit (and endlessly picky), and Joseph has done everything for me from shortening suit jackets and removing excessive padding from shoulders to more drastic stuff like modifying lapels and converting a high-buttoning three-button jacket into a much more flattering rollover.” Mr. Comer also recommends Boris Leviyev at the Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers store on Bleecker Street. “He’s precise, patient, committed to getting the fit exactly the way you want it, and exceptionally talented at slimming down/darting dress shirts.”
Our style director, Josh Peskowitz swears by the namesake of Luigi’s Fine Tailors on 7th Avenue between 19th and 20th. Chris Ventry, who’s head of business ops for the new men’s site we’re developing, recommends Mahesh from Broadway Midtown, an outfit that evidently does a lot of work for Broadway. (Which is convenient if, like Chris, you are partial to the Lion King look.) And then there’s our in-house sartorial guru Gay Talese, who—in addition to being one of the giants of 20th-century journalism, is descended from a long line of Italian tailors. Sal from L&S at 61st and Lexington has been doing all of Gay’s alterations—with considerable success—for several years.
Good luck, and promise to keep me posted. / Tyler