When your clothes need some care and attention, these are the London tailors and menders to restore them to almost-new condition.
Investment pieces might be the mainstay of your wardrobe, but they do require a little extra looking after. And, as we all look to make more eco-conscious choices in our daily lives, repairing and re-wearing is undeniably more planet-friendly than always buying new. Fortunately, London is filled with a fleet of repair artists ready to step into the breach. Whether you need to fix a tear, re-heel a faithful shoe, or upcycle an old favourite, this is your go-to guide of reliable wardrobe repair services.
The Restory founder Vanessa Jacobs is something of a legend in the world of luxury repairs. The entrepreneur has assembled a team of craftsmen and women to restore all manner of accessories, from handbags to hat boxes, to their former glory. A flawless finish is achieved via meticulous attention to detail and a roster of specialist techniques. With orders growing every day, The Restory is now expanding its services into clothes, watches and jewellery repair. You can book a collection from your home or use the in-store drop-off service in the accessories hall at either Harvey Nichols or Selfridges (from 2 September); simply leave your items with a stylist who will then send them off to The Restory for assessment and repair.
Available at Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, Belgravia, SW1, and Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1 (from 2 September)
Think of Lulu O’Connor as your fairy godmother of wardrobe wizardry. The former Goldman Sachs retail analyst started up Clothes Doctor two years ago, as part of a sea change towards sustainable fashion. Rather than throwing away your favourite staples, you can have them picked up by courier and fixed or altered by O’Connor’s team of Cornwall-based seamstresses. Turnaround happens in under a week via the digital service, with a set price list for ease and transparency. The handy sizing feature means you can upcycle ready-to-wear pieces with a custom finish, and buy off-the-shelf even when a garment isn’t available in your size.
Total Wardrobe Care
If you want to save your cashmere from moths, you only need ask tailor and inventor Julia Dee. Inundated by demands, Dee made it her mission to create the world’s first natural moth repellent, using herbal infusions of cedar wood, thyme and lavender. They were so popular, she subsequently launched Total Wardrobe Care, with a full range of online candles, sachets and sprays to help keep your wardrobe fresh and free from moths. Dee’s team can also advise on hangers, acid-free tissue paper, steaming and other ways to keep your clothes and shoes in pristine condition.
Stitch & Clean
The swat team of tailors at Stitch & Clean can turn their hand to almost any garment rescue, from dresses that need re-beading to lace tears and sizing adjustments. A former Harrods specialist brings years of expertise in advising on fabrics and design. You can either drop your items off at the Kentish Town studio or the Stitch & Clean team will come to you, with appointments available after 6pm. A full range of services span from shoe repair and leather cleaning to a VIP arm offering bespoke made-to-measure ensembles.
A talented team of dressmakers await at this Knightsbridge boutique, which prides itself on a personalised touch. Stop by the atelier to consult on how best to revamp your wardrobe classics, or book an at-home fitting. The tailors offer expert advice on how to update favourite pieces by adding in monogramming, embellishments or sleeve/hood details. And they can also tackle almost any alteration you might need, including zip replacements, jacket relining and leather and suede repair.
6 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, SW3, alexiaalterations.com
Jeeves of Belgravia
Meticulous fabric care is the hallmark of this London stalwart. Like its P.G. Wodehouse namesake, the veteran brand aims for a discreet and attentive service with a 21st century upgrade courtesy of its eco-friendly laundering techniques. Complimentary collection and delivery is offered to London and Home County customers, who can avail themselves of everything from handbag restoration to repairs and specialist couture cleaning.
Classic Shoe Repairs
Frequently hailed as the best cobbler in the capital, this Camden establishment handles repairs for the designer shoe departments at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods and more. An expert eye is applied to the most exacting of details, from toe piece replacement to re-heeling and bespoke re-crafting. But it’s not just shoes that get the royal treatment here; you can also get your wallet re-waxed, or the piping on your designer handbag reworked. With its arsenal of expert techniques, it’s little wonder Classic Shoe Repairs has built up something of a cult following among the fashion set.
23-25 Brecknock Road, Camden, N7, classicshoerepairs.com
This small Covent Garden studio boasts a celebrity clientele (including comedian Amy Schumer). It also provides an ongoing service to The Arts Club in Mayfair, and the Covent Garden branches of agnès b and The Ivy restaurant. A comprehensive range of alteration fixes are available for next-day turnaround, alongside bespoke tailoring (including clothes copying, which offers to cut the pattern and source the fabric of your favourite out-of-stock pieces) and an online boutique.
2nd Floor, 59 St. Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, WC2, carmenstailoring.co.uk
Your much-loved repertoire of knitwear and wraps will find solace with Belinda Robertson, OBE; a self-styled “cashmere caretaker”. Opened in the early 90s, her brand comes into its own with a bespoke repair and revive service. Even the most stubborn of pulls, pills and moth damage can be put to rights when you send your garments up to the company’s Scotland HQ for a little R&R. After a gentle cleaning, de-pilling, and a wrinkle reducing steam, your cashmere will be returned in a complimentary sweater bag. belindarobertson.com