Rizzo Tailor- Cambridge MA

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RQC2700, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. RQC2700

    RQC2700 Well-Known Member

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    I know that reviews about Rizzo's Tailor in Harvard Square have been mixed, so I thought I should weigh in based on a few previous experiences and today...

    As I have mentioned to some of you before, I would say that I have a "hard to fit" body shape at 6'3 240lbs. However, I adore the sleek graceful clothing that a slimmer man can enjoy with relative ease. These two things conspire to create a discordance that requires a bit of alchemy to be resolved elegantly. Instead, oftentimes I either end up looking like a sausage shoved too tightly into its skin or like a teenage boy wearing his fathers clothes. Neither of which will exactly land me on the cover of next month's Gentleman's Quarterly.

    In my quest for the perfect fit, I have been to many tailors; often sacrificing skill for doing what I wanted. I had seen Rizzo's tailors before, but after reading some reviews both on here and elsewhere (yes, there is an elsewhere), I was put off. Expecting him to be an old-schooler set in his ways; wanting nothing more than to put in me in some tent of a thing f with enough extra fabric hanging here and there to fashion some sort of eccentric sail with which I could cruise down the Charles.

    Finally, after foolishly commissioning a Polo MTM suit (before the SF enlightenment) and having it come out horrifically wrong, I broke down and went to Rizzo. Once there, I was surprised. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. He immediately pointed out what was wrong with the suit, proceeded to asked me a lot of questions about what I wanted, discussed with me some things I would eventually learn here on SF, gave me some pointers about buying in the future, then finally took the suit and sent me on my way.

    A week later, I returned and picked up the suit. I was surprised by how he was able to transform something I would never ever wear into something I now wear with frequency. After being so impressed with what he did with that first suit, I have since brought him a few other things, and have always been completely satisfied. The only gripe I would say would be that I would like a little more waist suppression, but then it may not be possible given the things I have brought him. It is here that I should mention that I do not wield the sartorial wisdom that a few members on the board bring to the table, so I often rely on my tailor to amalgamate what I want and what can be done.

    That all brings me to today. I recently received a beautiful DB RLPL tuxedo from another member on this board (Thanks RJE!), and I desperately (as a member of a clothing oriented message board I am sure you all know the feeling) wanted to wear it to an event this coming Friday (as in day after tomorrow). Undeterred by the alleged horror stories about Rizzo laughing at customers who needed things expedited, I took the tuxedo in and explained my situation. To my complete astonishment he said he would do it, despite all the alterations that it needed.

    Do I think that Rizzo would do expedited work often? No. However, I was impressed at how he would do it for a repeat customer in a bit of bind, the way I believe customer service should be done.

    In conclusion, I would definitely recommend Rizzo to anyone needing some tailoring done in or around Harvard Square.
     
  2. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Joe is a great guy, and it will be a loss when he retires, which cannot be far off now.

    - B
     
  3. NH_Clark

    NH_Clark Senior member

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    this is a great update! I have a local tailor up here in NH that is ok and cheap but I just recently purchased a RLPL St. Andrews suit from Holdfast and need an exceptional tailor to actually make it work.
     
  4. jamesbond

    jamesbond Senior member

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    Joe is a great guy, and it will be a loss when he retires, which cannot be far off now.

    - B


    +1

    I've noticed his enthusiasm isn't what it used to be. Plus he no-longer has the greek guy in there helping sew and i haven't seen his wife in there in a good while either. How long before you think he retires?
     
  5. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    This is good to know! I just bought a PS sportcoat off B&S that will probably need to be tailored.
     
  6. pred02

    pred02 Senior member

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    Mind me asking, to make the suit fit how much am I expected to cost? I know that there is a line if or not sholder work needs to be done, but assuming the sholders fit, what can I be expecting per/suit for the costs?

    Thanks!
     
  7. RQC2700

    RQC2700 Well-Known Member

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    There was a woman in there today who could have been his wife. And there was another guy in there the last two times helping him, not sure if he was Greek though. I haven't been using him for long, but he has seemed pretty enthusiastic when I have been in there (I hope you don't think I am trying to be contradictory JB), just giving my account. I hope he stays around for awhile longer!
     
  8. LaoHu

    LaoHu Senior member

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    I'm glad to read of your positive experiences with Joe. I have used his services quite a bit and have always been very happy with the results.
     
  9. instep

    instep Senior member

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    He sounds like an absolute gem. You guys are really lucky.
     
  10. pscolari

    pscolari Senior member

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    I think the Greek guy is in early mornings during the week and not usually in on weekends.

    Joe really excels when faced with difficult alterations. For simple alterations like a pant hem, I believe he pins it up and outsources, but suit and jacket alterations are done by him. I wish I had the cash right now to commision something from him as I believe there is no one in his shop being groomed to take over his space and business once he retires.
     
  11. RQC2700

    RQC2700 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of this, I was thinking about having something commissioned by him. I was thinking along the lines of an all weather, go-to sportcoat I could wear with jeans while traveling or pretty much anywhere ( the jeans and sportcoat is pretty much a go to look for me). Or I was thinking about doing a basic light grey suit and having two pairs of pants made. thoughts?
     
  12. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    +1

    I've noticed his enthusiasm isn't what it used to be. Plus he no-longer has the greek guy in there helping sew and i haven't seen his wife in there in a good while either. How long before you think he retires?


    He seems more frail than he used to be, so I can't imagine it will be much longer, unfortunately. He spends that month each winter back home in Italy...I would think that it is calling to him.

    Speaking of this, I was thinking about having something commissioned by him. I was thinking along the lines of an all weather, go-to sportcoat I could wear with jeans while traveling or pretty much anywhere ( the jeans and sportcoat is pretty much a go to look for me). Or I was thinking about doing a basic light grey suit and having two pairs of pants made. thoughts?

    There's useful information and photographs in this thread.


    - B
     
  13. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    Bah... Rizzo's wasn't open today. I went out to Harvard for nothing.
     
  14. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Bah... Rizzo's wasn't open today. I went out to Harvard for nothing.

    Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and January.

    - B
     
  15. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and January.

    - B


    Cool shop, a little too much John Kerry for my tastes... forgot to ask what's the house style for bespoke, but I guess I read that thread on him posted above.

    $175 for shortening jacket and sleeves, moving pockets and taking in the sides. More than what I'd expect to pay back home, but I guess he is the best (and the closest, as I live in Allston).
     

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