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San Francisco Alterations tailor

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Dempsy444, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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  2. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    I stopped by Riccardo's Tailor today and had an overall good experience.

    Riccardo has a fine establishment, a giant of a store compared to my past visits to other tailors. The changing rooms are great:


    • A full body mirror on one side of the wall
    • Accommodating seat
    • Carpeted floor
    • Clean

    I have been to shops that either had too big of a chair and you are left standing up to change, or tile floors that collected dust...

    The storefront was very spacious with racks of clothes that I did not check out. There seemed to be a large workroom in the back, too.

    Riccardo is also accomodating if you communicate with him. I had three pair of trousers that needed to be hemmed. He sized me up and finished. I had to ask for cuffs and other details like how much break I wanted. The way he showed you how much break was new for me, which I appreciate. He would turn you the side of the mirror and slowly pull up the pant leg to help you visualize. The manner in which he did all this was great. He got on the floor, hands and knees, to check the balance.

    He was quick to spot that I had a dropped right hip. I forgot to ask he could cut slanted cuffs :brick: but will check on it next weekend.

    For functioning jacket sleeves, Riccardo expressed he can adjust the sleeve length from the shoulder rather than the cuff, which is good to know. It is the only way he adjusts jacket sleeve lengths FWIW.

    The real key is the finished work, which I will find out soon enough. I was pleased with the first impression and experience, and aside from tidbits I forgot to ask about, I think the price was fair, too.
     
  3. miloscz1

    miloscz1 New Member

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    Any follow-up on work product? I have some pants I'd like to have altered and Ricardo's sounds like a prospect.
     
  4. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    @miloscz1

    I have not been out to visit any alteration tailors as of late (a lot of stuff in the closet to be worked on) but my last job was done at Ricardo's.

    Ricardo has a pretty good eye. He will notice the gap at the back of your waist as well as how the pants should drape in the back i.e. no winkles or pulling in the seat and leg. The only thing is he seems not in favor for military cuffs ("slanted cuffs"). I think most guys like to have their trousers nowadays just kiss the top of their shoe, so, a slanted cuff may not be necessary to help with a clean break in the pant legs. I plan on going back to him maybe sometime by end of the year to get a few things done. I really like this store due to the spacious fitting rooms and mirrors placed throughout the store. Ricardo is a nice and easy going guy, too.

    Alternatively, plenty of members here in the forum also recommend Advanced European Tailoring located in Berkeley. It is a little farther away from me so I haven't made the trip yet, but I hope to one day make some time and try it out.

    Another shop I frequently visit is Cassara Brothers Clothiers in Los Altos. Very small shop compared to Ricardo's but Mario does all the measurements and alterations himself. He also still makes custom suits. Mario can alter cuffs with a slant if you wish. I wish the fitting rooms were bigger and the store more lit. It can seem a little dark at times. I will mention I have had to bring things back to have some work redone and Mario has always been receptive to make the corrections without charge. This shop also helped with the wardrobe for the movie Jobs with Ashton Kutcher.

    I will also mention both Ricardo and Mario are not pushy sales men. They will look to accommodate you and give honest opinions; you will need to go in with some experience of what you typically like and the direction you want to take in the fitting. Mario is more flexible.

    *I also want to mention if you ever consider taking your jacket sleeves from the shoulder, Ricardo seems to be more keen on this. I think Mario can do it but I remember asking him once and I believe he said no.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  5. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    If you are going to bother going to Los Altos you might as well consider Menlo Park.
    Bob Stankovic has been my tailor for over ten years. He does very superior work
    as attested by other Style Forum members. For me he has successfully done some
    complicated projects like changing the shoulder line, etc. He's also a very nice guy.
    Caution: Unless you specify urgency, he may be late with an alteration.

    Bob Stankovic
    1142 Chestnut St.
    Menlo Park, CA 94025

    650-323-9614
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  6. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    I can't seem to find any other anecdote besides your posts all over the forum. I may visit him.

    Would you say he is "SF approved" with the jobs he has done for you?
     
  7. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oxford or Franz on Geary (across from Neimans) are both very good, expensive and take a while. This is where guys who work at Wilkes, Neimans, etc take important major work. Lots of people can do a decent cuff or take in a waist. But, if you have serious shaping to do or want hand sewn buttonholes then this is the place. A friend with an extensive Kiton wardrobe went to Oxford after he lost 20 lbs and had pants slimmed, jackets taken in, etc. they looked great and I started using Carlos (Oxford) but have been using European Tailors in Berkeley the last few years for all other basic work.
     
  8. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would add that even as good as Oxford and Franz are, if you leave it totally up to them it may vary a bit. You will get the best results if you are specific about the overall look you want. It is important to be as specific as possible and then ask their opinion. They provide a service to a wide range of clients with very different styles and tastes, and can't read your mind. If you want a more fashionable cut, then say so, but don't be disappointed if you get a more general approach unless you speak up. They will listen but be clear and you will have good results.
     
  9. sacafotos

    sacafotos Senior member

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    I've been to Alberto's (I think on Grant Ave in SF) and had him do jacket sleeves with functioning buttons. Clean work and fast. Haven't tried him for more complicated stuff yet, but the guys at Taylor Stitch recommend him. He was a favorite of TS's former in-house tailor, Ryan, who now has his own shop Tailor's Keep.

    Also, for what it's worth, TS uses Young's (sp?) in the Mission. They apparently are one of the few places that can skillfully alter ladies' stuff, too.

    @GusW

    I believe you paid Ryan a visit recently at Tailor's Keep.
     
  10. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I am looking to have an Attolini jacket shortened overall, sleeves taken up from the shoulder, and some other alterations. I also need an honest assessment of whether the alterations I am seeking are worth doing of if I'm starting too far off the mark.

    I have used Bob Stankovic for many items with success but am reluctant to use him for jacket shortening.

    I am considering Carlos (Oxford) and Ricardo (Sunnyvale).

    Does anyone here with experience using one or both have an opinion about the better tailor for this work?

    Price is a consideration, but not f*ing up the suit and preserving the meticulous handiwork is much more important.
     
  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would use Carlos at Oxxford. He did the same alterations on several of my jackets. One of the SA's from Wilkes Bashfird took his Kiton and Brioni suits there to be recut after he lost 30 lbs. I was so impressed by the work that I began using Carlos. He isn't cheap and don't expect rush service. But if you are specific about what you want, you should get positive results.

    He did an excellent job shortening length and shortening sleeve from shoulder.
     
  12. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    Alas, he has retired. Another tailor at the shop is Marco (?). I called and got the news this morning.
     
  13. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    "I have used Bob Stankovic for many items with success but am reluctant to use him for jacket shortening."

    I have. It was successful. Caveat: You probably already know this, but the more one shortens, the more
    the pockets will seem too low. In my case, if I recall correctly, it was less than 1 inch.
     
  14. Aquafortis

    Aquafortis Well-Known Member

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    How did it go with your Attonlini jacket alterations and who did you end up going with?

    Wilkes Bashford referred me to SF Tailors on Geary near Union Square. Anyone here have experience with SF Tailors?

    I have several Cesare Attolini Napoli suits that need minor alterations, but for obvious reasons want to choose the tailor with as much informed discretion as possible.
     
  15. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I went with Ricardo in Sunnyvale and it turned out well. Do not be put off by the suiting he sells ... he works on the very best clothing that people bring into him.

    I should have done before and after shots, but the work is excellent. He's making a minor adjustment to the jacket now (so no pics yet) but overall, I've been pleased with his work (this involved extensive work) and he's more convenient for me than some of the tailors in SF.

    Carl has retired from Oxford, but his son is doing the work now and his son worked with is father for many years in the shop. My impression (and I met with him about this job before it was done) is that Oxford is more precise with measurements -- reducing the likelihood of later adjustments, but Oxford Tailors is also more expensive than Ricardo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  16. Grumpton

    Grumpton Member

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    Glenda is awesome. She doesn't do wedding dresses anymore either.

    I've taken suits, shirts, pants, everything into her. She will tell me when not to waste my time and how to do it right.

    One time I needed suit sleeve shortened. She did most of it from the shoulder because of the working button holes, but in order not to mess too much with where the curvature of the elbow falls, also did half a centimeter from the sleeve.I'm not a skilled eye, but I generally can't tell where she did the work except for the old fold lines which are pressed out.

    I won't use anyone else anymore.
     
  17. ultramantaro

    ultramantaro Senior member

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    I've had 3 suits and 1 jacket done at Ricardo's. I've added working cuffs on 3 jackets and they were all done very well. Mind you it's not cheap (~ 120 to 140 together for both sleeves) but he will accommodate if you want different stitching, which I did for one jacket as I wanted the button holes to pop more. One other thing - if you want 3 buttonholes vs 4 I'm not sure if he charges differently. His standard is always 4 whenever a customer requests it.

    He also shortened one of my jackets due to recommendation after trying it on. The work was done well, but when I picked it up he to re-press it as the lining wasn't completely flushed. Otherwise the work is all pretty good. Since the business is pretty much alterations the turnaround time is pretty fast typically.

    I also had work done with Laurel Street Cleaners as I live in San Carlos. The tailor, Frank, also does decent work as he was able to work on a sleeve shortening from the shoulder due to working button holes (I will stay away from those for RTW forever), but as his main business is dry cleaning he has a backlog of work. If you leave something there, prepare to wait for at least 3 weeks. Keep in mind he doesn't do working button holes though, but he can work on waist suppression and taking in the sides to slim down a jacket.
     
  18. Aquafortis

    Aquafortis Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the follow up on your alteration from Ricardo, and info on Oxford. Would be great to see your before and after shots of your Attolini jacket once completed.

    Sunnyvale is somewhat prohibitive for me given travel time as I live in the North Bay. I recently took an older cashmere Zegna SC and some Loro Piana Super 120's Tasmanian trousers that needed alterations to Andreas George in SF. Turn around was two weeks, and I was not in a rush so didn't mind. Got them back this week and everything was very well done. Granted trouser work was standard minor waist adjustment and taking in seats. Jacket was a bit more complex as he had to draw in some at the back mid-line seam. Not outrageous pricing, but no bargain either.

    I called Oxford yesterday and was told Marco is away for a couple weeks now. I may go talk to him when he's back at the shop, but also considering going back to A. George as he was pleasant to work with and seemed to have a good eye for fit and appropriate adjustments needed.
     

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