I had a really pleasant trip on Friday afternoon when I went to have my new suit trousers taken up. The legs were in that unfinished state about 10 inches too long.
I’d found a tailors in Portsmouth via the internet and the Yellow Pages that I sort of remembered from my dim and distant apprentice days in the Dockyard, Tailor Lee.
The shop was mostly empty apart from a glass topped counter containing a lot of Naval badges and scrambled egg, a curtained changing area and a rail of items awaiting collection.
Tailor Lee appeared from the back of the shop like Mr Benn, a slight chinese guy that used to work on the ships when the Navy had onboard laundries and their own tailors. He was such a sweet guy.
I tried my trousers on so that Mr Lee could pin them up and when he said when do you want them, I asked how long they would take.
“Ten minutes, twenty, thirty maybe… you come back in thirty. Over road is nice coffee shop. Have coffee. Come back in thirty.”
We duly obliged.
On our return he chatted for ages about his life at sea and how much he now enjoys cruising.
“You try cruise? You try cruise? Very good. Lots of food. Food all day. You eat all day. 24 hours. You eat all day.”
He then warned us of going to Morocco, which he pronounced as Morro-Co.
“One hour in coach. Awful. Morro Co bad place. Waste my money.”
All the while he was looking at the jacket, turning it over, his expert eye checking over the stitching, the detailing, the lining, everything. He was so complimentary about the work on it too and about what a bargain it was.
“I no make myself for £175.” “Nice pockets.” “Nice detail.” “I go buy.”
For £10 he did such a great job on my trousers too. Perfect, invisible stitching.
I’ll be using Tailor Lee again I feel sure.