Whether you’re on a bit of a budget, looking for the VIP treatment or seeking expert customer service, Philadelphia’s bridal tailors have something for you. Pay these local tailors a visit and you’ll find yourself in the capable hands of the city’s best layer cutters, veil designers, and hemmers.
The experts at these shops care about your wedding dress almost as much as you do, so you can focus on the other (Um, thousand!) details of planning your day. Check them all out below.
The Wedding Factor
125 South Street, Society Hill.
If luxury is the name of your game, don’t miss The Wedding Factor. This sister-owned shop offers designer gowns from Stella York, Elizabeth Fillmore, Berta and more — most of which are also available in plus sizes. Your bridal consultant will coach you through the process of finding “The Dress,” and in-house alterations by two couture seamstresses make the experience a breeze. To keep the celebration going, get ready to clink your glasses and celebrate with a champagne toast on-site when you finally say yes to your dress. “If you’re buying a $1,000 dress, we want you to feel just as beautiful and just as special as someone who buys a $10,000 dress,” says co-owner Kathy Hart.
3901 Main Street, Manayunk.
At The Tailory, alterations aren’t just a day at work – they’re an art. Before Sara Teixeira, The Tailory’s head designer and founder, even finished grad school she had designed an award-winning collection of wedding gowns with couture finishes. A typical price range for wedding dress alterations falls between $300 to $650, but The Tailory aims for fairness and believes customers should only pay for what they need. Attention to detail and excellent customer service set Teixeira’s shop apart. “I always tell them I care almost as much as they do about their gown,” she says. But if you want the best for your dress, make sure to plan ahead: The Tailory’s appointments book up months in advance.
The Wardrobe Clinic
1500 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse.
A relaxed modern-day showroom and tailor shop, The Wardrobe Clinic specializes in cutting down layers of bridal and bridesmaids dresses and re-shaping and altering the tops of dresses to fit perfectly for the big day. Ron Wilson, the shop’s owner and self-proclaimed Wardrobe Doctor, offers special group packages for wedding parties. Cutting down dress layers will typically run between $55 to $75, while groomsmen parties can expect a tuxedo alteration fee between $95 to $110 per suit. They even have a special design department that lets you choose unique fabrics for every detail of your wedding from napkins to tablecloths. Pro tip: here, brides can create customized wedding cards from leftover fabric from their dresses for special mementos for their guests.
221 Market Street, Old City.
Previously voted our Best of Denim tailor in 2013 for unrivaled alterations to your skinny jeans and bootcuts, you might not realize when you stroll by this Old City shop that it offers so much more. Mimi Kim, who has owned the shop since 2004, says she loves doing the alteration work. She offers one-on-one customer service by making all alterations herself and offering tailoring services for bridal dresses with all different amounts of layers. Plus, Kim offers fast bridal dress turn around times averaging three weeks–but says she can do it in two for a client in a pinch.
304 Walnut Street, Old City.
Pampering alert! The staff at Philly Bride say they treat their clients like princesses from the moment they step into the shop to the moment they walk out with a perfectly-tailored wedding dress (and maybe even a glass slipper). The wide selection of dresses from Chic Nostalgia, Hailey Paige, Badgley Mischka, and other designers will make your head spin, but the shop’s bridal consultants will quickly ease your wedding woes. You’ll even find designer plus size dresses by Martina Liana and Sottero Midgley. “I am constantly amazed at the precision and talent that goes into altering a gown to fit like a glove,” says Lynn Handel, the owner. Added bonus–on site alterations start at $575, so you can leave ready to walk down the aisle to meet your Prince Charming.
Armen’s Custom Tailor Studio
104 Levering Street, Manayunk.
With tailoring experience since 1991, you can trust you (and your wedding dress) are in good hands at Armen Melikfetyan’s tailor shop. Melikfetyan attended fashion design school in Armenia learning the tricks of the trade from an Italian teacher before bringing his skills across the pond to Manayunk. He strives for fair pricing and strikes a deal with customers on the fee when they come to the studio. Pricing depends on how large the bottom of a wedding dress is and my how many layers it has. “I’m not cheap, but I am affordable,” says Melikfetyan. He works with brides to customize dresses down to the sequin, and if a client isn’t satisfied he’ll re-do his work free of charge. As an added bonus, Melikfetyan offers a buy five suits, get one free special for groom’s parties.
102 East Montgomery Avenue, Ardmore.
This Ardmore spot is a one-stop shop for all things bridal. With a large selection of stunning bridesmaid and wedding dresses, the shop also has in-house seamstresses for alterations. The “fit package” includes everything you need for an A1 alteration. Plus, alterations are conveniently done at the shop, right where you bought the dress. For moms, Bijou’s seamstresses offer a la carte services, while bridesmaids can pick up a referral for a top independent contractor.
Special Occasion Alterations
1309 Tasker Street, Newbold.
If you want a true ladies-only alteration experience, you’ll want to check out Special Occasion. With more than 20 years of tailoring experience, Teresa Marasioti specializes in women’s and bridal alterations. She’ll make sure you, your bridesmaids and even your mother-in-law have a gown that fits perfectly when you say, “I do.” (Though, the shop doesn’t offer men’s alterations.) Customers rave about Marasioti’s quick turnaround time and precision and describe her as “absolutely wonderful and a true professional.” If wedding stress has bogged you down, don’t fret. One client says Marasioti was even able to squeeze her in for two fittings one month before her wedding!
46 St. James Place, Ardmore.
This couture bridal boutique makes you feel like the star of the show, even before your wedding day. Before your 90-minute appointment, your personal Elizabeth Johns consultant will contact you to get to know you and your style. Since the shop carries a wide range of designers from Alfred Sung and Jenny Yoo to Katie May and Monique Lhuillier, finding your dream dress will be the easiest part of planning your wedding (especially with your consultant guiding you through the whole process.) The salon offers spacious dressing areas for brides, viewing couches for your entourage, plus a rainbow of dresses for bridesmaids to choose from. And, before you walk out, the in-house tailors will make sure you leave with the perfect fit to walk down the aisle.
Nilah & Company
36 West Eagle Road, Havertown.
Three decades of experience have given shop owner Nilah Petschelt the wisdom of understanding a bride’s needs and wants for her wedding attire, including how different every bride’s needs are. That’s why she offers a highly customizable experience. Nilah & Company specializes in restoring vintage wedding gowns and completely redesigning new gowns. The shop even handcrafts all their unique veils in-house with the bride’s choice of French, Spanish and Italian laces, Swarovski crystals and other design elements. “If a bride wants to add pink and purple jewels, we can do that,” Petschelt says.
Dress Right Tailor
1420 Locust Street, Center City.
The costs of planning a wedding can add up quickly, but at Dress Right Tailor they don’t have to. 52-year-old Rich Chae, the shop’s owner and tailor, prides himself on offering good service and affordable rates. With more than 15 years of tailoring experience, Chae works hard to handle customer demand and meet fast turnaround times for clients in a rush. He says excellent tailor work requires a sense for the craft, and he can figure out what a garment needs quickly and then do the job so a bride is satisfied. From working with intricate lace patterns to complex bead detailing, Dress Right Tailor diligently works to give brides a one-of-a-kind, personalized look for their special day.
Van Cleve Bridal
1604 East Lancaster Avenue, Paoli.
Deborah Van Cleve has run this shop for more than 30 years–more than enough time to learn how to give you what you want down to the very last stitch. She prides herself on her attention to detail and making the dress shopping experience as stress free as possible for brides-to-be. Browse through the more than 1,000 dresses offered in store. Then, strut your stuff on the mini runway in the shop’s private bridal showrooms and give your dress-to-be a twirl in front of the full-mirrored walls. Don’t forget to unleash your inner diva and spin by Van Cleve’s accessories section to top off your dream wedding look. With veils and baubles from designers like Toni Federici and Sara Gabriel, your wedding guests will see you sparkling before you even reach the aisle.
Steve’s Old City Cleaners and Tailors
102 Chestnut Street, Old City.
After 44 years of service, the owner of this Old City institution says that there is no job too big: “The only thing I turn down is his my collar.” Head to this spot for both men’s and women’s wedding-related tailoring. Bridal gowns, grooms suits, and bridesmaids dresses are all a part of this charming old-school shop’s purview. They claim that they “will tailor your dress, no matter how elaborate or simple, to factory-like perfection—or better.”
Irina Sigal Dressmaking
2038 Locust Street, Rittenhouse.
If you pride yourself on being the creative type, Irina Sigal’s trendy, European-style shop is your heaven on Earth. From intricate beading to unique appliqués and embroidery, this two-time Best of Philly winner specializes in tricky alterations. No vision for your dream dress is too wild for Sigal, who works with a wide range of fabrics like lace, leather, chiffon and fur to create a one-of-a-kind look. Sigal will make you feel right at home as you describe every detail of your wedding dress wishlist in the one-on-one design process. Plus, the shop offers free consultations. Many brides even turn to Sigal to revamp their family’s vintage wedding dresses for the big day. With incredible attention to detail and enviable precision, she’ll treat your heirloom like the treasure it is – and bring it into the 21st century (sorry, Grandma!)