GQ: The Insider’s Guide to the Best Tailors in America

Where to go—and what to ask for—to dial in everything from a new suit to your favorite pair of jeans, with expert advice from our favorite menswear stores across the country.

The three hardest things to find in one’s lifetime are as follows: An apartment you can afford that’s not a hellbox, a job you like, and a GP you trust. Well, I’m here to add one more thing to that list (and then promptly take if off): a tailor. While in most large cities tailors are a dime a dozen—just walk into your local dry cleaner, if there’s a tiny becurtained platform, they have a tailor—a good tailor that you trust with your good shit can be hard to find. I mean, anyone with a steady hand, access to YouTube, and a will to save money can hem a pair of pants, but if you need actual skilled work done—if you need a shirt taken in, trousers let out, jacket drape adjusted—you need to go to someone who really knows what they’re doing.

But how do you know that they know? You ask the experts. We talked to some of our favorite stores across the nation to identify the best in the business. After all, who knows about fit, fabric, and style better than the guys who live, eat, and sleep fashion? Next time you have a pants emergency, consult this list—you’ll know you’re in good hands.

Where to Perfect a Suit in Boston

Drinkwater’s in Cambridge, owned by Gary Drinkwater, looks to be about as classic a tailoring store as you can find—which feels right in one of the most historic cities in the United States. Drinkwater himself has an old-timey gentleman’s vibe one doesn’t come across much nowadays. They recommend coming straight to them for alterations making the store a literal one stop shop for tailored clothing.

When customers ask for tailor recommendations, who is your go-to?
We typically recommend the customer to come to us, for we know that they’ll get the best tailoring by a master tailor. His name is Dippak Parmar. If in the case the customer needs faster service, we recommend Elegant Tailors and Cleaners.

Dippak is capable of performing any alteration or creating custom clothing. He’s a designer of women dresses and expert pattern maker. When I first met Dippak, it was at a factory of a company we were doing business with and I was there with a customer who had made some custom clothing with them. This customer was a competitive body builder and after many attempts to get the jacket to fit correctly, we were losing the battle with this muscular body. Dippak happened to walk by while a third tailor was attempting to remedy the situation and Dippak was asked to assess what was going on with the fit. He then took over, made a few observations and marked the jacket for his attempt. An hour later, the jacket came back to a very satisfied customer. Many times he has taken away a garment that we thought impossible, and with a beaming smile, he has returned it with perfection. We’re blessed to have him!

What’s the difference between a good tailor and a bad one?
A bad tailor is one who does not know how to shorten the sleeves of a shirt correctly. Ask any guy who has had it done and I’ll bet that you’ll hear horror stories. A good tailor is your best friend!

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