Fix it: Jewelry & Apparel

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From the February 2014 edition
Fur coats and vests

Symptoms: Tears in the lining, at the seams or in the fur itself

Diagnosis: At The Fur Vault, veteran fur specialist Rose Spangler will examine the tear, peeling back layers of the garment until she’s found the source. The more layers she has to rip through, the more expensive the repair will be.

Cost: Repairs can cost anywhere from $20 to $300.

Wedding gowns

Symptoms: A wedding gown is stained from being dragged on the ground.

Diagnosis: “In the summertime, it gets so blessed hot that things get a little tacky. Anything like [asphalt] will stick to the gown, leaving a black stain,” says Margaret Butler, co-owner and wedding gown preservation specialist at Dublin Cleaners. Butler’s husband Greg will evaluate the gown and provide an assessment.

Cost: Gown cleaning and preservation start around $275 and peak around $400.

Leather handbags

Symptoms: Damaged hardware, broken or frayed straps, scuffed and stained leather Diagnosis: Yakov Kamenetskiy, owner of Dr. Shoe Worthington (and holder of a degree in leather technology from his native Ukraine) and his team can mend tears, affix fresh straps and hardware and thoroughly clean any handbag. In extreme cases, he can even re-dye handbags.

Cost: $10 to $200

Stiletto heels

Symptoms: High-heeled shoes have loose, damaged or missing taps.

Diagnosis: Alex Viner of Alex Shoe Repair in Upper Arlington says when these rubber tips fall off, the mere act of walking can wreak havoc on the shoes, damaging the metal inside and leather lining on a heel. Customers can wait while Viner attaches new taps to shoes. Viner, who also repairs tears or scuffs in the heels themselves, says manufacturers’ taps are often of poor quality and that many of his customers bring him shoes straight from the store.

Cost: $12 plus tax for new heel taps

Jewelry

Symptoms: Rings or other jewelry are showing wear.

Diagnosis: If two rings have been worn next to each other for years (as with engagement rings and wedding or anniversary bands), they have probably worn unevenly and weakened the band or stone settings. Vicki Warnecke, sales manager and graduate gemologist at Worthington Jewelers, gauges how attached the customer is to the piece before helping her decide whether to remount or create something new. “If they want to remount, we have to look at it and ask, ‘Can we get it to the point where it can be worn every day?’ Sometimes you’re beyond that,” she says.

Cost: Varies widely. Retipping prongs can cost $60 to $100, but a custom design can climb to $1,200 to $2,000, depending on metals and other variables.

Men’s dress shirts

Symptoms: Shirts are ill-fitting.

Diagnosis: For the man who can’t find the right shirt off the rack, a custom shirt might be an economical solution (or one that’s at least less aggravating). At Boris the Tailor, a customer will be measured, and a shirt pattern will be made for him. As long as he doesn’t gain or lose significant weight, he won’t need to be measured again, says Marika Stamojevic, Boris’ wife and the business co-owner.

Cost: Shirts start at $85 each, with a minimum order of three shirts. Feeling adventurous? Bespoke suits start at $900.

Garments damaged by water or fire

Symptoms: Mold, mildew, smoke damage and odor and soot due to fire or water damage

Diagnosis: Clothes that are in a house that catches fire or floods have a host of problems that can’t be solved by dry cleaning alone. Ross Cleaners in Bexley operates a franchise of Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network, which specializes in repairing these kinds of damages. Ross does most of the cleaning in its Blacklick restoration facility, but some specialty items (leather, fur) are sent to experts in those materials, manager Samantha Smith says.

Cost: Most people using restoration services are paying through an insurance policy, but people do sometimes pay out of pocket, Smith says. Prices vary greatly, but they start higher than typical dry cleaning prices.