We’ve often talked about using the dry cleaners to alter straps as an alternative to The Strap Saver. We’ve mentioned how it might be inconvenient or expensive. I decided to go undercover (not really) when I went to my favorite, Ace French Dry Cleaners in Manalapan, to get some pants hemmed and get the answers!
I spoke with Chris, one of the owners. He said that he does get asked to shorten straps and the price and time depends on the garment. If it has an adjuster and the seam is easy to reach, it can cost approximately $8 for both straps. If it doesn’t and/or the seam is harder to find, it’s approximately $12.1 It can take anywhere from a day to three days, depending on need and the requirements of the job. The prices can vary, of course, depending on the fabric, turnaround time and intricacy of sewing needed. It sounded reasonable to me, considering all that it takes to make a bra. Pulling it apart and putting it back together nicely can’t be easy.
As he and I were chatting, we did a quick compare and contrast.
The Dry Cleaner was better/more cost-effective for:
- A one-time adjustment
- An event that is happening in just a day or two.
- If the bra or bathing suit has very thick or wide straps (wider than 1”)
- You can also get your favorite dress altered to fit you perfectly at the same time (Ace saved my favorite formal wear!)
However, The Strap Saver became the winner in other circumstances:
- It shortens more than one bra/bathing suit/tank top. The Strap Saver can be moved from bra to bra as needed, daily.
- It leaves the strap adjustable, allowing for continued shortening
- The stainless steel construction means that it will outlive many bras/bathing suits/etc. It’s a solution that will be around for years to come.
- You don’t have to leave your house to get it! (my favorite – it takes me a long time to take stuff there and longer to pick it up…)
Some may think I’m crazy for praising “the competition”. I think it’s about finding the best way give the customer a custom fit. Also, I don’t think we’re exactly the same. It all depends on the need at the time and garment. If your strap issues fall in category 1, find your local seamstress or dry cleaner (If you are in the central NJ area and , I recommend Ace!). If not, might I suggest picking up The Strap Saver to cure your strap woes?
1Your mileage may vary. Consider that this estimate is from Central New Jersey, halfway between New York City and Philadelphia.