Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NYC Fabric Store Review: Fabrics World USA

Originally posted 7/10/12 - Updated today

This post has been revised today (October 8, 2013), because the only experiences commenters have shared on this business so far have been negative ones.  True to my responsible blogging philosophy, I feel compelled to let you know what I hear about this store, too.  Please read viewer comments below this post, and caveat emptor, folks.

Once upon a time, when I was a college freshman who sewed alot of her own, quirky clothes, I earned the nickname "Stripes" among a group of people who later became friends ( a clique, really) because they didn't know my name. Then it became a joke, and it kinda stuck. In that very geometric, Bennetton, assymmetric bobbed-haircut era, I made lots of striped skirts, pants, and deliberately cock-eyed Issey Miyake inspired stuff, that I would still wear (although a bit differently) today.

And this is why I am reviewing a store into which I randomly wandered on a day when I was actually headed elsewhere.

This store has an uninspiring, but fairly organized layout, and a distant, distracted staff, but that's no biggie... In fairness, it was a brutally hot day, and brutally hot inside the store as well. I just wandered in to take a peek at the piles of fabric inside. Now that I think about it, what drew me in were the colors.

You may wonder why I am featuring such a store here, but, frankly, their complete, deliberate disregard for current trends was refreshing. If you were blindfolded and led into this store, and asked what year we were in when the blindfold was removed, you actually wouldn't know. No color stories or fabric types seem to dominate in this store. That's actually kinda cool, don't you think? Allowed me to hit the "creative reset button", so to speak.

Now, this is not an insult to the proprietors of this store, but if you like a bit of humor/personality in your clothing, or if you make costumes, this is really the place for you! Completely reasonable prices, and lots of things that S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

And then, I noticed the stretchy, t-shirtlike knits toward the back, and had my own personal 80's moment. Lots of stripes, in color combos that sang to me in a sort of Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Breakfast-clubbian medley. Deliberate, bold stripes of color reminiscent of Molly Ringwald, John Cryer and Anthony Micheal Hall.

80's teenagers among you... can you feel it? And, remember the wardrobe of Mrs. Roper from "Three's Company"? She's been my muse a few times in the recent past. Seriously.

And then, against my will, I started to hum... and dream... "Don't you... forget about me..." I was in love. You can bet I'll snag a few things there. Don't worry; I'll update the look. Cue the music. (... "the look of love... that's the look... that's the look... the look of lo-uh-uh-ove... LOOK OF LOVE!")

Fabrics World USA
252 West 38th Street