Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NYC Button Store Review: LouLou Buttons

Address: 69 W. 38th Street (near Sixth Avenue), New York, NYC
Phone: 212-398-5498
Hours:  Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Online store: n/a
Best for: the wide assortment of buttons of all materials

I am a button fanatic. I frequently replace the buttons on the clothes I buy because I feel that buttons are a detail many RTW manufacturers think they can skimp on. I cringe when I see fellow sewists create a stunning jacket and then ruin it with cheap-looking buttons. There's no need to limit ourselves to the meager selection at Jo-Ann's when places like M&J Trimming sell beautiful buttons online. And if you're visiting NYC's garment center there are several excellent button stores, including LouLou Buttons on W. 38th Street.

LouLou Buttons is small and more manageable. When costumers for stage and screen need buttons they turn to LouLou Buttons. I've chosen LouLou Buttons for several jackets and tops I've sewn and will continue to shop there.

LouLou Buttons is just one long room of buttons. But what buttons they are.

Monday, August 4, 2008

NYC Trim Store Review: Pacific Trimming

Address: 218 W. 38th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-279-9310
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 7:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am - 6 pm
Online store: Pacific Trimming
Best for: Hard-to-find hardware, like jumbo covered snaps, Riri zippers, covered hooks-and-eyes, etc.

Pacific Trimming, with its crowded aisles of bric-a-brac, reminds me of the five-and-dime stores of my childhood, where you could always find something to make you happy. I dare you to walk out of this store without buying anything.

Pacific Trimming is on my list of Garment District trim stores I regularly go to. Need hardware for that handbag you're making? Belt buckles for your safari jacket? Rings for your bikini? This is the place. It's cramped, though recent changes in store layout helped, and it's often crowded with designers' assistants and FIT and Parsons students, but there is usually enough sales staff around to answer questions and help you find things.

This post would go on and on if I included all the photos I took at Pacific Trimming. There's such a variety of stuff. Even if you don't have any trim or hardware on your shopping list, do yourself a favor and stop in here anyway just to experience that kid-in-a-candy-store feeling that you never get at Jo-Ann's or Hancock's.  Or, just come along on a Speakeasy tour!

Pacific Trimming has loads of buttons.

Loads of handbag hardware.

There's belt buckles galore.

Visit Pacific Trimming for sportswear zippers of all colors and sizes. They'll also cut zippers to your exact measurement.

Need a chain for your Chanel jacket?