Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NYC Trim Store Review: So-Good Ribbons

[03/12: CLOSED. I'm sad. Leaving this review up as a memorial to a fine old store.]

Address: 28 W. 38th St., between 5th and 6th Avenues, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-398-0236
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
Online store: n/a
Best for: Grosgrain ribbons, satin ribbons, velvet ribbons and lots more ribbons and trims in a store that's been around since "Mad Men" days and looks it

So-Good Ribbons has been at this W. 38th Street location for 44 years.

I admittedly contradict myself when it comes to retail: I want my Jo-Ann Fabric stores to be brand-spanking new and big, but I want my garment district stores to look like venerable institutions, just like So-Good Ribbons' shop in the garment district area. Who cares about a little dust when the prices are as good as these? There are rows and rows of grosgrain, satin, velvet and embroidered ribbons in every color and design imaginable. (No petersham though, drat.) I've been shopping for ribbon at So-Good since 1990 and it's always the first place I think of when I need lots of ribbon or a ribbon in special colors.

I popped in there last week to buy some 3-inch striped ribbon in the colors of the university my niece will be attending; I'm going to use it to decorate a fleece throw I'm contributing to her dorm room. I happened to have some other ribbon in my hand when I went to pay, but I told the person at the register I only wanted the 3-inch ribbon. "What the heck, I'll give you some of this other one anyway," he said cheerfully, and he cut off two yards of it for me. Free! It was really nice ribbon too. And I didn't even identify myself as someone who blogs about the garment district. Can you imagine this kind of generosity happening at a fabric chain store?

Don't be put off by So-Good's small size or disorganized appearance when searching for ribbon. The staff is very helpful at finding what you need and accommodating special orders. They have binders filled with swatches of ribbons in every shade.

NYC Trim Store Review: Joyce Trimming

Address: 109 W. 38th Street (close to Sixth Avenue), New York, NYC
Phone: 212-719-3110
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 6:30 pm; Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Online store: ejoyce
Best for: Sparkly trims and rhinestones

Like M&J Trimmings, Joyce Trimming has a brick-and-mortar store in the garment district area and an online store (eJoyce.com).

Between M&J Trimmings and Pacific Trims, I can usually find everything I need when it comes to embellishments. But I always welcome more choices, so I was happy to recently check out Joyce Trimming on W. 38th, a small but well-stocked and brightly lit store. They carry buttons, buckles, crystals, appliques, ribbons, nailheads and loads more at competitive prices. The store is close to M&J Trimmings, so if you don't find what you're looking for there, or are overwhelmed by M&J's size, you can always pop into Joyce's.

Joyce Trimming seems to carry a small smattering of everything embellishment-wise.

Lots of jewels.

Lots of trim.