Coat repair!
November 8, 2018 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Where should I go to fix a zipper on a heavy-duty winter coat?

I'm actually a little baffled that I have gotten to the age of 34 and don't know the answer to this, but here goes...

2 winters ago I bought a lovely, mid-thigh, heavy-duty winter coat. It had two toggles, so it could be zipped up, then unzipped from the bottom in case you needed more leg-striding room. Last winter during a trip to NYC, both toggles (ie, the entire zipping mechanism, minus the teeth that are sewn into the coat of course) were ripped off by the MOMA's coat check machine. They were able to retrieve one toggle, but currently the coat is useless to me since I have no way to close it.

Who do I go to to get this fixed - a tailor? A dry cleaners? Would bringing the toggle I have left help them any? Will they be able to just add new toggles on, or will they have to tear out the entire thing and sew in a new zipper? And how much might this cost me? I really don't want to have to buy a whole other coat as apart from being zipperless, this is a really nice coat and I purchased it as an investment to be worn for many years to come.
posted by chainsofreedom to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
I took mine to a tailor and it was very affordable, around $20. They replaced the entire zipper. Good as new.
posted by something something at 7:33 AM on November 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've had local tailors/seamstresses fix coat zippers for me - nobody seemed too fazed by the request, so I assume they get it all the time.
posted by Mogur at 7:34 AM on November 8, 2018

Where are you located? There are places that specialize in zipper repair! Otherwise a tailor or a shoe repair place will probably be able to do this.
posted by mskyle at 7:35 AM on November 8, 2018

Northeast Ohio.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:37 AM on November 8, 2018

My local dry cleaners would do this for $30-40, it depends on the length and type of the zipper. I’d look for local recommendations and go to a place with a good reputation.
posted by catatethebird at 8:06 AM on November 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

in a similar situation, i went to G Street Fabrics, rifled through their boxes of loose zipper toggles - they have sizes - with the help of all the staff present found one that would work, then paid something like 34 cents for it. they installed it and replaced the zipperend pieces (just by crimping around the last tooth). took most of an hour. i too had been ignorant of what to do with my broken zipper. it was mom's suggestion. afterward i felt very powerful. and warm.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:12 AM on November 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

If the coat comes from a solid, big time company, like Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, Lands End, North Face, Patagonia or Columbia, send it back to them and they'll replace the zipper for free/small charge. The key is to check with their customer service office.

A catch is that you might be cold for a little bit longer than if you pay for it by taking it to a local tailor.
posted by dlwr300 at 11:22 AM on November 8, 2018

If you have an REI or similar outdoor outfitter (Cabelas?) they sometimes have in house tailors and in my experience always know who you should see. Tech fabric can be harder to work on and someone with that specific skill set is handy.
posted by padraigin at 5:59 PM on November 8, 2018

Update: I went to an alterations place today and they fixed it in 10-15 minutes for about $20. Yay coat!
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:29 PM on November 10, 2018

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