If you want to show off your unique style, personalize a special item or have a shirt or jacket made just for you, custom is the only way to go.
There are shops on Long Island where detailed artisans with expert know-how can monogram almost anything, make a dress shirt to fit like a glove and design a one-of-a-kind bridal veil from scratch. You also can host a party where you and friends can design one-of-a-kind handbags.
Where: The Monogram Shop, 7 Newtown Lane, East Hampton
Info: 631-329-3379, themonogramshops.com
Timeline: 7-10 days
Cost: $20 and up per monogram
This tony boutique carries bathrobes, bedding, stationery, drinking glasses, even kitchen cutting boards - all of which can be personalized with names, words or initials in your choice of lettering styles and colors.
Where: 1154 Lill Studio, Chicago
Timeline: About 3 1/2 weeks
Cost: $59-$210 handbags, $30-$60 accessories
Host a two-hour party at your home, office or favorite wine bar and design your own handbag from the inside out. Kristen Cuozzo, the Long Island representative for 1154 Lill Studio, a design-your-own-handbag company in Chicago, will bring samples of more than 25 bag styles and 100 fabrics to choose from. You design it - the exterior, strap, lining, everything - and place your order on the spot. Teams of cutters and sewers in Chicago will turn your vision into reality. "You're able to participate in the design process and create something that is a reflection of your own style," Cuozzo says. Bonus: The party's host receives a discount on her bag based on total sales.
Where: Barron's Bridal Boutique, Booth A4 inside Tri-County Flea Market, 3041 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
When: Noon-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Timeline: 6-9 weeks
Cost: From $25 for customized veils, $10-$178 for headpieces.
Shop owner Yana Barron, a textile engineer originally from Uzbekistan, has had a booth at the flea market for 17 years, creating custom-made bridal veils and headpieces to order. She asks each bride to bring photos of her gown so she can match the color to the veil, which she can make from short to cathedral length (about 108 inches, or longer). She also can create a design using the bride's choice of different styles of lace, pearls, bugle beads, rhinestones or Swarovski crystals, "whatever the girl wants."
Where: Custom Shirts by Tarlow/Custom Clothing by Salvatore, 444 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station
Info: 631-692-5330 (shirts), 631-692-2835 (custom clothing)
Timeline: About 2 weeks for shirts, 3-4 weeks for other clothing
Cost: Usually $175-$300 for shirts, from $400 for a skirt, from $1,200 for a sports jacket.
Under the same roof, Irwin Tarlow makes custom men's and women's shirts, while Salvatore Gambino does made-to-order suits, pants, overcoats and other apparel for men, women and children. Clients have their pick of fabrics (shirts are pure cotton) and will do several fittings before the final garments are sewn.