Monday, April 9, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunctions? Talk to La Rapida

Guest post by Bill Mann.
Bill is a technical writer, instructor and partner at Ecuador SB Marketing

One thing that seems to happen to us expats when we get to Ecuador is that we tend to lose significant weight. Whether it is the weather, the food, the lack of stress, whatever it is, after a little time in country, our wardrobes need some help. One option is to buy new clothes (assuming we can find stuff that fits), but here in Cuenca there's another option. There are still places you can go and get your clothes altered just like in the olden days in the US. One such place is La Rapida.

La Rapida  is a chain of shops that can alter your clothes, repair your shoes, fix your luggage, put new holes in your belt, basically do whatever it takes to make your clothes fit you once again. There are a total of 8 locations scattered around Cuenca. Since I was lucky enough to be one of those who lost a lot of weight since I got here, I decided to test out the services at the primary La Rapida location at Tarqui 6 – 38 y Calle Larga Matriz.

I made two trips to La Rapida. First time I showed up with two shirts, a pair of pants, and a belt, all of which were now too large. Once my turn came up, they led me to the back of the shop, where a small bathroom under the stairs had been converted into a dressing room. If you are old enough to remember going to the tailor decades ago in the US, you know what happened next. I put on some of the clothes that needed to be altered and stepped out of the dressing room. I was greeted by a tailor with her measuring tape and chalk who asked what I needed done. For my pants, she not only measured and marked off the waist, but she also suggested that they could narrow the legs to fit better. When it came to the shirt, she marked off the sides to make it fit better along my torso, she also altered the sleeves.

Now it had been a long, long time since I visited a tailor (so my memories are fuzzy), but I don't remember that kind of thing happening back then. Even better, they told me that my clothes would be available the next afternoon. That was a 24-hour turnaround time. Even better, the total cost was $14.

When I got back the next day, they simply bundled up my clothes and sent me home. When I got there I tried everything on and am happy to report that everything fit just right.

I took a larger load of clothes back the next day and went through the same process, with the same results. This time, it was 4 shirts and two pairs of pants for $22. Again, everything came out just so. If your clothes (or leather goods, or shoes, or luggage) need repairs or alterations, I suggest you give La Rapida a try.

Thank you, Bill Mann for your post.

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