Our most worn pair of jeans are also our favourites, despite the fact that they’re about to fall apart! But being of a thrifty mindset, we’re reluctant to splurge on a new pair and don’t want to throw them away, as they’ve been on so many adventures over the years. Consequently, when we discovered Mike Pendlebury, aka The Denim Doctor, we were overjoyed! You see, people from London to Qatar, Paris to Oslo send their jeans to Mike, to have him bring them back to life…
Based right in the centre of Manchester, in a glorious building called James Binney House that dates back to the mid-19th Century, Mike works out of his family’s tailoring firm, James Personal Tailor & Son, situated above Mr Thomas’s Chop House, which itself opened in 1867.
After walking up the amazing Victorian staircase and marveling at the gorgeous decorative tiles that line the walls, you’re warmly welcomed by a smiling Mike and ushered into a workshop that’s stuffed with sample books, old trade ephemera and pictures of such celebrity customers as George Best, Lionel Ritchie and Peter Kay. Then you notice that the amount of denim awaiting repair or pickup is equal to the number of bespoke suits!
After joining his Saville Row-trained Father, James Pendlebury, back in 1999, Mike decided put his skills to use in repairing his own jeans then launched The Denim Doctor. He’s since repaired, restored and altered countless pairs of jeans and denim jackets from around the globe (Mike offers a handy postal service!) – from high-end Japanese selvedge jeans to well-loved hand-me downs.
With the combination of his traditional tailoring skills, a vast collection of different scraps of denim, a massive array of suitable thread, and such specialised kit as a chainstitch machine (rescued from a local mill), which is essential to hemming jeans correctly, Mike can work wonders on the most worn clothing.
No matter if it’s rips in the knees, a worn out bum, frayed legs, torn pockets or you simply need a pair of jeans shortened or taken in, The Denim Doctor can help. Mike laughs and says he now spends so much time working with denim that, “my hands are blue when I go home!”
We took Mike four pairs of our most-loved jeans, all of which had very worn parts and holes, and three years later they’re still going strong! And the total cost of all of Mike’s time and effort was less than a single pair of new jeans… Mike’s friendly, personal service and traditional skills combined with thriftiness is something we can really get behind!
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