Additional Services

Additional Services

A great deal of care and consideration goes into creating each item crafted here in our studios. Each outfit is designed to last for a long time especially if it is looked after well. On saying that it does also depend on how much you love your outfits and whether you wear them every day or just get them out for very special occasions. It is not unusual for someone to get in touch with us to restore or just freshen up a piece that they bought thirty or more years ago.

We offer a range of services that enable you to enjoy your Charles and Patricia Lester garments for as long as possible. This may be anything from specialist dry cleaning to primp and preen freshening up, alterations or a full restoration service. These services are available for Charles and Patricia Lester garments only.

Advice on Care and Cleaning

We can advise you on all aspects of care for your outfits including storage, preparation for dry cleaning, and stain removal. We can also offer guidance for the pieces that are suitable for washing at home, paying particular attention to the more delicate fabrics that will require special attention.

Specialist Dry Cleaning

Any of the best dry cleaning services will happily dry clean your garments following our care instructions supplied at the time of purchase. However, some customers prefer to send the garments back to us to arrange cleaning with our local cleaners who are very familiar with our garments. This is a basic service available for all outfits created by Charles and Patricia Lester. You don’t need to worry about preparing the item for cleaning as we will organise that for you.

Primp and Preen Freshening Up Service

Sometimes if you have had a garment for a while, it might need just a little more attention than sending it to the cleaners. If left hanging in the wardrobe for long periods of time, and/or are worn regularly, garments sometimes look a bit tired especially if odd threads have pulled, beads have become caught and loosened, or the fabric has started to pill (little bobbles on the surface of the weave) and so requires depilling. Sending your items back to us for a primp and preen freshening up will have them looking like new again.


As each piece is created in our Studio in Abergavenny, any alteration needed to your Charles and Patricia Lester creation can be carried out by our experienced team. Alterations are available at any time after your purchase, regardless of the age of the garment or amount of wear. We can offer you the best advice on making changes to your favourite piece and are happy to arrange fittings to ensure the best outcome. Alterations are subject to charges for which we will provide our recommendations along with any costs that are applicable.


Accidents happen. Spillages, lost beads, rips and tears can happen to any one of us. Hems can often get caught on sharp heels or jewellery can catch on beading or the hand-bound hems. Whilst we may not be able to miraculously fix every type of damage, we will do our best to fix most things regardless of whether it is a minor incident or something that requires more intimate and involved attention.


All fabric is subject to distortion and general wear and tear particularly after excessive use or exceptional circumstances like being worn to an all-nighter party in a particularly humid atmosphere. The hand pleated silks are particularly vulnerable to distortion as silk cannot be permanently pleated. The damage can range from small areas to the whole garment. Pleats losing shape in the seat of the garment or the underarms is most common where heat, bodily moisture and pressure combine to ‘iron out’ the pleating. It can extend to the more dramatic ‘unpleating’ that happens if someone dives into a swimming pool. Yes, we have restored such pieces, however they did require complete repleating.

Quotes for Insurance Claims

If the damage is extensive then we are able to offer written quotes for restoration and repair or complete replacement depending on the extent of the damage or whether the garment has been lost entirely. We do charge a nominal fee for this service, which is refunded once we are asked to proceed with the work.

Garment Care Cards

These cards are supplied on purchase and include instructions on how to care for your garment. If you do not have a card, then please contact us for instruction.

Returning Items from outside the UK

If you plan to send us your garment from abroad, please contact us prior to shipping for instructions on how to ensure that additional duties and charges are avoided and packages are not delayed by being held by customs.

Provenance and Certificates of Authenticity

Charles and Patricia Lester garments are collectable treasures that are passed down the generations or donated to museums around the world. We are often asked about the history of a garment along with any details about its design, origins and stories. Increasingly items appear on vintage clothes sites or in vintage costume outlets around the world. As such the ones that fetch the highest prices have a valid authenticated provenance. As such we offer this Provenance and Certificate of Authenticity service to individuals, collectors, museums, galleries and vintage costume experts and dealers.

How to take advantage of these services

In the first instance give us a call or send an email letting us know what garments require attention and what you would like done to them. For anything more complex than dry cleaning (i.e. repairs, restoration, primp and preen services) we ask that you send the garments back to us so that we may assess exactly what is required. We will give you a written quote, usually via email. No work is started until you have approved the quote. We will estimate the time it will take to do the work along with the quote. If you need your garment for a special occasion, then please let us know and we will do our utmost to get it ready for you. In all instances garments are always dry cleaned before any alteration or restoration work commences. For certificates of authenticity, we generally just require a collection of photographs showing the design and detail of the garments.