One thing we were encouraged to do in Vietnam was to get some clothes made in Hoi An. Why Hoi An? Quite simply, its tailors are renowned as being the best in Vietnam – although I’d go so far as to say they’re the best in all of South East Asia.
We didn’t know how good Hoi An tailors were before we arrived. But we were heading there anyway – I offer five great reasons why you should visit Hoi An too – and we were keen to give it a go.
What we failed to do though was actually take pieces from our own wardrobe that we would have liked replicated. Clearly I was far too excited and eager when packing and simply forgot to do this.
I highly recommend either packing or taking images of items you would like to have replicated – this will definitely help and perhaps save you some time, particularly if you are a little indecisive.
All the shops supply display books filled with images from magazines, so if you’re finding it hard to explain what you want, utilise these.
There are so many tailors in Hoi An, where do I start?
The array of tailors is quite overwhelming. Initially we hit the internet seeking tailors with the best reviews. Yardley rated highly consistently. And yes, they’re excellent but cost close to prices back in Australia.
We ended up finding Nhan Ha The Galaxy tailor, (located at 37 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An), based on a recommendation from a local. They were not only reasonably priced, but service was lovely and very helpful. We also like the fact that it was run by a mother and daughter, it wasn’t a bargain basement sweat-shop and had a real personal touch.
Apart from trawling the net, the next best thing to do is spend a day wandering the streets. Not only does this give you a chance to get your bearings in a new town, but also provides you with the opportunity to do some physical research.
Visit various tailors and scrutinise their work. Don’t be overly obvious, just look for things such as:
- Fabrics – do they have what you want? Leather, Cotton, Silk, Corduroy etc
- Skill – can the shop make what you want (assuming you have picture). Most will say yes!
- Stitching quality – is it finished well? Is the stitching straight or all over the place? Look for loose threads.
- Zippers – watch out for poor quality zippers ie the ones that snag, catch. Avoid this.
- Prices – request pricing. Do they negotiate? Most will be willing if you purchase several items.
So, how easy is it to have clothes tailored?
It really is as easy as:
- Selecting your fabric and finishes (stitching colour, linings etc)
- Getting measured up.
- Checking the fitting. Any adjustments can usually be made on the day. (NOTE: It is important to do this at least the day before you plan to leave!)
- Paying and collecting your goods.
- Enjoy wearing your new garments.
Top tailoring tips before you go:
- Work out what items you want to get made. If it’s a simple business shirt, perhaps pack one (as they don’t take up any room), that way, it can be replicated exactly in various fabrics.
- Take images of other items you like, either your own, from retail outlets or magazines. This will help you particularly if you are little indecisive, and will also save you time.
- All the tailors supply display books full of various clothes categories, so don’t despair if you forget to prepare. There will be something in these books that you can use as a guide.
What did we buy, and how much did it cost?
From Nhan Ha The Galaxy tailor, we bought the following:
|ITEM DETAILS||COST||APPROX RETAIL COST IN AUS|
|Corduroy blazer with silk lining||$30||$120 – $150|
|Heavy felt duffle style jacket||$40||$130 – $180|
|Three short sleeve mens shirts||$10 each||$60 – $80 each|
When you think about it, we had these items made for just on $100AUD, which would have dented out account by several hundred dollars back in Australia. Well worth it I say!
We were originally looking for a leather jacket each, but it’s hard not to get sidetracked with so much else on offer. Just so you know, the leather is also fantastic, but that’s another post yet to be published.
Accommodation in Hoi An, Vietnam
My preferred option to book accommodation is via Booking.com. Click on the deals below to find the best option for your trip!
If you are interested is learning more about itinerary options for Vietnam I recommend that you check out How to Spend 3 Weeks in Vietnam! by Traveling Mitch.
Have you had clothes tailored abroad? I’d love to hear your tips.
This is a guest post from Anna McPherson from the It Started In Asia travel blog. It Started in Asia is a blog designed for travellers seeking a mix of adventure, culture, food, roughing it, luxury and a little dose of wellness. Matt & Anna work full-time but love exploring new lands. It Started in Asia is also an avenue to showcase Anna’s passion for photography.