People flock to Hoi An to visit one (or more) of the very many tailors, cobblers, and leatherworkers. It’s the ‘go-to’ place for anyone wanting a new, bespoke, wardrobe and we quickly came to see why!
I was feeling pretty nervous about how to go about getting some new clothes made but had a blast when I got up the confidence to try. Here is how I went about it and how I reckon you should too.
Get a recommendation.
Try and get a recommendation from someone you trust on or before your trip. This will help you pick one of the 600+ tailors to visit. Hotels will have their favourite tailors, tuk-tuk drivers will have theirs (in both cases it may be because they are getting a small kickback, but not always). After complimenting a fellow traveler on her dress, we picked up a great recommendation for a tailor in the local cloth market.
Take a photo, sample or sketch.
Unless you’ve got an unlimited budget it is wise to go into the tailors with an idea of what you want, otherwise, they will have no problem telling you about the 10 things you need… Take a photo, pull out a page in a magazine, bring a sketch or better yet give the tailor the item you want to be replicated. The better your example the more likely you’ll get what you want.
Be clear about your expectations.
Let the tailor know what type of fabric you want (or go choose it with them). Tell them your timeframes, and ask when your items will be available and explain any specific requirements you have. Being a curvy girl with big arms, I wanted my dresses to cover all my ‘problem areas’. I told the tailor that outright and she made notes.
Try everything on and give your honest feedback.
Things might not be right the first time around and that’s ok. Give the tailor your feedback and they can make alterations. You might have to try things 2 or 3 times and that’s OK too. Being honest will mean you get exactly what you’re after. Even after our chat about my arms, the sleeves on one of my dresses weren’t quite right. I told her and she fixed them – easy!
Enjoy your new clothes, shoes, and bags!
Tailors, like other services, need your recommendations (remember step 1?) so if you’re happy, talk about it!
We’d love to hear how you get on and which tailor you visited. Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.