Monday, August 1, 2011

Bespoke Clothing in Hoi An

Hoi An, a small tourist town in central Vietnam, is particularly well-known for one thing: custom tailors.

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


Despite the town's small size, there are over 500 custom tailor shops. You can't walk more than two steps without people calling out to you, hoping you'll stop in and request an entirely new wardrobe.

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


Since I'll be starting business school in September and my clothing collection could use some serious refreshment, I tried to pick some pieces that would be practical. Since the clothes are hand-made, it's a better idea to get items that you really need tailored to your body... this is not the place for t-shirts or pajamas.

If I were a man working at a job requiring business professional dress, I would be in heaven. A custom suit will run you between $50-200 depending on the quality of the fabric and tailor.

Like anything in Vietnam, it is difficult to sort the serious high-quality shops from the cheap and careless. I heard that the tailor business became so popular in Hoi An that anyone with an English-speaker in their family opened a shop, regardless of tailor experience or skill.

I ended up visiting five shops and having something made at each one. Some of my favorite things - custom linen pants for $11.

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


And a custom dress
From K - Hoi An & Dalat


Regardless of whether these clothes hold up for a long time (most have to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned), they were a great value and it was fun to have something made exactly to my specifications! I was really skeptical about coming to Hoi An, I thought it would be packed and touristy.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

It is touristy, but the town is small, laid-back, and absolutely beautiful. Definitely worth a stop for 2-3 days!

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


From K - Hoi An & Dalat

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