Aug 18 2011
When I travel I pack light. This helps me breeze through airports and carry fewer pieces of luggage up the stairs in my elevator-less hostel. But packing light has its drawbacks, and sometimes I don’t have room for all the outfits I may need, say for a fun night out or a fancy dinner. That’s why I love living in Saigon, because a seemingly endless number of tailor shops are eager to help meet my fashion needs — at low prices.
Tailors in the city can make all varieties of clothing, with quick turnaround times, for a fraction of their cost back home. Plus, having clothes tailor-made is way more fun than just shopping — you walk into a shop, pick your style, pick your material, and get measured. A shop will have several samples of the styles of clothes they make and stacks and stacks of material to choose from. Prices are great too: a two-piece woman’s suit will start at around $50, a button-up shirt can be as low as $10, a dress for $35. And the clothes fit well, because they’re made for you.
Tailors can also recreate your favourite clothes. For example, I had a shirt I loved that was starting to wear out; I took it to one of my trusty tailors and asked them to copy it for me. Two days later I had a nearly perfect replacement. Sure there were slight differences, but for an end cost of $15, one fifth of the original cost, it was pretty close.
You can find tailors in several places in Saigon: they are sprinkled throughout the Pham Ngu Lao area with several on De Tham and Bui Vien. My favourite shop is a bigger place, Nam Silk, on Bui Vien. The tailors at Nam Silk are professional and more importantly they are quick; more than once they’ve got clothes ready for me in a day. You can also find tailor shops on the trendy street of Dong Khoi. These are more higher priced than those on De Tham but the quality is also higher, with finer quality materials and tailors better versed in working with them.
Outside of downtown, you can find tailor shops on Le Van Sy in District 3, which is sometimes called Silk Street. These shops will be cheaper than shops in Pham Ngu Lao, but they aren’t as used to quick turnaround times.
03 Bui Vien street, Ward Pham Ngu Lao D.1
T: (09) 3922 2000
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
105 Dong Khoi, D.1
T: (08) 3829 5429
225 De Tham, D.1
T: (08) 5404 1696
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.