I've been told Hoi an is very good for getting clothes made. I want to get a few nice suits made. Can you recommend a tailor, and should I bring a suit with me to show them what I want?
#1 bonze has been a member since 24/1/2006. Posts: 4
The simple answer(s) is no and no!
Hoi An has literaly hundreds of tailors, shoemakes and leather-workers. It would be unfair of us to pick any one practitioner out of the lot for a specific recommendation -- particularly as we didn't have any suits made there!
Some advice though -- try before you order up big. Get a tailor to make you a single short of pants before going the whole hog. Check the handiwork on what they make -- stiching, quality of cloth, general workmanship etc. If it isn't up to scratch, try another place -- there is no shortage of places!
Don't expect top quality -- what you're really getting is a the equivelant of a mid-priced off-the-rack suit custom-made -- while they are certainly cheaper than the west, you do get what you pay for.
Don't pay upfront, although a deposit is normal.
Watch out for the "hands-on" treatment -- pretty young women in the store touching you WAY too much! -- they're doing this because they're friendly and it will help close the sale -- they don't come with the suit!
I wouldn't bother taking a suit with you unless you have very specific requirements.
Perhaps others will have specific recommendations.
I just stumbled onto this very useful thread over on the Lonely Planet Thorntree about Hoi An tailors -- well worth a read. Some of the comments are old, but they are indicative of some of the issues you need to be wary of.
My experiences with Hoi An tailors were pretty good overall. It's definitely worth it to pay a little more to get a tailor who is selling better fabrics. Don't be shy about doing the match test - if you want 100% cotton, pull a thread and see if it burns or melts. Melts means it's a poly blend. If you don't mind that, well I guess you don't need the test. If having a suit made, a good tailor will want to do 2 - 3 fittings as the suit progresses through development.
Have a great time!
#4 booradley has been a member since 25/2/2006. Posts: 7
I had men's shirts made at 4 different shops before I found a place that provided good quality. Luckily I had the time to visit so many shops and return to collect them. It does take a toll when it's so hot out. It is good advice to try a few places if you have the time.
See if they can show you some samples from customers who have ordered but not picked up their clothes yet. Check the stitching and see if you like it. The samples on the mannequins are a resonable indication, but they may be quite old. I couldn't tell you if they put up clothes that they didn't make.
So far I've had the best luck with shops that have their own tags that they sew on their clothes. They're not necessarily the most expensive either.
#5 clouie has been a member since 13/3/2006. Posts: 7
Hi clouie - thanks for the report back. If you want to recommend a particular tailor by name, please feel free to do so.
We had a great experience at Khoa.
81 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. (perpendicular to Le Loi St.)
It was recommended to us by another traveller who we met in Hanoi. We saw him again in the post office in Hoi An, mailing his clothes home. Tai left her shop to accompany him to the post office.
We felt very at ease with Tai and her sister Khoa. No pressure like some of the other shops. We learned that when she said to trust her, we could actually trust her opinion on what would look good. And that she would make it the way she said she would. The stitching is amazing. It seems like they take a lot more care when making the garments.
We ended up with men's and women's suits, dress shirts, 3 more pairs of women's business pants, a copy of my zip-offs and more.
We also had good quality skirts and casual men's shirts made at Cay Da for a cheaper price than many shops.
#7 clouie has been a member since 13/3/2006. Posts: 7
I was happily surprised with the quality they provided...
Khoa shop isn't one of the shops who give you a run for the money...I got some enthousiastic people at home who want to buy some measure made clothes from overseas...see if they can do that as well...
#8 Miekenries has been a member since 26/8/2006. Posts: 1
Having lived in Hoi An for so many years I would say if you want to have a good suit made do it in Hanoi or Bangkok. It will take a week and might not be that cheap but as Somtam says, you get what you pay for. Problem in Hoi An is a lack of consistency, and that goes for the quality of the material, the making, the finishing.... It's very much hit and miss. To give you a rough comparison: when I got my wedding suits made there 10 yrs ago, it took a week before they were ready and costed 50 US each only for the making, material not included (and the shopkeeper was a relative !). I can still wear them in 20 years.... if I can find them back.......
I've seen so many poorly made clothes in Hoi An, it's unreal. So if you want cheap clothes, go for it, if you want quality, I would say no, no, no.
#9 ReneHanoi has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 54
I also had a great experience at the tailor shop at 22 Le Loi.
I helped two friends at their fittings at other tailors, and 22 Le Loi was the best experience: not pushy, excelent workmanship, very responsive to my requests. It was also a great price- I paid $65 for a suit, $10 per shirt, and $15 for an extra pair of slacks. She had an alright selection of fabric, but for really fine stufff you have to go to the much more expensive tailor Yaly.
I reccomend bringing a freind to the fitting, to help you stand up to pushy tailors and to check out how your duds look from the back. Also, I almost lost hope at the first fitting, when it looked like I was a kid raiding my dad's closet, but after seeing the clothes on me the tailor changed them miraculusly into stylish and beautiful clothes.
#10 devonds has been a member since 5/1/2008. Posts: 1
One Hoi An tailor that has had consistently good reports for YEARS is YALY. 22 Le Loi (both name and address) is also good (I had pants made there).
One chain to AVOID is IMPRESSIONS (also another store they have with Obsessions in the name. That is IMPRESSIONS in ANY PART of the shop name. Now that the owners poor reputation is getting out, she is trying different variations.
Remember, don't expect quality if you want delivery the next day! Even craftsmen need time and for a suit, fittings are necessary and add time.
#11 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
My brother and I had an excellent experience with YALY, I had silk & cotton dresses made and a cashmere skirt that are perfect! My brother had a chocolate brown suit made that he adores and its top quality, though he did pay $180, but he figured he'd pay that much for an off-the-rack suit in Australia.
Also went at the last minute to Mr Xin, just down the road from YALY, and he made a great dress in half the time and very cheaply, but so far the dress seems top quality.
#12 Ashe88 has been a member since 19/11/2007. Posts: 24
22 Le Loi(both name and address) have moved since the end of 2008 to 586 Cua Dai Road and changed their name into Tuong Lai Future.
They are still one of the best tailors in Hoi An with good service and excellent quality clothes for a fare price. I know this because I'm a customers since the beginning in 1999. This summer we will be visit them for the 7th time and I'm sure this time we will be a happy customer again.
Have a great time in Vietnam and if you visit their shop don’t forget to say HI from Hans Yen and Kimberly from Holland
#14 hansyen has been a member since 2/4/2007. Posts: 27