We were in Hoi An for a week, and left about 5 days ago. When we were planning our visit we were interested in the idea of tailoring, but didn't really know what that entailed and how to go about it. As it turned out we had a wonderful experience with a tailor that was recommended elsewhere on this forum. We ended up spending about $300 on clothes, and a further $90 shipping two thirds of them home because they didn't fit in our backpacks! The variety of tailors in Hoi An is overwhelming when you first arrive. Most shops are almost identical, with the same clothes on mannequins and many staff out front asking you to come in and see the shop, or 'buy something.' We found this intimidating and were put off of looking for too long since we felt the sales pressure as soon as we looked at one thing for more than 2 seconds.
The tailor we ended up at was very different. Her name is B' Lan and her shop is at 23 Tran Phu St. She only has one store, and she is the person we dealt with, along with a very nice assistant. Her store doesn't have many clothes on display, in fact the front is given over to her brothers stone carving work, with only a few mannequins dotted in between. Once you go through the back you see the bolts of fabric, and the smiling face of B' Lan.
I had them copy a pair of shorts that I really like in 2 different fabrics, and had 2 short-sleeve and 3 long-sleeve shirts made. We had some silk kimonos made for the friends who are looking after our cat. My wife got some trousers copied in 3 different fabrics, a silk jacket, a skirt and a silk kimono. We choose the styles from a big catalog they have for you to look through. The prices that she quotes you are very fair, don't expect to be able to bargain down.
One caution (and I think this applies to all tailors in Vietnam) - if you are having something copied and there are some details that are important to you make sure you point them out. My wife did that with her trousers and they copied the intricate work perfectly. I didn't point some details out on my shorts and so they skipped over them.
The atmosphere in the shop is very festive. It's clear that B' Lan's customers all like her very much, and it was fun talking to everyone. She is such a sweet person. She assured us that we brought her luck since someone ordered 6 suits from her an hour after we first went in to the store.
All in all it was a very fun and relaxed experience. Each piece was done for us overnight, and then a second night if adjustments had to be made. So if you are looking for this kind of experience then I'd recommend B' Lan.
#1 notacrime has been a member since 24/7/2007. Posts: 10
I am glad you weren't taken by any of the stores with 'Impressions' in their names, run by Kim - a Vietnamese boat person from Vancouver.
Her clothes never need washing - they fall to bits, usually, after hitting the first wash. Her prices are also some of the highest in Hoi An.
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349