The beautiful Hoi An in Vietnam is a hot spot for tourists who are looking to get clothes tailor made. It sounds like a dream, right? Clothes made to fit your body perfectly for a reasonable price! It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of shops around every single corner so I’m going to fill you in and give you tips for buying tailor made clothes in Hoi An. Let’s get into it!
Choosing the right place
With so many tailors in Hoi An’s old town, it can difficult to choose just one. I felt so overwhelmed looking at all of the shops and having the Vietnamese women quite aggressively approaching me the second I stopped to look at a dress outside their store.
Here’s how I’d recommend choosing a spot:
- Assess the tailor – I think the best way to choose a tailor is by assessing their personality from the beginning. Are they really pressuring you into a sale one minute after meeting you? Or are they giving you time to think about what you want and ask them questions? It may be hard to find a tailor that isn’t extremely pushy but there are some out there! Don’t let them pressure you into making a rash decision.
- Look at their fabrics – If you have something specific in mind, make sure you look at their fabrics right off the bat. A lot of tailors are limited in their fabrics. I was interested in an animal print skirt but the tailor I was at didn’t have a pattern I loved so I skipped out on it.
- Go off recommendations from other travellers – I eventually found a tailor I went with after speaking to a girl I had met throughout my travels. She had a beautiful dress made and after seeing it, I decided the easiest way would be to go to her tailor.
- Ask your hostel – If you’re still having trouble deciding, you can always ask your hostel for more information. I stayed at a Cococha and they were great. They actually listed some tailors on a brochure they handed out when you checked in!
When it comes to pricing of tailor made clothing, it will vary from shop to shop. They’ll either tell you the price in Vietnamese Dong or USD. I had a bikini made for $35 USD and 2 piece linen set for $30. I originally thought the price was a little steep but after seeing my friend order a bikini from a different place for about $25 and not getting the fabric or style she had asked for I was happy to pay what I did.
General price guidelines to go by:
- Dress – $30-35
- Linen set – $30-35
- Bikini – $30-45
- Evening gown – $75-90
- Three-piece suit – $90-250
- Tank top – $10-20
- Shorts – $15-25
- Skirt – $20-30
In Vietnam, there’s always the ability to negotiate so it seems. In the markets, it’s much easier to get the price down by 50% by simply walking away. It’s not so easy with tailors. With that being said there appears to always be a little bit of wiggle room to work with. If you hope to buy a few items, you may be able to get a bundle deal and if you aren’t happy with the price you can always go elsewhere. After all, there are more than enough places to choose from!
You won’t always be happy
Although the tailors take your exact measurements, they aren’t perfect! It may not fit as planned and if you’re unhappy they can always make changes for you. Just give yourself enough time in Hoi An to accommodate any changed that you may need. While I love the pieces I got made, I noticed that they quality wasn’t great. The bikini started to come undone at the side of the bottom seam after only one use and the linen used on the pink set (above) was thin.
With that being said, they looked exactly how I wanted them to look!
Would I do it again?
If I were to go back to Hoi An, I’d probably still get something made but I’d make sure I’d go to a tailor with good quality material and give myself enough time to come back if any changes need to be made! After experiencing how the virus had affected Vietnam, I’d certainly want to support local business next time I’m in the country.
You can find more information about travel in Vietnam here and I’ll see you next week with another blog!