Hoi An Travel

Tailor tips

More tourists return every year to stock wardrobes with their own creations made cheaply in Hoi An. Prices are rising but this is still one of the cheapest places to shop on earth!

The tailor shops in Hoi An carry many different fabrics. You will find an array of different colours, patterns, textures & quality of fabric.
Here's some tips to help you shop...

Chill Out - Saving face is very important in Vietnam. Remain calm, shopping can be stressful. We strongly suggest that you do not buy in the first shop you come to. Going slow only costs time - have fun.

Be Realistic - Indulge what you have always wanted at your own risk. The tailors of Hoi An will try to make whatever you ask for, but they can't work miracles. Go with what you know!

Select Quality Fabric - This is the difficult part! All the tailor shops carry a range of quality. Some shops carry better quality fabric to others. The fabric is more expensive than the cost of the tailoring.

Shop Around - Different shops carry different patterns and the 'walk-away' is the best way to find out if you are paying too much. Look for the best fabrics instead of the lowest price.

Bring a Photo -The shops only have "The Next Catalogue" to show you. You will need to choose cut and style after choosing fabric. Bring fashion magazines, catalogues or photos - show them what you want!

Bring clothes - The tailors in Hoi An can copy the size but not necessarily the fabric. With a template to copy, you can expect your new fitted clothes returned in 2 days. It is possible to do it in 1 day but rushing leads to inferior quality. Size is a lot easier to explain when you can point and say, "like that!" The shops find jeans particularly difficult to make.

Take Time - Minimum time for one order: 1-2 days. Ideal length of stay for a shopping holiday 4+ days. Some shops are open 7 days a week till 10pm. Remember a Savile Row tailor could have 5 fittings on a new suit order. If you ask them to rush they will. Don't get carried away and blow your wad in the first shop you come to, there may well be a better one around the corner.

2 or 3 Fittings - At the start, explain that you prefer a good job to a fast job, ask for at least two fittings. If they can't do it in 3 you are in the wrong shop, they will hope to complete in one fitting.

Be Clear - Simpler products are cheaper to make - clearly express what you require: type of hem, collar or cuff - fitted or not - how many buttons. Once you throw in patterns, the options are endless.

Eye for Quality - Did they give you what you asked for? Any lumps and bumps in the fabric? Secondary stitching? Re-enforced stress points? There are many ways to cut corners.

Remember this is a business transaction - Having all the money. You are in a great position to haggle, however, if you haggle too hard, you will get stiffed on quality. The highest quality available represents fantastic value for money. We suggest you insist on quality instead of penny-pinching.

Happy hunting!