Vietnam Travel Tip – Tailors In Hoi An

By | July 21, 2012 at 5:10 am | 24 comments | Advice, City Breaks, Jade, Vietnam | Tags: ,

Tailors in Hoi An

Of all the places I wish I knew more of before I went to Vietnam for my holidays, Hoi An is the place. Before my trip, I spent countless hours researching places of interest on the internet and in guide books, reading books of the history and culture, and planning my Vietnam itinerary. If only I had found an article like this one to prepare me with some Hoi An tailoring tips!

I knew that there were lots of tailors in Hoi An, but I never thought I would be the type of thing to get too excited about it.

I was wrong.

Walking down the streets of old Hoi An, one soon realizes that the majority of businesses are tailors. It’s difficult not to be drawn into the shops – to the stacks of fashion magazines, and walls full of beautiful textiles – and not be just a little bit tempted.

This coat was made for me in Hoi An. This photo was taken in Ottawa, Canada.

And then there is the price.

With all the competition in Hoi An, it is not difficult to find a tailor that suits your budget. Of course, if you want to get something a little more particular made, and if you want to ensure the finest of materials, then you may want to spend a little bit extra at one of the more well known establishments.

But if all you want is something rather simple, then by all means, shop around until you find a tailor that is in your price range, and who has the material you desire.

I must admit, I went a little bit crazy.

Flipping through Vogue and Elle magazines, the clothes worn by the models suddenly became attainable. I sorted through catalogues, designed a new winter coat, and in general got way too excited.

I ended up extending my stay, and getting not only several dresses made, but also a couple of blouses, a new winter coat, and even some new shoes at the cobblers. And all for less than $200. It was amazing!

The only thing I regretted was not diligently sorting through fashion magazines before my trip, and carefully preserving all the patterns and ideas that I would like to see made.

My white trench coat, white pumps, and my blue dress were all tailored in Hoi An. Also the man on my left also had his silk suit made in Hoi An as well. This photo was taken at my friends wedding in Leeds, England.

Tips To Make The Most Of Your Hoi An Tailor Experience

  • Prepare ahead, and have an idea of what you would like to get made while in Hoi An. All the tailors have stacks of magazines and catalogues as well, but if you want something specific it is good to come prepared.
  • Shop around. Not all the tailors are able to produce the same quality. Have a look at the quality of some of their samples, and check the materials. Sometimes you will find a great tailor, but who doesn’t have the right kind of material in stock. But there are so many tailors in Hoi Ann, that you should be able to find one with both the ability and the material.
  • If you are having several items made at one tailor, don’t be shy to barter for a better price. Tailors are often willing to bring down the cost per item if you are buying in bulk.
  • Request several fittings. It was not uncommon for some of the cheaper establishments to get some of the measurements and design wrong. Also remember that there can be some miscommunications are English is not the tailors first language. You are paying for the garment to be tailoring to you, so don’t feel shy to ask for alternations before the product is finished.
  • Post things home! The post office is quite used to tourists coming in with large boxes of garments and sending them back to their homes. The price is actually very reasonable if you post via sea mail, and will save you having to carry all your new purchases on your back.

Did you make use of the tailors in Hoi An? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Jade Johnston

Jade is a freelance travel writer from Manitoba Canada. She loves travel and meeting new people has lived in 6 countries and travelled to more than 30. She prefers to travel slowly - taking overland transit or working/ volunteering in the countries she visits. Her motto is that she might never return to this place again, so she has to try to soak up as much as possible. To learn more about the OurOyster project, Google + : Jade Johnston's Google You can also shoot her an email at jade@ouroyster.com

24 Comments

  1. Christy @ Technosyncratic (1 year ago)

    We tried to get things made in Thailand and the experience was terrible — we couldn’t find any decent fabrics, they had a hard time understanding how to interpret the photos I brought in, and the things we got altered were subpar. And we went to a highly reviewed shop! I tried to get a pair of breezy linen pants made and the result was something that my grandpa would wear. We were so disappointed.

    I wish we had waited until Hoi An – it seems like tailors there are used to dealing with things other than suits.

  2. Angela (1 year ago)

    I went to buy from tailors in China, they were absolutely fantastic. Excellent idea to post things home!

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      I think it only cost us about $20 to send 10 kilos back to Canada as well…. so worth it!

  3. Laurence (1 year ago)

    This isn’t something I’ve ever thought of doing, but your clothes look pretty awesome. Knowing me though, I’d end up going crazy and getting something that Willy Wonka would be proud to wear…

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      But consider…it would probably only cost you $40 and then you would be set for fancy dress parties forever

  4. Brooke vs. the World (1 year ago)

    I’ve heard about the amazingness of Hoi An for years! I wannnnnnt to goooooo and get tailored clothes! You look awesome in that white trench.

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      Thanks!!! Although I don’t usually like going to the same country twice… I am a bit tempted to go back to Hoi An for a clothes making holiday

  5. Kristen Jacobson (1 year ago)

    That’s such a great idea. When I go to Hoi An, I’ll definitely sort through some fashion magazines first. Looking a million bucks for only $100 sounds good to me:)

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      It’s easy to go a bit overboard as well! But who cares! It’ so cheap!

  6. Travel and Escape Community (1 year ago)

    Great idea Jade!

  7. cheryl (1 year ago)

    Awesome. I’d love to have this done for me at least twice a year. =)

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      me too! writing this made me want to go back….!

  8. Noah Lederman (1 year ago)

    Great post. You just cost me a few hundred dollars as my wife is now excited for Hoi An. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      hahahaha but if she bought the same things at home it would cost you much much much more than that!

  9. Brian Harry (1 year ago)

    It looks good jade and the colors are so fantastic I think I should also visit china for that. I heard they have a lot of variety for that kinds.

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      I think many Asian countries have cheap tailor businesses, but what makes Hoi An special is that the whole town almost seems devoted to the trade

  10. Audrey (1 year ago)

    I’ve heard so many good things about the tailors in Hoi An; I think I’m sold! I’ll have to start browsing fashion magazines ahead of time!

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel (1 year ago)

    Being a very curvy petite 5’2″ American woman, almost everything I purchase has to be tailored. I end up buying a lot of my things at thrift stores so that I can afford to have them altered to fit me. A city of tailors is almost like a dream come true. I love the idea of getting something made to fit my uncommon figure while supporting the local economy – everybody wins!

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      So true! I have the opposite problem – Im 6 feet tall and have no hips, a short torso, and long legs – My figure doesn’t exist in more clothing manufacturers reality! I would consider going back to Vietnam just to stop back in at Hoi An

  12. Alan (1 year ago)

    I have been lucky enough to find a good Tailor in Hong Kong however in recent years the prices have increased quite a lot. My wife and I are visiting Vietnam in April 2013 and one of the things on our to do list is to get some clothing tailor made. I’m so glad you ahared your tips about Hoi An we will definately schedule that into our visit.

    • OurOyster (1 year ago)

      I think Hoi An is one of the best places to get tailoring done, as there are so many tailors in such a small area. The competition means that you can find great value and also great quality.

  13. Jen (7 months ago)

    I am just wondering how the post worked out for you? I have heard stories about packages being opened and missing items.

    • OurOyster (6 months ago)

      For me it worked out great. Everything arrived about 6 weeks later, and everything was still there. I have had more mail stolen from the post in the UK than I ever have some anywhere else.

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