Getting clothes made in Hoi An, Vietnam was one of my favorite experiences on my three month trip through Southeast Asia. It was also super overwhelming! Hoi An is a vibrant city that is home to more than 300 tailors. While most are family businesses run by skilled craftsmen, some are better than others, and I wanted to spend my money wisely. Doing my research proved extremely important for getting the experience and clothing that I wanted. With this guide I hope to simplify getting clothes made in Hoi An, Vietnam.
GETTING CLOTHES MADE IN HOI AN: HOW DOES IT WORK?
In general, you show up at a tailor shop and talk to the tailor there to choose a piece of clothing you want made. After that, you choose the material and get measured. You will then come back for one or more fittings to ensure that your article of clothing fits you perfectly. Sounds simple, right? Ha.
I was so overwhelmed with all my options, and having a game plan made all the difference.
WHAT CLOTHES TO GET MADE IN HOI AN, VIETNAM?
The first crucial step is to decide what clothes you want made. Deciding on this ahead of time helped me tremendously. The tailors will have mannequins with examples of their work, but picking pieces that complement your style and aesthetics before you step foot in a shop is super important for being happy with the end result. You want to be very specific and show up with pictures of the items you want made.
The best way to decide what clothes to get made in Hoi An is to think about two things:
What pieces of clothing need to have impeccable fit? Baggy, oversized, or stretchy pieces don’t really need to be made exactly to your body.
What pieces of clothing have you had trouble shopping for in the past? Are pants always too big at the waist? Do shirts always gape at the chest? Think about your most common shopping pet peeves.
Getting a Suit Made in Hoi An
A custom suit is the most popular item to get made, for good reason. A suit that doesn’t fit right looks sloppy and unprofessional, so most people tailor their suits anyways. Designing your own suit, from material to fit, is an experience you can’t have (or afford) in most other places.
Getting a Men’s Suit Made in Hoi An
Although I’m not a man, I talked to all the suit tailors and went to all the fittings with my boyfriend, who got a three piece suit made in Hoi An. I learned a lot during this process and am happy to share! There are a lot of choices for designing your ideal suit, which can seem exhilarating to some and terrifying to others. If you go to a good tailor, (more on that below), they should walk you through the whole process. They will give you as much choice as you want and provide their opinions when you have no clue.
The things you want to think about ahead of time are:
Getting a Women’s Suit Made in Hoi An
I got a women’s suit made as well, and I’m super happy with it! I now have something to wear for any job interview or professional event that isn’t frumpy and awkward. Women’s fashion changes at a faster rate than men’s fashion, so I’d really make sure to look up some photos of women’s suits before you go into a shop. Pinterest was a great resource for me.
The things to think about are:
GETTING CASUAL CLOTHES MADE IN HOI AN
Suits are undoubtedly the most popular clothes to get made in Hoi An, but I would seriously recommend getting some casual and work clothes made too. I got two silk tops, a dress, and two jumpsuits. The jumpsuits are my favorite things in the universe, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
How to choose what to get?
Some awesome options are:
Silk tops are nice because silk is a beautiful local material, they look elegant and professional, and are expensive back home.
Dresses, especially ones fitted at the waist, are a great item to go for when getting clothes made in hoi an. Having a non-stretchy dress fit your waist perfectly is not something you usually get from standard sizing.
Jumpsuits: ok, who’s ever tried on a jumpsuit in a store and had it fit them perfectly? If you have, you are a magical unicorn. They NEVER fit me right, and either give me a diaper crotch or a camel toe! Custom jumpsuits are what dreams are made of, and I cannot recommend them enough!
But how do you choose the specific style? Pick a couple of your favorite or aspirational stores, and then pick your favorite items from there. It’s way easier to peruse and narrow down options from stores that already fit your aspirational aesthetic then to come up with your dream pieces on your own.
For beautiful basics, I sourced my photos from Everlane. Both silk shirts that I got were modeled after their designs, and I’m super happy with their flowy, boxy aesthetic. (Even though they’re flowy, they still needed to fit well in the arms and shoulders, since silk is not a stretchy material). I modeled the dress I got from an Anthropologie one, a great store to peruse for gorgeous feminine pieces. For my jumpsuits, one was modeled from Anthropologie, and the other one I found on Urban Outfitters, which is great for more trendy pieces.
The sky (and $$$) are the limits, so definitely search for inspiration in all sorts of places, even your own brain! I watched fashion youtube channels and followed style instagram influencers and noticed fashionable ladies on the street. In the end, however, finding pieces from my aspirational stores was the most useful technique I tried.
HOW TO CHOOSE A TAILOR IN HOI AN, VIETNAM
Picking a tailor was the most overwhelming part of the whole process. There are so many options, and at so many different price points. Just walking down the street you get approached by tailors promoting their business all the time.
I recommend making a short list of tailors based off of Trip Advisor reviews and recommendations from people you talk to. Spend a day visiting them, along with some that just catch your eye. Bring a notebook and write down their price estimates and your general impressions.
At the end of the day grab a beer (you’re gonna need one), and look over your notes. I was surprised how much more I vibed with certain shops as opposed to others. All the positive review and ‘reputation’ couldn’t make up for a certain shop’s cold and elitist attitude. Other shops just felt right: they were friendly and informative, and in the end it was an easy choice!
There are different ‘tiers’ of tailors, with prices corresponding to those tiers. For our suits, we chose one of the ‘higher end’ tailors. The most reputable (and expensive) tailors are Yaly Couture, A Dong Silk, and Kimmy Tailor.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET CLOTHES MADE IN HOI AN, VIETNAM?
The price will depend on where you go, what material you choose, and how many pieces you get (you get discounts the more you order). We chose to go to one of the higher-end tailors for our suits, and chose one of the nicest (and priciest) materials, so our suits were quite expensive. In my opinion, it’s worth it to have something that you will love and will last for many years when it comes to suits.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET CLOTHES MADE IN HOI AN, VIETNAM?
You want to make sure that you have enough time for your fittings, and the tailors need enough time to make the clothes and do alterations. Usually the turn around time for the first fitting is 24 hours. It depends on the piece of clothing, but there are two to four fittings, with time in between to make the alterations.
For suits in A Dong Silk, you need time for three to four fittings, so you need to budget three to four days to make a suit.
For casual and other work clothes, you need two to three fittings, so you need to budget three to four days to make casual and work clothes.
We liked scheduling fittings for mornings or evenings, so that we could still have a full day of activities planned. Check out the 10 best things to do in Hoi An here, with a sample four day itinerary that includes fittings.
GUIDE TO FITTINGS
The most important aspect of fittings is to speak up! This is the time to voice any complaints, however small. The tailors rely on you to tell them if something is too tight or uncomfortable.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind about details that you liked before you tried on the piece of clothing. I asked for the back of my jumpsuit to be changed from the original design, and am so much happier with it because I spoke up!
It’s a delicate balance of trusting the tailor’s advice and expertise, and trusting yourself and your preferences. I asked for the darts in my silk shirt to be taken out, against the recommendation of the tailor, because I like the looser, boxier look. However, when I asked for my pants to be shorter, the tailor disagreed and showed me how that would look, and she was 100% right.
I’m the kind of person who will eat the wrong order that the waiter brings me at a restaurant, so speaking up was extremely hard for me. It feels like confrontation, but in reality, it helps the tailor do what they do best. They are talented craftsmen, and want you to be happy with their work.
GETTING CLOTHES MADE IN HOI AN, VIETNAM: CONCLUSION
If you made it to the end of this lengthy guide, I am 100% certain that you can make the most out of your visit to the Tailor Capital of the World. It can be overwhelming at first, but exhilarating with the right planning. You get to work with talented professionals to get whatever you want, for a reasonable price, fit exactly to your body!