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I arrived in Hoi An full of resolve that I wasn’t going to get anything tailored. After all, I was on a 5-month backpacking trip with only a 46L pack and a backpack, and I certainly didn’t have space. But within a day of being surrounded by the hundreds of tailors in the city, I changed my mind and decided to scope out some options. Here’s how I found the best tailors in Hoi An and then picked the one that made my pieces.
The best tailors in Hoi An
If you google “best tailors in Hoi An” (which is perhaps how you arrived here), it’s not hard to find lists after lists, many with similar tailor shops named. But are they truly the best?
I think the answer is nuanced. Most of the best tailors do truly make incredible clothes. And I would certainly check them out as well, especially if you’re looking to make something especially intricate like a wedding dress.
For my part, I checked out a few of the top-ranked ones but felt they were a bit snobbish. In fact, the folks at one of the top three literally ignored me when I walked into one of their stores. Let’s just say when I finally got someone’s attention, it wasn’t good enough service for me to continue considering their offerings.
How to pick a tailor in Hoi An
Feeling less than satisfied with my visits to the so-named best tailors in Hoi An and knowing full well that there were likely just as great tailors in the city whose prices haven’t be jacked up by their popularity yet, I spent some time exploring. I had an inkling of what I wanted and walked into various shops to inspect their work and their prices.
At the same time, a friend I’d met while in Hue had been given the recommendation of a tailor as well, and he passed that recommendation to me. Unfortunately, he sent me to the wrong place.
And that’s how I found Anna.
You see, Erik had meant to send me to another Anna. But the address he gave me led me to my Anna, and it turned out to be a wonderful surprise.
What I loved about Anna was that she was straightforward and absolutely non-salesy. When I walked into her storefront basically saying “I’m not really sure, I’m sort of still figuring out what I want tailored and in what styles,” she told me to go home and do my research. This was so refreshing compared to the other stores where salespeople either tried to push me toward ordering immediately or completely ignored me.
It also helped that Anna was warm and hilarious. From her well-timed jokes and random quips to her holding my hand like I was a little kid when we crossed the street from fabric market to fabric market, Anna really made the whole experience of getting clothes tailored feel less transactional and more like a new friendship.
When my friends from home arrived in Hoi An, I brought them to Anna and they loved her as well. Here we are having a blast at the fabric market.
I’d highly suggest you go straight to Anna if you want to get tailored clothes in Hoi An. (FWIW, I did check other the other Anna as well and decided to stick with this one!) But if you want to do your own scoping and have the time to do so, here are the top three things to keep in mind when looking for a good tailor in Hoi An:
- Check out the pieces in their shop, and then check out their reviews online. Quality and other people’s experience are perhaps the most crucial aspects of your choice.
- Ask about their process, options, and prices. Some tailors have a set of fabrics, prints, and styles for you to choose from while others have a much more open-ended process. You’ll need to pick what suits you.
- Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable, whether it’s because the salespeople are too pushy, the materials aren’t quite what you like, or otherwise, go check out another spot. Tailoring is inherently personalized, so you’ll want to feel comfortable with whomever you’re working with.
What to get tailored in Hoi An
There are so many options, and you can get almost everything tailored in Hoi An. All sorts of clothes as well as shoes and bags. I ended up getting a two-piece dress, a wool coat, a casual dress, and a pair of shorts.
What I really wanted to get was a new swimsuit. And as I learned, that’s not something you should get in Hoi An, nor most tailor shop for that matter. Good swimsuit material is hard to come by, and making swimsuits take a slightly different set of skills. Another thing to add to this list is jeans, especially if you want form-fitting materials that move with you.
But other than that, the fashion world is your oyster here in Hoi An. So go forth and search the interwebs for some inspiration.
How much do tailored clothes in Hoi An cost?
The exact cost depends on what you order and which store you order from, as well as the materials you want to use and the level of complexity in your order.
For example, I initially wanted a different lace for the top of this two-piece dress. But it turned out to be the most expensive lace at the fabric market. As the store owner told Anna, your customer has good taste 😉
That two-piece dress (with pockets!) was impeccably tailored and cost approximately $45, while these wool coats my friends and I got were between $50-$60. At other shops, I was quoted everything from $35-$70 for similar dresses and in the $45-$110 range for the coat.
How long does it take to get clothes tailored in Hoi An?
Honestly, the tailors here are so speedy, it’s almost terrifying. Of course, it depends on the complexity of what you order, but in many cases, you can get something tailored within 24 hours. In general, the turnaround is between 1-3 days for most clothes and longer for more complex and intricate orders.
First, you have to make a decision about what you want. Perhaps it’s a pick from a catalog or based on pictures found online, or maybe even your own sketches. Or in the case of simpler things like shorts, perhaps it’s literally just describing what you want. Just make sure to be precise about the details.
Then it’s measurements and the picking of the materials. In Anna’s case, she took me to a fabric market and gave me directions on what types of fabrics would work for each of my requests. Then it was up to me to explore and pick, though she certainly gave her suggestions as well. If the materials you pick change the quoted price, she’ll let you know and you can either approve it or pick a less expensive material.
Before the actual clothes making begins, most tailors will request that you put down a deposit, lest you disappear and never return. The balance is then paid upon completion of the piece.
Between those two events are typically the fittings. The number of fittings you have will depend on the order itself; typically it’s only one or two. It’s incredible what the tailors can change even after a piece looks seemingly complete!
And that’s how you find a tailor among the best ones in Hoi An. If you go to Anna, tell her I sent you!
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