In Need of a Good Jacket?

There are hundreds of tailors in Hoi An, making made to measure suits and other outfits. This service is popular with tourists who need outfits for special occasions, such as bridal parties as well as young people looking for cheap coats and jackets. Tailors can also make copies of your favourite clothes, assuming you have some, which I don’t.

That red and black one looks fetching.
That red and black one looks fetching.

On the way to our favourite chay (vegetarian) restaurant, a long walk through Hoi An’s busy back streets to the end of Trần Cao Vân, we passed by rows of shops selling clothing and met many touts, usually friendly women on bicycles, urging us to visit their ‘tailor’ shops. This constant intrusion, ‘ Hello, where are you going, where are you from, blah blah, come to my shop, just for a look’ can be bothersome at first. After a day or so, when you have worked on your smiling but insistent ‘no thankyou’, and they have come to know you as visitors who are only interested in eating, relationships improve and you begin to feel like a local. It is important to know that these girls do not own their own shop but work on a commission for tailors: the shop they take you to will not be a tailor either, but a store front for outsourced work. ‘While outsourcing is economical for store fronts as the shop only pays a set price for each item made, many tailor shop owners that outsource have no idea about the construction techniques, the consistency, the interior details such as threads, interlining, canvassing, shoulder pads, buttons etc. The quality that is put out is obviously variable, uncontrolled and as a general rule quite low.’¹

Mr T has privately expressed some interest in acquiring a new jacket for a serious event. Urged on by discussions about style, cut and colour, I collected some ‘tasteful’ examples from the street. Many of the shop owners were intrigued while some shooed me away.

A jackets for VCAT lawyers?
A suit for a VCAT lawyer?

For those who do wish to take advantage of Hoi An’s famous tailors, it would pay to read the following article first. ¹ http://wikitravel.org/en/Hoi_An. There are some reputable tailors around  and the article forms a useful guide to those wishing to source made to measure clothes.

21 thoughts on “In Need of a Good Jacket?”

  1. Those are some pretty lary duds, Francesca. I would love to see one of those floral numbers walking down the street toward me! We had clothes tailor made many years ago in Hong Kong. Don’s were fine but mine left something to be desired. I’m sure there’s a bit more finesse to the engagement of quality work, as you have suggested.

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  2. I think any of these would be a good addition to the ‘dress up’ box, ready for that 60’s, 70’s theme etc. I was more taken by the tinsmith right as you come off the bridge than the tailors and cobblers. I wanted one of the traditional watering cans but Mr ATMT wasn’t playing that game! I am quite partial to the fetching 1st red and white one by the way.

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    1. Mr T has prepared a huge case for presentation at VCAT- and has no outfit, so i will let him know that you recommend the red and white one.
      I don’t know if you are into comfy shoes, meaning expensive shoes that are like walking in gloves, but we found the Reiker shoe shop in HoiAn- 5 pairs for the price of one back at home. No room now for anything else.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. They must get a shock likewise when they visit us in staid Melbourne and Sydney to see us all dressed in black and navy, our winter uniform. Then again, the Safari Suit was supposed to be Oz haute couture!

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  4. Your description of the merchants reminds me of my trip to Thailand. Traveling alone, I must have appeared to be an easy mark for all of the shopkeepers came out to steer me into their tailor shops. Well, either that or maybe I should have dressed better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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