After a brief 3 days in Hong Kong and a whirlwind 4 days in chaotic Hanoi, Vietnam, we headed down the coast of Vietnam to the beautiful coastal town of Danang. We parked our tushes in Danang instead of Hoi An because we had Hyatt points to burn, so we took one for the team and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort-it was a steal at 12,000 points a night.
We knew we wanted to go to Hoi An and since the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort offered shuttles to town and back, we swam during the day and headed to Hoi An in the late afternoons to get fitted for some tailor-made clothes. It wasn’t ideal being a shuttle-ride-away from Hoi An, but with views like this, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
The Secret of Hoi An, Vietnam–Tailoring!
I first heard about the wonders of tailoring in Hoi An from That Backpacker and kept it on my travel bucket list for years to come. When the hubster said he was interested in getting some clothes made, it sealed the deal on whether or not we’d be going during our 2-week adventure in Asia.
Hoi An is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage 15th century city with both French influence, from it’s tumultuous colonization, as well as extraordinary Vietnamese heritage. What I didn’t realize was the tailoring came into play because Hoi An was once a major port on the silk route and served as a trading post. The tailoring tradition continues today where tailors produce beautiful quality clothes for relatively cheap prices compared to what we’d get back home.
How to Choose a Tailor Shop in Hoi An
Where to begin when choosing a tailor in Hoi An? Until you get there, you truly don’t realize how many tailor shops there are in a seemingly tiny town! They line every single street, with the more expensive ones closer to the main drag of hotels and shops by the Thu Bôn River.
The hubster narrowed our choices down to about 5 tailors based simply on TripAdvisor reviews. Prior to arriving, I suggest doing the same, as well as looking on Pinterest for bloggers who have their own experiences with tailors in Hoi An. I also asked a couple travel buddies I knew who gave me a few recommendations. You could spend hours and hours looking at reviews to see what’s best, but just do what we did and narrow it down to a few and then visit them!
We went into two different shops before settling on one. What turned us off from the others were the lack of styles already tailored on mannequins in the shop itself. It was mainly just all fabrics and books of pictures of what styles they could do. If you’re sales-person-averse like I am, just know you’re going to feel pressured somewhat, it just depends on your threshold. So just go with what you value when heading into the stores, for me it was having friendly service and some sense of control about how the clothes would turn out.
The Tailor Shop we Chose
We immediately felt at ease by the kindness of Hanh and Linh when walking into Phong Cách Thòi Trang tailor shop. They had plenty of styles available for us to take a look and and an extensive collection of fabrics. While the hubster was basically getting a new wardrobe, I just casually walked around and Linh showed me plenty of fabrics once she saw that I was drawn to blue. She was very patient as I told her we were basically just getting clothes for my husband, but as I saw women coming in and out getting fitted for really nice dresses, I thought I’d give it a go too. I’m so glad I did!
Since I currently live in Florida and the hubster is in Michigan, we needed different weights of fabric. He got a thick winter coat, I got a lightly lined blazer. It was perfect. I would absolutely recommend Phong Cách Thòi Trang if you’re in Hoi An, Vietnam. The shop was professional, kind and definitely a memory I’ll never forget.
Another cool part? This shop keeps your measurements on file, so if you want something made again, you just need to reach out and describe what you like. I actually reached out via email to thank them afterwards and they responded very quickly, so I imagine the process would be just as nice as it was in the store.
How the Tailoring Process Works
First, you need to give yourself at least 3 days in Hoi An to have a proper fitting. I’m sure tailors will offer to do it for less time, for a fee, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are okay doing any alterations at home.
One the first day, you’ll choose the style and fabrics you want. Depending on the tailor, they should have the fabric in the store, so you can look and feel it. I wouldn’t recommend just going with something without seeing it. Literally words get lost in translation and I’m also a hopeless control freak. Then they will measure you every which way, which is always awesome when you stand a foot taller than most locals and even with 6 years as a Floridian under your belt, you still somehow manage look like a drowned rat, drenched in sweat.
The second day, you’ll come back and try everything on. Nearly all my pieces needed to be altered just a smidge, which was great because how often do we go into stores and just deal with the sleeves being too long or the buttons screaming for dear life over your bust area? Just me?
On the last day, you’ll head back, try everything on again and either give them the thumbs up or ask for other small alterations. All of the hubster’s clothing and mine, except for one dress, were all set and ready to go. Shockingly, after my first round of alterations, my orange dress was a little big in the boobs. (Pigs immediately started flying outside.) She saw what I was seeing, took it off me and did the alterations right there! Now, I’m sure if we had another day in Hoi An she would have told us to come back the next day, but she knew we were leaving on a flight in the morning and quickly accommodated that. How cool, right?
What we Got
- 2 mid-length dresses
- 1 long dress
- 1 blazer
- 4 long sleeved shirts
- 3 short sleeved shirts
- 2 winter coats
- 1 pair of pants
- The ability to never say I buy too much again.
What it Cost
We paid $400 in total for everything. Every. thing. She gave me a discount on my dresses after she saw how much the hubster was buying. As I mentioned above, I only thought I’d take a look and see if I liked anything, I didn’t know if I would buy. But, she was very kind and good at her job.
Was it Worth it?
For me, yes. I have a hard time finding clothes that fit in the right places. I can’t tell you how many times I have to size up so it fits over my tig ol’ bitties and then I’m swimming in a shirt or dress. I’m also all torso, so finding blazers or trendy bomber jackets is nearly impossible without it looking like a tube top. So basically, what I’m saying is, this experience was ideal for my disproportionate, T-Rex-with-huge-boobs body.
Plus, we got to wear our new gear in Las Vegas when we saw the one and only, Elton John.
What do you think? Would you ever get your clothes tailored in a foreign country?