This is what you have to do in Hoi An, Vietnam — getting the tailor made clothes. There are more than 400 tailor shops around the town for everything: dress, skirts, shirts, bikinis, shoes, accessories and even jewelries. You can custom made whatever you want. I decided to explore the tailor made dress experience. And coincidently, I have a wedding to attend this summer. What a perfect occasion! So I shopped around the town and now I’m a proud owner of two perfectly fit beautiful dresses. Here are some of the shopping tips from my experience.
Shop around: out of the main market street
I know, it’s not easy. If you are not a shopper, it can be an agony. I, myself is not really a shopper. I do enjoy shopping but just for little accessories or occasional clothing shopping would be all. When I heard about Hoi An, the wonderful world of custom-made-everything, I thought I couldn’t resist myself to buy everything. First I checked out the place my friend suggested that is located on the main market street, Tran Phu Street.
“How much is this?” I found a cute blue dress.
“45 US dollars.”
“Forty five dollars? Can you give me any discount if I buy two? How about two for 45$?”
“Where are you from? Where you from dress is really cheap? But not here. I make this.”
Probably true. Maybe her work is worth to spend 45$ but I couldn’t’ believe one simple dress cost that much in Vietnam, where you can eat a bowl of noodle soup for 1.5$. So I walked away. Even if she’s right, I didn’t like the fact she was attacking me about the price haggling.
Don’t give up; there will be the same design
I was looking for the same designed dress in other shops but it was quite hard. I was keep thinking ‘Damn, that dress was cute. But I hate to crawl back to that lady!’
However, I found a even better one in Tran Hung Dao street, little out of the way from the main market. Not the same design, but only 20$ for the dress I really liked. Of course I asked for some discounts. He carefully measured my size and made sure that it will fit me well. After all, that’s the beauty of tailor made dress.
When I was about to finish my shopping in the market, I saw the cute blue dress in other shop. So, don’t give up; there will be the same dress in other shops.
Haggle, but not too much
Most of the places I went to give me an honest price. At least I thought they did. The main street is noticeably bad; they sell a t-shirts for 180,000 dong (9$) but you can find 40,000 dong (2$) easy enough just out of the main centre.
However, it’s always depending on how much you are willing to pay. For me, I didn’t think that the dress is 45$ worthwhile. When I found the other dress, I haggled down to 22$ from 25$. It was a reasonable price, but didn’t hurt to try it little harder if they agreed me, and they did. However, remember; this is a tailor made cloths. Meaning it is natural to cost more than what you can buy off from the night market. So if you found the right one, try to cut down the price a little, but not too much. If you think that’s an honest price and you liked the tailor, it would be worthwhile to pay the little extra money.
Make sure to pick up the cloth with enough time
Even they measure you properly; there are always the possibilities to fix it here and there. I had two dresses at different shops; I requested to fix a small part in the shoulder and the tailor insisted to fix the seams for me at the other place. They wanted their product to be perfect.
So I suggest letting them know when you have to leave the town and checking with them at least few hours before you have to go. It’s always a good idea to double check. If the mending is minor, it would only take few minutes or an hour.
Have you been to Hoi An and made the dress? How was it?
21 thoughts on “How to Successfully Get Tailor Made Clothes in Hoi An, Vietnam”
I got trousers made in Hoi An, which were really nice, perfect fit. I got them to replace ones that had finally fallen to pieces a week before.
The place I got them from was one of the slightly bigger ones, they were a bit disorganized with them, as they did them first without a back pocket that I had wanted, so they still had to add that, and it took an extra day. So all in all, I had to go there three times, as they wanted me to come for first fit before they finished the trousers. So do make sure you have plenty of time, in case they need alterations.
Surely it’s easier and cheaper just to buy clothes off the peg, unless you’re a strange shape or you have something very specific in mind. I once got a suit made in Bangkok which was so bad I never wore it. But you’re absolutely right about leaving plenty of time for adjustments and refittings.
I am thinking of getting my wedding dress made in Vietnam when we go in Sept. I’m a little nervous about it. Hopefully it will go smoothly
That’s a great idea! 🙂 You’ll find a great design and good price. Really happy for you two by the way. Congratulations! 🙂
I haven’t try to go in Vietnam and shop with its beautiful clothes, my friend really adore with the quality of its clothes and I’m so excited to discover it ahead… 🙂
Great advice! I’m glad your dress fit and you got it at a solid price. I didn’t think much of the Hoi An tailors when we visited in 2008. We made the classic mistake of buying suits, since that is what the city is known for. We ended up with super tight, short, shiny suits that looked like they were from Miami Vice and cost more than they would at a US discount store. (You can get super cheap designer clothes in NYC; we spent about $75 per suit in Vietnam). It was an interesting experience but I will never wear that suit again!
That sounds bad! :S Yeah, surely a lot of suits in Vietnam that I saw looked like that. Shiny, skinny and short of course. I think that’s their ‘hip’ style. I went to two different shops and they were pretty nice. And I had to say multiple times that ‘don’t make me look fat’ when they measured me. 🙂 I guess it worked!
I haven’t been to Vietnam and I think a lot of people are actually excited to plan in having a vacation there.. Anyway, this is one of the things we need to check out when going to Vietnam..
Great tips! I used to live in Hong Kong so got used to shopping in markets and bargaining.I also used to get tailor made clothes in Shenzhen, right across the Chinese border. Have you ever been?
I never been in Hoi An before. I think the clothes their are great. Vietnam is such a good place to go this vacation. I will be given a chance to visit in Vietnam I would probably go to Hoi An.
I think every girl who visits Vietnam should really drop by here! 🙂
I’ve been to Hoi An twice and I always buy more than I intended too.
I’ve found that the best results come from getting copies of some of my favourite pieces of clothing from home. I took a designer dress and a crop jacket with me last time and got copies made in different colours. The result was much better than picking a design out of a book.
I also have a tailor that I always go back to. I think that it is not always a good idea to go for the cheapest price in Hoi An but rather to get a recommendation and buy quality. There is no point having a cheap dress if you never want to wear it.
woudl you be able to tell me the tailor? going this winter, and id love to get seom recos!
I’d like to know too!
Ho Chi Minh city is also a good place to get custom clothing made. If you make a bigger order of clothes for selling or for a special event then searching for a factory in Ho Chi Minh city is my recommended.
I didn’t really spend that much time in Ho Chi Minh City, but I’ll try it when I come back!
This company may be a good place when you come to make tailor made clothes in bulk http://www.personalized-tee-shirts.com
Neat post, Juno! I used to tailor make everything when I lived in India, of course, and now I buy everything from department stores. I miss Asia!
I’m excited to buy clothes in India (I’m heading there in June, if the plan happens). I love the traditional Indian style!
We were also going through your blog and gained lot of information about custom made dresses for women in Vietnam. I just happen to visit while searching for custom clothing as we are also into manufacture of Hi fashion Garments from India.
It’s so true that you can’t resist the temptation to get tailored made clothing in Hoi An. But that’s also why they tend to overcharge, even for natives like me. One way to bargain the price is to speak some basic Vietnamese – so that you don’t appear completely “tourist-like.” This article covers almost all the basic Vietnamese phrases you need to know in all different kinds of situation, including shopping: https://blog.inspitrip.com/2626/100-basic-vietnamese-phrases-you-need-to-know-when-in-vietnam/. Might be helpful for you! Another way is to find a local person to go with you, which is a bit harder if you don’t have any friends there.