Just a quick query. Back home im an Estate Agent and currently im in Oz and will be travelling around S.E Asia for 2 months once im done here. I will be hitting Northern Thailand then into Laos, through into Vietnam, west into Cambodia and then finishing up in the Islands of Thailand.
Alot of people here tell me suits are extremly cheap and also very good quality out in Asia. What I want to know is, which country/city are the top places togo to? I want a decent suit as I will be wearing it regulary (Not just the odd wedding.) but I also dont want to pay through the nose. So could anyone help out? Or give some advice about how I can tell a good tailor from a bad?
Thanks in Advance,
Never buy anything from any tailor recommended by a tuk-tuk driver. Example, what can happen:
Hoi An in Vietnam is famous for its tailoring, however I didnt get anything made myself so can't comment on quality!
Many Shady business in the tailor industry in the south east asia.
When i use to work in Bangkok i have been visiting Excelsior and they were the best i found in Bangkok.
In Hongkong i usually go to Noblehouse and they were good too but the price has gone trememndously high.
In Malaysia used to vist JR tailor at bukit bintang. Expensive too.
Bangkok is the best and most reasonable for tailoring.
Hello SE Tailor
Only place in SE Asia that I consider excellent for suits is India. Almost in every town, you can find 100s of tailor shops that charge more or less the same price for suits.
If you are ready to pay a little more and totally assured of quality, check-in any RAYMONDs shop, they have all types of materials and a tailor ready to turn it into your fitting. I have been so happy with their quality that I order their suits by mail. In a small Indian town called Ajmer there is a tailor shop called India Tailors near martin bridge, extremely nice people. They charge about 60 dollars for sewing, material was about $90, for $150, I had a suit that would cost at least $600-700 in the US.
I feel sorry for the guys in Thailand
All the best!
Only place in SE Asia that I consider excellent for suits is India.
Well, India is way out of South East Asia where Jamie is going.
Hi Jamie, I was in a similar position to you when I was in S.E Asia and made the right choice in Vietnam. Got sick of all the pushy guys in Bangkok and certainly didn't trust them.
The place I'd recommend is Hoi An - best silk/material in S.E Asia and you'l be spoilt for choice which means a good bargain is to be got and the people are so much friendlier and guienuine. I went to a little place called Blue which was owned by 3 lovely women who waited on me hand and foot. You will find that many shops, especially if you head to the Old Quarter part of the town will be all too willing to sit you down with a nice cup of tea and chat about what you want. Of course with many things, depending on what you want, the material you want and how many items you want will all reflect on the price. I paid $350 (about £250) for two mid-high range suits, two shirts and two ties, plus shipping to the UK which takes 3 months by boat (can pay more for air).
They will make your suit very quickly, but make sure not too quick. I had two fittings, with the first one being to make some slight alterations and second was just a final check with the shirts to seal the deal. All this took 2 days - went in on the first morning to choose material for suits and shirts and get measured up, then back the next day for my fittings. They also keep your measurements in case you want to order more in the future.
I think the best ways to suss out where's good or bad is to speak to customers already in the shop or on their way out with items, look at some of their work, and use your instinct. Like I said, I trusted them a lot more than the places I visited in Bangkok and certainly weren't as pushy. All of them will hand you a Next catalogue so they can get an idea of what style you want, so if you have some ideas already i.e. designer style, then take that with you so they can copy it.
Suits are cheap in Asia, definitely cheaper then anywhere back home. However, you must be warned in advance about the "too good to be true" 2 suits 2 shirts etc all for $199. It just does not exist. Once you walk in a store like that, prices will increase, crap fabric will be offered, your suit will fall apart within a few weeks etc.
Secondly, stores with touts guarding their storefronts are definitely the ones to be avoided..completely!
Finally a store that is good enough will be one who is willing to show samples of past work, burn fabric swatches to make sure they are wool and of course, do not push you to buy something you don't want or need!
A store that I was happy was/is Crown Tailors on Sukhumvit soi 8. They do a good job and you have a great time enjoying the process of the suit making.
Btw, this is the case in Bangkok! Dunno about other SE asian countries!
[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jan-2009, at 19:53 by nicolson ]
In Bangkok Excelsior tailor from my experience.
Recomended many friends and they use him and I have never heard a complaint from anyone.
They successfully reproduced my old favorite Italian Leather Jacket in soft leather with exact stiching and design. They actually made me two new ones. One in classic black and one in a fabulous Red color. I am thrilled. Both jackets cost me $330 Australian.
Service was excellent. Only required one fitting. They offered transport to and from my hotel. They took about 2 days to make the jackets.
My partner had a suit made and 4 pairs of trousers in a Gianni Versace fabric. They are pretty good. Cost around $50 each for trousers and $80 for the suit jacket. They required two fittings.
Now that they have our measurements, I am tempted to have things made via email and post.
He usually gives good prices but you can still bargain a bit.
If you want to Email me I can give you a site with more details. I can't advertise it here.