Choosing a tailor in Hoi An isn’t an easy task, there are over 300 of them, all vying (bordering on the desperate!) for your business. Even if you casually look in or make eye contact with the shopkeeper, it’s assumed that you must want to buy. I have lost count of the number of times we’ve been asked “You want something in my shop? You come look in my shop?”
Thursday: Sean (my son) having lost a number of his suits to a whisper of very ravenous moths, decided he would take advantage of being in the tailor capital of the world and get some suits made.
After consulting TripAdvisor and on a recommendation from a Kiwi, we found Kim Hien tailors. The staff made us very welcome and we made it quite clear that Sean was the one -the only one of us – looking for a suit. Sean went about the task of choosing which cloth and what design. (Mum and Dad are paying, belated Christmas present) so we had vested interest in how much the suit was going to cost.
Whilst Sean was being measured, the remaining shop assistants went to work on both Lynne and me, trying to persuade us to buy something we didn’t want. Having spent the last 6 months in Asia, we’re both masters at declining these approaches. Now it would take a water boarding session to persuade us to buy something we don’t want.
Sean chose the cloth and design: 3 piece cashmere suit with 100% silk lining. The cost of said suit was then up for negotiation. The first price quoted was $175, at this point I made sharp intake of breath and feigned a look of shock and horror. After a bit of light hearted bargaining and with the prospect of some hand made shirts being ordered, we agreed a price of $160…at todays exchange rate this is exactly £100….Bargain!
So cheap! Now he wants more..
Being so cheap, Sean thought it would be crazy not to get another but this time he wanted a material that was proving difficult to find. After trying several tailors, Kha Huy Tailors came up with the goods. After seeing a rough example of what he wanted on a photo on his phone they managed to source the material. So again we negotiated a decent price and the measuring went ahead. Suit price $120, 3 hand made shirts $55.
I was so impressed, I decided to have copies of my favourite casual trousers and shirt made. Total cost £25.