A Guide To Hoi An's World-Famous Tailors

Photo of Piumi Rajapaksha
24 April 2018

The UNESCO World Heritage listed ancient town of Hoi An is without a doubt, the tailoring capital of the world. Tailor shops here outnumber other businesses two to one, so getting an outfit made here is not only part of the experience, but also very easy. With so many options, choosing a tailor may be a bit of a cumbersome task. This guide will put all your troubles to rest and help you make an informed choice.

What can you get tailored?

Most of the tailors that have made a name for themselves are incredibly skilled, so you can get absolutely anything made. Suits, ball gowns, wedding dresses, winter coats, pajamas, heels, boots, hats, of any style, size and fabric – your options are virtually endless. You can replicate a favorite item you previously owned, or one you saw on TV or in a catalog, or simply ask the staff to recommend something for your shape and personality. Most staff are very helpful, patient and are well-versed in English. Share your ideas and don’t be afraid to ask for their input.

One of the many tailor shops in Hoi An | © Felix Triller/Flickr

The tailoring process

After you have discussed your ideas and come to an agreement on what you want, you will be asked to decide on your fabric of choice. Most shops have these stacked on shelves, lighting up the room with colorful displays. After the fabric is chosen, measurements will be taken and you will be sent on your way. Most good tailor shops will have your garment ready for a first fitting the next day, but if your item is something small, it would most likely be made then and there. For good quality, it’s essential that you give the tailors enough time to stitch your garment, and partake in as many fittings as possible. For the first fitting, the item is purposely made a little loose, so adjustments can be made. Your final item will most likely be finished after a second or third fitting, but keep going until you are completely satisfied!

You can either pick up your final item at the store itself or have it delivered. If your time in Hoi An is limited, some even go so far as to deliver it to another country for free, while others will charge for delivery.

Choose your fabric! | © Bex Walton/Flickr

Choosing the right tailor shop

With 200 tailor shops alone in the small Ancient Town, competing with one another, vying for your attention, a large percentage of these have resorted to unethical methods of trying to capitalize on the influx of tourists to the city. To reel in potential customers, many tailor shops now offer large commissions to hotels, restaurants, tour guides, taxi drivers, and random individuals on the street for turning tourists their way. While personal recommendations are usually a good sign of quality, here you should give it a second thought.

Hoi An streets | © Nam-ho Park/Flickr

Some tailors also do not care for quality or customer service, and produce shoddy work for a high price. Measurements can be taken incorrectly, the fabric used can be fake, and some staff can be rather rude and disinterested. Many tailors also only just take the measurements themselves (sometimes incorrectly), and then outsource their production to mass garment factories that operate unethically. The piece you think is custom made just for you, with love and care for detail, then becomes just another mass produced item you will perhaps find someone else wearing in the street.

Well suited | © Emilio Labrador/Flickr

In short, you get what you pay for, so you should avoid cheaper prices. Another tip is that you should walk in and compare a few tailor shops on criteria such as price, quality of fabrics, styles they recommend, and their customer service, among many other things. This way you can tell the experienced ones apart. Also check for online reviews and look out for pieces written by travel bloggers about their experiences. The more satisfied customers means you’re good to go!

Our top recommendations

BeBe Tailor

BeBe Tailor have made a name for themselves despite only being around for nine years. Now with three locations in the town, they have earned a reputation for being the most trustworthy tailors in Hoi An. The quick expansion of their family business can be attributed to the top quality, detailed work they produce, the transparency between customer and business, the active role they play in the betterment of the community, and the love, care and effort they put into making you as comfortable as possible during the process. Their stellar internet presence, with a TripAdvisor page that has garnered over 3000 positive reviews, and the numerous times they have been featured in TV shows and magazines, should only cement your belief that they are the number one tailor shop in Hoi An.

Welcome! | © BeBe Tailor/Facebook

YALY Couture

YALY Couture is another popular tailor shop, often recommended through word of mouth. With professional staff, an awesome selection of fabrics, and superior quality work, YALY stands out among the sea of tailor shops in the city. This is where you should go when you want to have an elaborate piece of clothing made, perhaps with sequins, ruffles, multiple layers of fabric, bead work or shiny embroidery. The high price you pay here guarantees a high quality item.

Professional staff | © YALY/Facebook

Kimmy Tailor

One of the biggest tailors in Hoi An, Kimmy Custom Tailors is owned by a Vietnamese Canadian couple that have had over 15 years of professional tailoring experience. Their main store is located on the corner of Tran Hung Dao and Hai Ba Trung streets, which is pretty much the center of town. Over here, from start to finish, your tailoring process will be smooth and error-free, and you are given three fittings to make your piece absolutely perfect. Their styles, fabrics, and overall professionalism is well known throughout the city. Recently, they have expanded to a new premises where there is even a bar upstairs for you to relax pre or post fitting. Now that’s excellent customer service.

Kimmy | © Kimmy Tailor/Facebook

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