Special Report from Asia: Ho Chi Minh City Part 2

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I had planned on publishing the second part of my report from Asia much sooner, but the fact is, the first tailor simply didn't work out as planned. I wanted to get a casual, short-sleeved linen shirt, roughly based on a design available on mrporter.com. 

Well, I did get 2m navy blue linen fabric from a local market (around $9.5) and showed the desired design to the tailor (see photo on the left) on my iPhone. He seemed very understanding, took notes and I got measured - I actually had a good feeling. 

I picked up the shirt 2 days later for a first fitting and unfortunately it was horrible. I don't actually know why he bothered to take measurements and look at my design wishes.

It was just a thing generally resembling a shirt, but it's far too wide around the torso, the shoulders are too wide, armholes too low, lose sleeves, horrible collar, lose threads, etc. - just nothing fit and it didn't look anything like I wanted it to.

I discussed the changes with him and then waited another 2 days. The final product is still basically unwearable. I decided not to make a fuss and paid the agreed 200.000 VND ($9.5). So, all in all, my first try cost me $19 (fabric + tailor) and I learned a few things.
  1. Be better prepared
    Know exactly what you want, leaving no detail uncommented, provide print-outs or even better, a shirt you like that can be copied. 
  2. You get what you pay for
    $20 just doesn't get you a great shirt, at least not in my experience.
Well, I am not giving up. I've got a few good recommendations and I will visit a couple of other tailors. I will also be in Bangkok next week and will try to see some tailors there as well. Any recommendations for Bangkok and generally, tailors in South-East Asia are very welcome!

In other news, there is also a great chance for winning an Indochino suit at the moment, head over to their Facebook page to find out more.