Shopping Guide: Hoi An

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a quiet little Vietnamese town of cute stone buildings and colourful lanterns set upon a lovely little river. It’s heavily populated with middle aged tourists and there’s not a whole lot of nightlife. So why is it on the backpacker route? Tailors.

This is the place to get tailor-made clothes, based on designer clothes you can’t afford, for a fraction of the price. They are not khao San road prices by any means, but you get a chance to have input in the design of your item as well as fabric choices, detailing and it’s made to fit you like a dream. So the prices are pretty damn reasonable.

When I was in Hoi An, I got a trench coat made. I think it’s one of those things everyone needs in their wardrobe and I’ve always found fault in the ones in the high street. So I got one tailor made. I based it on the Burberry one Emma Watson used to model in the ads and added a few extra touches like a different back structure and gorgeous purple silk lining. And it set me back £40. It’s double that even at Topshop.

First time I wore the Trench
Gorgeous purple silk lining!

The reason you need to know this now, is the tailors will work off of photos you show them. So you need to start thinking about what you want and get photos or magazine tears together. Of course you can look online when you’re at the tailor’s but it’s a bit of a pressured situation and you feel a bit rushed. So bring them with you or email photos to your email to refer to at the time.

In hindsight, I should’ve got more stuff made but at the time £40 seemed like a fortune!

Although remember it’s really only for tailored items like coats, jackets, suits, shirts and dresses. I wouldn’t go near jersey or any other stretch fabric. And there would really be no point anyway because it wouldn’t need to be tailored. You can also get shoes made which is great for people who need half sizes or have different sized feet.

And remember not to go too mental shopping and buy a whole new wardrobe unless you’re going to get it shipped home (something they can work into the price). Remember you have to carry it around and think about your budget.

It’s also good to point out that you’ll need to be in Hoi An for a couple of days whilst they make it. I ordered mine one day, had a fitting the next day where I tried on what they had made and made adjustments, and picked up the beautiful finished garment the next day. Pretty fast if you ask me, but you’ll need to be in Hoi An for 3 days. But that’s fine because there’s a gorgeous beach nearby and little lanes to explore so you won’t be waiting around.

Enough of the sensible stuff. It’s just over a year since I got my trench made and I still LOVE it! So it’s definitely worth the investment.

Get designing, girls!

Hoi An, Vietnam

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