Be prepared before you head to Hoi An, the town where tailors abound. From winter coats and dapper suits, to evening dresses, skirts and boots, the tailors in Hoi An can whip up just about any item of clothing you desire, says Clare Bailey.
So if you have an old pair of trousers or shoes you’ve cherished and worn to death, take them to Hoi An and a tailor can replicate them for you. Or perhaps you gaze longingly at celebs in beautiful designers dresses in glossy magazines? Well cut out the pages and get a friendly Vietnamese tailor to copy the design for you at a fraction of the cost! The turn-around time is incredible, they’ll take your measurements and the very next day you can return to try on the items. At this stage the tailor will make any last minute adjustments to ensure the perfect fit.
With so many tailors lining the streets, it’s hard to choose which to go for and the quality does vary. So dependent upon your budget you can choose from high end tailors such as Yalla which can make you a beautiful suit or coats for around $80 to lower end tailors who are ideal if you’re looking for cheap clothing and are not so bothered about the quality – perhaps a casual summer dress or linen trousers for $15 – $20. Just be aware that you get what you pay for!
If the idea of having the freedom to design your wardrobe sends your head into a spin then you can also buy bargain clothes, shoes and bags off the rack. Explore the incredibly quaint winding streets of Hoi An and you’ll find some real deals, such as dresses that cost as little as $3 and leather belts for less than $10. Hoi An is also famous for its jewellers and its art and for shopaholics it’s a veritable Mecca!
My advice, pack light when you travel to Vietnam, leaving plenty of kilos of spare luggage allowance for your purchases in Hoi An. I’d also recommend that you spend at least 3 days there because aside from allowing time to get your clothes tailored and exploring the multitude of shops, heavenly Hoi An is possibly the most picturesque town I’ve ever visited, with brightly coloured boats lining the river, lanterns strung from every ancient building and residents in conical hats.