We’ve had a selection of items tailor made in Hoi An, Vietnam. We went with a few different shops, so we thought it would be fun to show you what we got, where we got it from, and how we like the items now, ten months (!) after.
We ended up picking up a few pairs of shoes in Hoi An, mostly out of necessity. I had worn through my flip flops several months prior, and for any girl out there who has tried to shop for shoe size 8 or above in Asia, she will know – its futile, and very very frustrating. So coming to a place that will custom make shoes in your size, I don’t even know – it’s like a manna from heaven. Here’s the deal though, I didn’t do too much research, stopped by a few places where I didn’t like anything on close inspection. Then, I stumbled on Shoes Shop at 345 Nguyen Duy Street in Hoi An, Vietnam – they had the exact sandal I was looking for, and a good price. Sergey and I also each had a pair of shoes made for a wedding we were attending the week of coming back home (aka no time to shop or go through our storage to find acceptable footwear).
What we ended up getting was hit and miss, mostly. Sergey’s dress shoes came back with uneven bits on the side. Him and the sales assistant argued over that for a bit, and finally she gave up and he walked out of the place with shoes they had on display, rather than the ones custom made for him. Sergey worn his shoes a couple of times and so far they are holding up, so if you need a shoe for very occasional wear, this is probably a smart buy in Hoi An. My red dress shoes are also holding up well for occasional wear – but I don’t like the shape. However, I ordered from an existing stiletto shoe in the shop, so I think that’s what my mistake was.
My sandals are replicas of the ones in the store and came back like I ordered. In this case I DID NOT specify the color of the stitching, which was a mistake – I have black shoes, with brown soles and white stitches. Not terribly noticeable, and my bad as well. The biggest problem with the sandals is that they aren’t meant to wear for very long. I think mine lived for maybe a few months. Glue comes apart, and soles wear through very quickly.
One last thing — I generally seek out comfortable shoes with great sole support. Its extremely hard for me to find that combination, and actually like the way the shoe looks. You aren’t going to get great soles in Hoi An.
This was the most professional shop that we worked with, and Sergey is very pleased with the quality and look of his suit. Yaly has the best fabric selection that we were able to find in Hoi An, which was very important to Sergey who wanted a fun suit for celebrations and parties. The suit is modeled after a magazine ad. The alterations process was quite easy, the sales assistants were very amenable to requested changes. The final result fits perfectly. Price difference was not substantial to what we paid at Ha Na for another men’s suit.
Yaly itself is quite large, with multiple locations (!) in Hoi An, which is quite something given how tiny old town is. If you choose to work with Yaly, don’t forget to note the address of your location. Overall, working with Yaly and the result product was great. If and when we are back in Hoi An, we will be back for sure.
We ordered several items from Ha Na, and for the most part are pleased. I ordered a winter coat picked out from their catalog, a formal black dress found at Getting Stamped, and a silk blouse modeled after Everlane. Sergey had another suit and a dress shirt made. My biggest beef with Ha Na is that the sales assistants were very pushy with how good we looked in their clothes, even when there was obvious work to do to get the items to fit well. I can push back, and I did, but it made the process less enjoyable.
I have worn the black dress – which took maybe 5 or 6 fittings – multiple times and I love it. However, I think because of so many alterations, my armpits are too tight, which after a couple of hours kind of sucks. I should have been more careful inspecting the final product. But I still do love it.
Sergey’s suit came out well – but was about the same price as Yaly. Overall, he is pleased, and the fit is excellent. But the fabric selection at Ha Na is not as vast for suits, as it is at some of the larger shops. And the experience – although the assistants are pleasant – isn’t as great, as at the two other places we went.
* Not pictured is a lady’s winter coat (it was way too hot in Hoi An at the time) I ordered at Ha Na. I like the style, which I picked out, but the fabric selection (my bad) was not great. So my coat picks up every speck of dust / lint out there. If you think you want a coat made – really think about the type of fabric you will need, and seek that out.
Da Phuong Shop #50, Clothes Market
We had a lot of fun with the lovely ladies of Da Phuong Shop, and ordered a lot of stuff here! Their prices were very competitive, but then they have lower overhead thanks to having a stall in the government ran Clothes Market, rather than a full blown, private store. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about Nga – the lady boss – maybe her motherly nature? Or no pressure approach? But she made me very at ease. Every time we would come back for a fitting, we would order more items.
Let’s see, I had skinny dress pants made, and then ordered a tuxedo jacket (modeled after a picture I brought) to go with them for a full suit. I had to get pants altered many times, and in the end I am very happy with both items. Now, if I would have just remembered that by the time we reached Vietnam, we had spent 8 months in Asia and I was probably five pounds lighter than my normal (Western) weight, we would be all set. But I digress, I have worn the suit, and I am very happy with it, especially since I don’t think you can find such skinny pants suit anywhere in the US. I also had another party dress made – picked out from their catalog, and silk blouse modeled after Everlane made, which I like.
Sergey and I both had several pairs of other pants made at Da Phuong Shop, and neither of us has worn them since. But you know that’s on us. See the comment about the weight differential. I do have to mention that I am not sure that they ever got the other pants/ shorts that I ordered to fit quite perfect – not for the lack of trying. In the end, I think I should have thought more about how skinny pants would look like in linen and corduroy, which is what I ordered. I have said it before, and I will say it again — if you don’t like what you get, it’s probably on you, not the shop. Sergey made a rain jacket modeled after a magazine look, and two dress shirts, which he loves and wears all the time.
From the top – rain coat by Da Phuong Shop; cotton dress shirt by Ha Na and corduroy pants by Da Phuong Shop, Toms Shoes; cotton dress shirt and corduroy pants by Da Phuong Shop, Toms Shoes. Hoi An, Vietnam.
Overall we had a great experience at Da Phuong, and we will most definitely be back here as well!
Random store with ReadyMade Dresses
Ack! I don’t remember the name of the store. But a day before we were set to leave Hoi An, I wandered in here and just saw a few simple cotton summer dresses, with hemline falling at the knee (!), each priced between $8 and $10, that would be perfect for travel. So I bought them, without alterations, on the spot. I had worn them tons for the remainder of the trip and that worked out so well for me.
So there you have it – our full experience with Hoi An Tailors. See Hoi An Tailor Shops Guide – Part I for my suggestions on how to get the most out of your experience.