Whenever I visit Hong Kong or Ho Chi Minh City, my first order of business is going to the tailor: not to get clothes fitted to my body, but to get new pieces custom made for me. Some of the best pieces in my closet are from these tailors. All across Asia, tailoring services are offered at a much higher standard (and lower price) than any I have found in Europe. Finding the right tailor is all about two things: quality of workmanship and selection of fabric. Some tailors are fabulous at the workmanship part, but you must bring your own fabric to ensure you get exactly what you want. Before stopping by my tailor in Hong Kong, I often buy fabric at Chinese Arts & Crafts, a major department store located on Queensway. In terms of tailors, I recommend: Y. William Yu (Hong Kong), Tricia and Verona (Ho Chi Minh City), and Hoa Fashion (Hanoi). In order to make sure you get the best experience from your chosen tailor—no matter your country—here are some of my tried and true tips:
PACK THE ITEMS YOU WANT COPIED.
I have replicated everything from vintage to Zara. Tailoring is a great way to make the perfect item you could never buy, whether it’s a piece made from amazing fabrics or just a remake of something you wore to death. Always bring examples for the tailor to work from; don’t rely on their house selection.
MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE TAILOR ON YOUR FIRST DAY.
It takes some time to create perfection, so stop by your tailor’s as soon as you arrive at your destination. You want to have time to do multiple fittings if needed—leaving everything for the end of your trip will cause a mad rush and a stressful trip overall.
ALWAYS VISIT THE TAILOR AT LEAST TWICE.
Schedule multiple visits during the making process to ensure the fit is coming along the way you want it to (yet another reason to check in on your first day). Try on the half-created pieces and give the tailor polite notes on how you would like the fit altered. Always ask for them to leave extra fabric in the hems so that you can let the pieces down or out if you need to in the future.
TAKE THE TAILOR’S ADVICE ON FABRIC SELECTION.
If you don’t know much about fabrics or haven’t been to a tailor before, then trust the professionals—they will know how the fabric will hang based on past experience. If you are creating something more high fashion, be sure to explain the effect you want (for example, “I want major drama!”).
DON’T SPLURGE UNLESS YOU’RE READY.
Tailoring in expensive fabrics can be expensive no matter where you get it done, so make sure you really want it before you commit to having a fitting. If you’re unsure or if it’s your first go, consider a more common fabric this time around. (By Peony Lim from Cntraveler.com )