Clothes make the man. We all know this; there’s no escaping it. Very well then society, let’s play your game. I raise you a bespoke suit and a custom made silk jumper..
Joking aside, this is something that you need to do if you visit Hanoi. The city is filled with tailors and seamstresses. Walk into a shop and in under 24 hours you can have a bespoke suit. The quality will suffer, you scoff! Perhaps, but there’s a shop right beside the one you’re in that will take two weeks and the quality will be top notch. The Vietnamese have been making clothes for a long time now and excel in the trade. Many Western brands are produced in Vietnam which means you can buy name brands at a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the West. It also means they have a talented workforce that’s looking to make money. The entrepreneurs among them start their own businesses and tourists luck out on the whole deal. Rip your pants? Tear your shirt? Stretch your blouse? No biggie, it can be repaired on the spot and while you’re waiting you can pick up some fitted clothing.
We both wanted to get some handmade clothing and after some research found a few stores that we felt comfortable with. You’re measured first and then you decide the fabric and style of the final product. Found some beautiful fabric in a market somewhere and dreamt of turning it into a gorgeous dress? Look no further.
Things move quickly at these shops. Sit back and watch the artisan do their work. The final product will speak for itself and you’re one of many in a long line of happy customers. There will be a few return visits, mainly to confirm the exact measurements and look of the clothing.
Finally, the day comes to pick it up. It’s exciting, for you at least. The shop keeper could care less – they know they do good work, hurry up and get out. It’s a nice experience and one that many people have never been through. Clothing is so cheap and mass produced these days. Wearing properly fitted clothing is a real treat.
Damn, we look good.