You can see my original post on my thoughts of Hoi An here and how it has been transformed into a fairyland for tourists. At the end of this post, I hinted of a story to come. Here we go. This is that story.
So we just got to Hoi An, and the first hour we are there, we're walking around, looking at the Japanese Covered Bridge, working our way toward the market area. A young man on a bicycle stops and says hello. He has very good English for a Vietnamese person. He asks where we are from, how we like our stay in his country, and where we go next.
He didn't come off as being a salesman and was quite personable, simply talking to us, and not trying to sell us anything. A sigh of relief.
As we continued to speak to the man, we learned of his name, where he was from, and how he spoke such good English. His name was Eric and he was born and raised in Hoi An. He went to University in Saigon where he studied fashion and also learned to speak English. It was starting to all make sense.
So I asked him what he did with his fashion degree. He said, "come, let me show you." We walked down the main street a ways still chatting it up. I asked him about good local spots to eat and check out while in Hoi An since it was so overloaded with tourists. We talked about how Hoi An has changed so much since he was just a boy here growing up. For him, it has been both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because it has brought him and his family pretty decent fortune with all the tourism, but also a curse because the old feel, and once Hoi An, is sadly no more. This was just the vibe I got as well. I knew this right when I arrived, too.
So we get to his shop, off the main drag, and it's a Tailor shop. Eric is a professional Tailor. Wow, it couldn't have been any more perfect. I wanted to get fit for a suit in Da Nang, but we didn't have enough time, nor did the tailor we met there speak any English. Eric was our guy.
It was a win-win because we specifically got to see the fabrics and materials he uses to make his clothing. Visually getting to examine the fabrics made me feel much more comfortable knowing I wasn't getting heisted. Eric was, like I said, a professional. I used his professional judgement with my visual appeals to best pick out the colors and styles best matching my 'dark' features. Eric knew exactly the in-style men's trends and also exactly what was perfect for me.
Boom. We started moving then and there. Besides, we had to move rather quickly since we had only booked two nights in Hoi An, as the fitting process takes time, especially when you're getting the real deal. We picked out colors, styles, and then began taking measurements. That was it for day 1. We set up an appointment to return tomorrow a.m. (which was today) around 11 am.
The Tailor business is a family business, as Eric's cousins, sisters, and aunts also help out as well. Everyone plays a role and they stay quite busy with their work. We also knew these guys were legit because they have a trip advisor sign right outside the door. Great customer reviews and lots of evidence to support the quality work they do.
11 am this morning, and I'm back for round 1 fitting. Not too shabby. A few small, miner adjustments to some lengths of shirts and bagginess in the back of the suit jacket and pants. The clothing was taken right upstairs and Eric's "auntie" got straight to work again, cutting and priming up my custom made suit. Right on. We were to come back at 3 for round 2 fitting.
At this point, I was brainstorming with @super-irie, and he mentioned the fact that I should also get a custom made belt and shoes to go with the suit. I didn't hesitate to jump aboard that train and immediately told Eric what I wanted. No problem. We picked out some leather and colors for the belt and shoes to match the suit, and the Tailor team got to steppin'.
Back at 3 pm to try the pieces of clothing that needed slight alterations. Everything was good, but I wanted the casual pants to be a bit more "slim fit" in the back. No problem again. The shoes weren't ready yet anyways, so I was told to come back at 6 pm for the final fitting.
Walah, 6 o'clock magic and it was showtime. Everything was spic and span. So, if you made it this far, you're probably wondering what all I got and, of course, how much it cost.
I ended up going with a full suit, 3 dress shirts, 1 casual long sleeve, 2 casual chinos (pants), custom leather belt and shoes. Eric even threw in a free tie and matching handkerchief to match the interior stitched lining I got with the custom fit suit.
The suit included:
- Jacket (custom stitched interior lining)
- Vest (custom stitched interior lining)
- Dress white (1)
- Dress blue with nice pattern and white specs (1)
- Dress salmon with nice pattern (1)
- Casual salmon (1)
- slim fit grey
- slim fit navy blue
Plus the belt and shoes to go with everything
All that for 15 million dollars. What a deal, right?
HA! That's 15 million dong (VND)! Which, if you do the conversion, is like 625 USD (after service charges since I had to pay with VISA). If you wanted to get custom fit somewhere in the states, the price would be somewhere in the thousands (easy). Getting custom fit for a pair of shoes alone would probably be something like 300 or 400 bucks. I don't know exactly of these prices, I'm just throwing numbers out there, and it probably depends on where you go, but still, $625 for top quality custom fitting is hard to beat. I am very happy with the purchase I made as I will have this for the rest of my life with a story to go with it.
The stitching and quality of everything is top shelf, and not to mention, we even purchased some 100% silk items for the low, too. Eric showed us it was the real deal by burning it in front of us with a lighter. We told him he didn't have to, but he insisted. After all we went through, I knew he was a straight up guy with the real deal.
If you're ever in Hoi An, and need custom fitting, Eric is your man!
P.S. I will attach Eric's business card once I have it available in a loadable version