Nam Tailor

Nam Tailor, Hanói

Nam Tailor - Hanói
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drewn321
Seattle, WA1 contribuição
mar de 2015 • A sós
I'm a businessman from America, travelling in Hanoi. I had heard that tailors in the area would make custom suits, and seeing many well dressed Vietnamese and Chinese around the city, I was inclined to believe the rumors and seek out a good tailor for a fair price.

I had a Vietnamese speaking guide, who took me around to several shops. I know a lot of work goes into making a custom suit, and that a skilled tailor should be compensated well, but at the same time I wanted to get a fair price that was reflective of the local market - not the "tourist" price.

I ended up at a small shop named Nguyen Nam. I It is located on 72 Hang Ga street. The owner is a middle aged distinguished looking gentlemen, whom I presume is Mr. Nguyen himself. (He dressed like a golfer - and sure enough - proudly displayed a picture of himself on the greens. His handicap is a +7, not bad, especially as gold is a relatively new sport in Vietnam, and he'd only been playing a year. But I digress...)

I sat down with his female staff and looked at several hardcover fashion books, displaying the latest trends. They also brought out a laptop, with image files of famous actors in suits - Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio, George Clooney - they all made an appearance. Once I'd settled on the type of suit I wanted (two button, modern fit, slim breasted, shorter coat, no cuffs on the pants), I picked the material. As with most tailor shops, Mr. Nguyen had his materials hanging on the wall, and I stood in front of a mirror and had my guide take pictures as he held up each material to my body to see which color was the best. (Note: as I am slightly color blind, and the natural light in Hanoi can be lacking during the cloudy season, my guide offered to take a picture of me on her phone; it gave me a much better idea of the coloring of the fabric against my skin than the fluorescent shop lights.)

Finally, I picked the fabric: a deep blue. He quoted me the price, and I attempted a weak counter offer, but Mr. Nguyen was firm - $380. (I could have probably bargained him down, but I have no backbone for hard negotiations, and I rationalized his price as a better deal than a custom suit in the US, although I probably would have ordered two suits if he had offered a discount to $300 a suit.) I also decided on a second suit jacket of a different color and less expensive material, that he quoted me at $160, all in all I paid around $540 for a custom suit plus extra jacket. He said he would have them ready in five days, but that I would have to come back in two days to test the fit.

Well, I went back last night to test the fit, again with my guide. Everything looked marvelous. I had him give me a little extra room in the legs and shoulders - I'm a largish man, at 6'2" and 212lbs, and I didn't want to burst the seams on my new custom suit. However, I was so pleased with his work, I ordered a second suit, this time in black. Now that he had my measurements, he said he could have it ready at the same time as my other suits. All told, I dropped almost $900, for two custom suits and a blazer. While expensive, I look at it as an investment that will last for the next 3-5 years, and will pay off in spades as "perception is reality" in the business world, and the reality is, Mr. Nguyen's suits look and feel great.

Final thoughts:

- Bring a cell phone with a currency converter, so you can make sure you are paying a fair price.
- Hire a translator or guide. It makes a huge difference! But don't assume that just because the shop owner chooses to speak to your translator in Vietnamese, that they don't understand English. Be careful what you say: always be respectful, this is their profession, and they are very proud of it.
- Be extremely specific about what you want. Don't leave anything open to interpretation. Once you purchase a custom suit, it's pretty hard to come back to get it altered, if you aren't living in Hanoi or make frequent visits.
Feita em 24 de março de 2015
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