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Ha Na Tailors (85 Tran Hung Dao)
We love this tailor shop. Two friendly sisters who speak very good English manage the front of the shop. They differentiated themselves from the other shop owners we interacted with by actually caring about every piece of clothing they sell as well as their customers’ satisfaction. There were times we tried something on and thought it was perfect, and Nga (one of the sisters) would inspect it and find something that could be altered so it would fit even better. There were even a few instances when we were unhappy with how something looked but couldn’t figure out why. Nga would offer some design recommendations and send the dress, coat, whatever, back to the shop for additional tailoring.
Experience that really set Ha Na Tailors far above the others:
I wanted a casual dress, but none of the patterns they had in the shop caught my eye. Nga offered to drive me on her motorbike to their fabric warehouse to look through thousands of patterns. When we arrived, I described what I wanted and a few women quickly went to work finding patterns that matched my description. It took less than five minutes to walk away with a pattern I loved.
What we bought and how it all has held up:
Men’s winter coat: $70; no problems, worn many times
Two men’s suits: $120 (two-piece) and $165 (three-piece); no problems (both suits made appearances at two weddings to rave reviews)
Seven men’s silk boxer shorts: $8ea; buttons popped off on a few pairs when Mike washed them
Four men’s long-sleeve button-up dress shirts: $25ea; no problems, worn multiple times
Three men’s ties and handkerchiefs: free (discount for spending so much money!)
Women’s business suit: $100; no problems (worn a couple times – love the fit)
Women’s business dress: $40; no problems (worn for a job interview)
Women’s formal dress: $50; no problems (worn at Tara’s sister’s wedding)
Women’s short-sleeve button-up shirt: $15; no problems, worn a few times
Women’s custom-designed casual dress: free (discount for spending so much money!); one of the buttons at the top loosened a bit, and I fixed it myself by hand-sewing it
They also resized a t-shirt and turned pants into shorts for us for free since we spent so much on clothes.
Mê Linh Cloth Shop (28 Tran Phu)
I wanted a winter coat but couldn’t find a design I liked in a catalogue, so I decided to walk around and see if one on a mannequin struck my eye. Most styles were replicated at every shop, and all the materials felt too itchy or irritating to me. I loved the one I found at Mê Linh Cloth Shop because the style and material was unlike any other I’d seen around Hoi An. It also didn’t look weatherworn from being on the mannequin for too long. I tried it on and it fit perfectly, though I knew Nga would’ve found areas that could have been altered to make it that much better. The front-of-shop workers gave me a hard sell, especially when I started to walk out saying I wanted to think about it. I decided to buy it right off the mannequin and negotiated $27 for a woman’s winter coat. I asked them to add a loop at the top of the neck so I could hang it on hooks, and they got it back to me later that day.
Why I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this shop:
The hard sell is so off-putting, but the main reason I wouldn’t recommend it is because I feel that you can get better service elsewhere. They were accommodating putting the loop in without adding a fee, but I think a really good tailor would have offered to do a bit more, like take in each side a little.
Additionally, after about two months of wearing the coat during winter, about two inches of the left-side pocket seam tore open.
Nhung Cloth Shop (661 Hai Ba Trung)
Similar to my winter coat story, I wanted a casual skirt but didn’t know what style. There was one on a mannequin outside Nhung Cloth Shop that caught my eye. I tried it on and liked the look, with a few minor alterations in mind, including a different pattern. It was a simple pleated design in a lightweight cotton material. The shopkeeper took my measurements and I came back later that night for my fitting. My custom-made skirt cost 315,000 dong (≈$15 USD).
Why I wouldn’t recommend this shop:
Customer service was not a strong point here. I was disappointed with the overall experience for a couple reasons: 1) Once the shopkeeper made the sale and I paid half up front, she seemed disinterested in my overall satisfaction with the skirt. 2) I requested double stitching and when I arrived at my fitting I found they had done single stitching. The shopkeeper started talking about additional charges, which was in no way the agreement we made. She finally agreed to send it back for double stitching, which meant I had to return later to pick it up.
I was able to wear it a few times before winter began in D.C., and so far I’ve had no issues.