I see this question on many forums. Guys want to know if they should buy some tailor-made clothes in Thailand. My answer is yes, if you do it right.
First off, it really doesn’t matter which tailor shop you go to. They are all basically the same and all they do is measure you and send the order to a sweat shop. I consider them measurers and not tailors.
The ones that I avoid are the ones on the street with their little book of samples wanting to meet and greet me. I avoid them like the plague and consider them total nuisances.
I will find one on my own and look at the quality of the material on display. Then I get a rough idea of the prices. Of course, for better material you can expect to pay more.
Here is how I do my tailor-made clothes shopping;
– I only buy when I am going to get a small quantity – like 6 pair of slacks and a dozen shirts. I don’t buy suits because I live in Hawaii and slacks and dress shirts are acceptable.
– I visit the “tailor” at the beginning of my vacation. I want to make sure that neither of us is rushed.
– I tell the guy that I plan to buy 6 pair of slacks and 12 shirts, but he has to make one set for inspection first. Then if acceptable, he can do the rest.
– I also tell him that I am a lazy, single man and want everything to be wash and wear. I refuse to iron clothes.
– I insist on three fittings. And I am specific on the cut, cuffs or not, a longer zipper than the Thai’s normally put on slacks, and an inner liner to the knees.
– For the shirts, I have the female in the store pick out colors and patterns that match. I have a hard time visualizing when the material is still just material. I have her pick material for two shirts for every pair of slacks.
– I also select which shirts I want a longer tail on. These are the ones that will get tucked in. I want some of the shirts to have a flat cut on the bottom to wear outside of the slacks.
– I tell them not to put any stiff inserts into the collars. They will say that it will soften after a few washings. Don’t believe it. I tell them that if there is anything in the collar, I will cancel the order.
– Since I am older and getting fatter, I also have them toss in a bit of elastic in the waistband in case I gain a pound or three.
– I pay a minimum deposit once I have seen the first set completed and will pay in full when all is done. I give them a drop-dead date about 3 days before I depart to allow time for any mistakes.
– Once the “tailor’ has my order complete, I take the time to over every piece of clothing with a fine tooth comb. I check every stitch and ensure that there are no mistakes. I try on every piece of clothing to make sure they fit.
– On occasion, I have even brought in a pair of slacks that I already own that fit me like a glove, and tell them to just make 6 more exactly the same.
You can get some good deals on tailor-made clothes in Thailand if you plan it out and do it properly. Don’t rush and don’t get talked into more expensive material than you really need.