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Having dresses made in Hoi An

Having dresses made in Hoi An

One of my favorite parts about visiting Europe was the shopping: even if it was at chains like Zara and H&M, there was a day when these stores only existed in Europe. I’d return to California, sporting new dresses and cute bags; when someone asked me where I bought it, I’d proudly proclaim Europe and know that the odds of running into someone wearing the same thing was slim.

Having dresses made at MeKong Tailor in Hoi An, Vietnam

With the continuing globalization of the clothing market and increased popularity of ordering online, it’s harder and harder for me to find clothes abroad that aren’t available at home. So when I heard about the popularity of having custom items made in Hoi An, Vietnam, I was intrigued.

My most extensive experience with a tailor prior to visiting Hoi An was having my jeans hemmed for free at Nordstrom. Luckily, Hoi An caters to the tourist who wants to play clothes designer: mannequins line the street, tables are stacked with fashion magazines, walls filled with fabric in every color of the rainbow. Custom pieces cost a fraction of ready-to-wear options in the western world; turnaround time can be as quick as 24 hours. Ask your tailor for specifics and plan on booking a hotel in Hoi An for at least a day or two.

Choosing fabrics in MeKong Tailor, Hoi An, Vietnam

I popped into MeKong Tailor because I spotted a dress on a mannequin that I quite liked; once inside, however, I turned my attention to the computer screen filled with an endless choice of dress designs. Captivated by the inexpensive prices, bright fabrics and the chance to play designer, I decided on three dresses that each cost about $40.

The best part has been wearing the dresses at home: oh, these old things? Just had them custom made in Vietnam…

Turquoise dress made by Mekong Tailer in Hoi An, Vietnam

Sporting a fabulous-but-comfortable turquoise dress (and boots, of course!) at Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

A coral dress from Mekong Tailor in Hoi An, Vietnam

The photo of this dress showed it in a neutral gray and white combination, but I decided on coral with a cream accent: perfect for a night out in Dubrovnik!

Wearing an orange one-shouldered dress from MeKong Tailor in Hoi An, Vietnam

A classic one-shouldered dress in bright orange: my cousin actually borrowed this for her junior prom! I know she loved not having to worry about another girl wearing the same dress as her.

Have you ever had clothes custom-made abroad? If not, would you consider it? 

  • Lovely! I absolutely adore the blue one! I’m really looking forward to Hoi An on my trip. I have a very long torso and have trouble finding dresses that aren’t scandalously short, even when they’re not meant to be.

  • Riz

    WOw! I love the blue and the cream dress! 🙂 Looks perfect on you! would love to go to hoi an and consider a costume made dress! Wooot!

  • Christine those dresses a beautiful!! Especially love the one-shoulder one, absolutely gorgeous!

  • I love the idea of getting clothes tailor made. I’ve done it before, in Tenerife… and when I arrived to Hong Kong 3 years ago for the kick start of my finance career, I was completely up for getting a suit made in a highly recommended place! Unfortunately my tight schedule that week didn’t allow me enough time to do so… but I’d definitely do it if I travel anywhere else!

  • I have never had anything tailor made for myself, but it’s definitely on the list of things my husband and I want to do when we’re in Hoi An. I love the idea of having some custom-made dresses that I know are truly one of a kind! I’ll get to whip out my inner Project Runway designer nerd! 😉

  • Love this, if I ever make it to Vietnam, I’m looking this place up!

  • Hayleyonholiday

    I did the same thing in Hoi An – I got a replica of a favourite of mine made plus some super cute bright red shorts. My friend even got her wedding dress made over there in 2 days. Amazing!

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  • I would go crazy in Hoi An. Lol. I LOVE to be able to wear unique things – which is mostly why I’m going home with loads of hand-made jewelry from Europe!

  • ash simpson

    Hooray! I’m planning to do this while I’m living in Phnom Penh this year! Reading your article and seeing how beautifully your dresses turned out have gotten me so excited 🙂 

  • I love those dresses- the one shouldered one is my favorite.  I’m bummed I missed Hoi An now!

  • camorose

    Hoi An will be perfect for you then! I loved being able to choose exactly where I wanted the hemline and neckline to fall.

  • camorose

    Totally worth the trip–SO much cheaper than clothes anywhere else!

  • camorose

    Thanks! The orange one is a fun party one–love how differently my cousin chose to accessorize it for prom 🙂

  • camorose

    If I ever needed a suit for a job, I would love to go back to Vietnam and have a bunch made–so much cheaper than anywhere else and it’s so nice that you can choose exactly how you want it to fit! Definitely need a few days to get it right though.

  • camorose

    Oh my gosh you have to! It’s so much fun–and so much more reasonably priced than anywhere else!

  • camorose

    Do it! They were awesome!

  • camorose

    I think it would be the perfect place to get a wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses made–perhaps a bachelorette party idea? 🙂

  • camorose

    So much great jewelry in Hoi An too–found some awesome silver earrings and bracelets! You’d love it!

  • camorose

    So much fun–have the best time, and don’t be afraid to experiment!

  • camorose

    Next time–who doesn’t want to go back to Vietnam?!

  • I wish I had done the same while in Hoi An. The problem with traveling somewhere so inexpensive is that a $40 dress seems like a total extravagance, when really it’s quite reasonable. Your dresses are gorgeous!

  • camorose

    Totally true–I didn’t do much other shopping, so I figured that these three dresses would be well worth it when I got home. I actually kept them in the plastic all the way home–didn’t want to accidentally ruin them in Asia!

  • How much did your dresses cost, do you remember?

  • camorose

    Between $30-$40 USD 🙂

  • Andrea Seehusen

    Wow! I was thinking of doing the exact same thing in just a few short weeks. Do you know how much your friend spent on the wedding dress? I am trying to figure out a budget. Thanks!!