When in Hoi An, you go shopping!
I am currently in Hoi An, a city in the center of Vietnam that is world renowned for its tailors and custom made clothes. This city is so small that it feels more like a town, yet it is home to more than 200 tailor shops that can create any dress, jacket, suit, shirt, handbag, or pair of shoes that you set before them. Choose something from a mannequin or bring in a magazine and they will make it for you in any colour or pattern you like – sometimes even overnight!
Even though my backpack has been gaining some weight in the past weeks, I figured I could deal with a few more clothes. I mean, how much can dresses really weigh?
I scouted the town for a few days, browsed the shops and made mental notes of the dresses I liked. Then, it was time to go shopping!
My experience was a little different from the way most tailor shops work. Normally, you would choose the pieces of clothing you like, get fitted, and perhaps request a few minor changes in the colour and pattern. You would then pay a deposit while the clothes are being made, and pick them up a few days later.
I, however, was happy with the dresses they had in the store, and because the samples fit me well, the shop-keeper let me walk away with the dresses straight off the mannequins. Only a few minor alterations needed to be made along the inner torso seam on two of the dresses, but that was done in a matter of minutes.
I came in planning to get one, maybe two dresses, and I walked away with three. Between the affordable prices and the shop-keeper’s coaxing, it sure was tempting to get more, but this is what I walked away with in the end:
Dress 1 – Royal Blue
This was the one dress I had my eye on when I walked into the store. I noticed the royal blue on a mannequin from halfway down the street, and I love the intensity of it. I like the collared neckline paired with the sleeveless cut because it gives the dress a more casual feel. I paired this dress with a braided rope belt that I already owned. Price: $18
Dress 2 – Floral Print
I wasn’t too sure about the floral pattern on this one when the shop-keeper picked it out for me, but I really liked it once I tried it on. It reminds me a bit of the floral dresses that were popular in the 80s. This one zips up in the back, and I paired it with a thin black belt from another dress I own. Price: $18
Dress 3 – Vintage Feel
This one won me over with the round collared neck and buttons in the front. The pattern kind of reminds of butterfly wings, which is kind of a strange pattern to be wearing, but I like it. I just added a little black belt around the waist to give it a bit more form. Price: $18
And those were my purchases in Hoi An! I now feel like a more girly traveller with all these dresses in my backpack and I kind of like it that way!