A guide to buying tailored garments in Samui

By Pimkarn kometsopa

Getting a suit made to order is popular in Samui

Getting a suit made to order is popular in Samui

Forget wallet-ripping, bank-breaking brand-name suits and dresses that don’t fit, Thailand is the place where you can get dirt cheap tailored garments with top-class quality that is so hard to find in other places.

Getting tailored garments is one of the things you should not miss while travelling in Thailand. A dizzying array of tailor shops dots major hubs including Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and the paradise island of Samui.

Apart from sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, fresh coconut drinks and an army of monkeys, Samui is also home to a number of quality tailors. Your best bet is to wander around Chaweng Beach road, Nathon Market and Lamai Beach, three of the most popular shopping areas in Samui.

At these areas, you will find countless shops run by resident dressmakers and tailors. Once you have perfected your streak-less tan on the beach, wrap yourself up, practice your hogging skills and hit a shop for some high quality suits and dresses.

One of the most famous tailors on Samui is Armani Suits International, located in South Chaweng. Owned by two Nepalese brothers who have run the business for about 20 years, Armani Suits International specialises in men’s suits and women’s fashion of all kinds.

Another well-known tailor in Samui is Baron Fashion, which claims to give the clothes they create a feel of having been custom made to order. Items feature fine button holes crafted with care and a wide range of fabrics are available.

If luscious, flamboyant Thai silk gets your heart beating, make sure you visit Chaweng Boutique and Thai Silk, run by a Chinese tailor. This shop guarantees neatness and careful workmanship. There are over 5,000 selections of fabrics and a wide range of 100 per cent handmade Thai silk. Jeans, jackets, overcoats and leather shoes are also available. Thai silk shopping and garments

Tailored fine silk tunic

Tailored fine silk tunic

For a European touch, head to Paris Mode. As the name suggests, this tailor boasts Italian and French designs with a large selection of fabrics including 100 per cent cashmere, wool, linen, cotton and, of course, Thai silk.

Even if you will only be in Samui for a week, you can rest assured that you will receive your made-to-order masterpieces before you leave the island. Most tailors can finish garments within three days. The most popular fabrics include imported linens, print cottons, blended wools and the ubiquitous shiny Thai silk.

If you are a first-timer for buying tailored garments in Thailand, you will have to be prepared for doing nothing! Knowing the design you want or bringing a photograph of your preferred garments with you is helpful, especially if you want to have a dress like Julia Roberts at the Oscar. Getting custom made clothes here is easy. Some places can even finish a dress within a few hours.

Remember to explain to the tailor exactly how you want the dress or suit to turn out. You will also need to choose the fabric and discuss the price in advance. Some tailors might require a 50 per cent deposit. Have the tailor write down the agreed price and deposit amount, as well as any important details concerning the clothes to avoid unpleasant surprises when you come to pick the items up.

When you pick the clothes up, try on the finished works of art and check the construction and finish. If there are any problems, the tailor should take the clothes back and fix them without additional cost. This is usually a quick process and the finished items should be ready that same day. Most tailors are happy to adjust things like hems on-the-spot.

Buying tailored garments in Samui is an easy task and is a must-do once you are here. Not only will you get a perfect tan as a souvenir to show off to your friends, you will also be sporting it in a beautiful Thai silk dress you that can’t find anywhere else but Thailand. And what’s even better is that no one needs to know it cost you less than a hanky in Selfridges.

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