Hoi An, halfway up Vietnam has made itself immensely popular despite its small size, as the land of the tailors.
There are HUNDREDS of tailors here, offering you everything from hot pants to traditional three pieces suits in a couple of days. And since you can custom design your order, you could get a three piece hot pant suit if you so wished. There were lots of very cute dresses and jackets on display, but I resisted temptation for two reasons
1. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve lost weight on this trip. Not through any dedicated weight loss effort, just a change of circumstances (less wheat, less dairy, more walking). As I will continue to make zero effort when I get home I fully expect to return to my normal size once I stop wandering around with my backpack and start eating western food again. So what’s the point in getting something tailor made if I’m planning not to fit into it in six months?
2. I have a costume degree specialising in tailoring for goodness sake. If I get off my lazy arse and stop avoiding my sewing machine I could make my own wardrobe.
There is however one other thing Hoi An can do that I can’t.
Tailor made shoes
I’ve never even considered getting shoes custom made despite the fact that I hate shopping for my weird narrow ankles, mainly because in the western world you’d have to pledge your first born to pay for them. Here on the other hand they cost about $30-100, from sandals to knee high boots. Admittedly that’s more than I usually pay for shoes, so I had belly rumblings about spending money on shoes that possibly wouldn’t fit any better than shop bought, but the TripAdvisor reviews for this particular shop (Friendly shoe shop) claimed that they gave 100% refunds if you’re at all unhappy.
All you have to do is pick your style (the ‘catalogue’ is pretty much just pages ripped from magazines, so you can feel free to bring your own images in), choose from their selection of leathers and suedes, offer your feet up for measurement, then come back the next day to try them on. Yes, seriously. THE NEXT DAY. I ended up ordering heels and ankle boots for $120. Eep.
Thankfully Hoi An is a very pretty little town, so it’s entirely reasonable to wander around taking photos and not spending any money if you’ve accidentally blown all your budget on shoes.
The next day I came back to check for adjustments. The boots were very tight around the toes so they asked me to come back the next morning. In the morning they had adjusted them for me but they were still a little tight and I didn’t have time for a second adjustment. In happy to say the policy is totally true and I got a full, unpressured refund for the boots.
The heels though?
Bibbidy bobbedy boo.
Thank you for my birthday present Mum and Dad!
And thank you Hoi An elves!
(Yes, I’m mixing my fairy tales. So sue me)