Clothes tailoring in Bangkok has long had a bad reputation – not all of it undeserved. Pushy salesmen foisting overpriced, sub-par quality suits on naive tourists fresh off the plane has left many wary of taking advantage of what can in fact be a great opportunity to have clothes custom made at a fraction of the price you would expect to pay in the west. But thanks to a growing breed of ultra-modern boutique tailors – still offering great value, but with matching service levels that are designed with repeat custom, not quick bucks, in mind – you can get the clothes you’ve dreamed of at low prices, and have an indulgent shopping experience at the same time.
Despite the misleading name that stems from the shop’s original location, Tailor on Ten sits in a charming, heritage-rich old Thai house on Sukhumvit Soi 8, close to the Skytrain station at Nana. That the expat-owned Tailor on Ten moved here due to popular demand is telling in itself – and the house now offers the space to relax and soak up the experience of custom clothing design, while affording tranquil and private fittings.
They boast what they claim is Bangkok’s widest collection of high-end, world class fabrics – expect only the real thing here, and none of the imitations you’ll find at the cheaper, scrappier tailors that litter the capital. What’s more, all production takes place on-site with their in-house tailors, meaning you can see the process from start to finish and inspect the different components that will make up your suit.
To find out why Simon, the owner of Expique, use Tailor on Ten, then check out this article
Tailor on Ten is located at 93 Sukhumvit Soi 8, and open 9.30am-7pm Mondays to Saturdays; appointments recommended; www.tailoronten.com.
Turning Bangkok tailoring on its head with a fresh, modern approach that puts the focus on great quality and return custom, father-son combo Jesse & Son have decked out their shop on Sukhumvit Soi 19, close to Asoke Skytrain station, with comfortable seating and magazines. There is even a fully stocked bar – meaning you can enjoy a masala chai tea, a glass of wine or a whisky as you browse the shop’s high-end fabrics and get yourself measured up.
Guests can pick out the different components of their suit’s design on an iPad, and talk through their wish list with the expert pair behind the operation, Jesse and his son Manop. The twosome are new at this location, which opened in June 2014, but definitely not new to the business – Jesse has 34 years of experience behind him. Ambience is important here, so the soft music on the shop floor follows you through to the fitting rooms. Behind the design of the shop and the brand is Manop’s wife Manhar, responsible for the aesthetic touches to the experience that range from vintage sewing machines in the window display to customised packaging and thank-you cards with garment care instructions. In the future, Manhar plans to launch a range of bespoke accessories including cufflinks and ties.
You’ll find Jesse & Son at 19 Sukhumvit Soi 19. Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-9pm and 1.30-5.30pm on Sundays; www.jesseandson.com.
When a tailor counts Thai pop superstar Nadech Kugimiya among his clients, you know you’re in for something special. It’s also a fair bet that a tailor is worth his salt when his business is simply named after him. Both are true of Vvon Sugunnasil, this Paris-trained boutique tailor, fashion blogger and digital editor at GQ Thailand. His shop, inside the pooch-friendly ‘pocket park’-come-community mall The Barkyard on Sukhumvit 26, is so tiny it can only fit a small handful of clients at any one time.
It is not uncommon for Vvon to have a waiting list running into the weeks, which might rule him out as your tailor of choice if you’re only passing through Bangkok briefly – but if you have the time to spare, it is yet another sign that he is perhaps the hottest thing in town when it comes to bespoke clothing. The shop boasts a collection of fabrics that range from Japanese right up to top-end English wools.
Vvon Sugunnasil is open 11am-7pm from Tuesday to Sunday; 086 899 9888 (no web site).
Have you had a memorable tailoring experience in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!