Let’s face it. I don’t wear a suit often at work. Running tuk tuk tours and walking tours in Bangkok don’t really require suits! However, in the last 3 years I have had 3 suits made and all at the same place. In what follows I will give some insight as to why Tailor on Ten is my tailor of choice in Bangkok.
Firstly let’s step back to 2008 when I spent several months in Shanghai. Like in a lot of Asian cities there is the temptation to get a tailor made suit there. It can be so cheap. So my first experience was in the fabric market in Shanghai where I had 6 shirts made by 3 different tailors. Of these only 2 shirts were what I would call a success so while maybe super cheap I ended up paying for 6 shirts and only got 2 I Liked. I followed up by getting a suit made at the place that had done the shirts well. The suit was cheap but reality was it was not great. So unsatisfied with the experience I hunted out a tailoring experience at the other end of the spectrum and after lots of research went to Dave’s tailors. The result was worth paying for. Situated in a lovely house not only was it a great experience but I ended up with a great tailored suit at the same price as you would pay for a good one on the high street in UK. Sometimes it is just worth paying for!
Fast forward to Bangkok in 2012 and I need a new suit again. Before spending money on a suit I decide to get some shirts and trousers made in a few tailors to compare them. In fact I visited 5 of the current top 6 tailors as list on TripAdvisor and had shirts and trousers made in 3 of them. Incidentally one of the ones I visited was so unfriendly that I refused to try them – maybe I did not appear quite the “US President” status that they claim to cater to (my dad also is not a US president and had some experience when I visited with father earlier this year).
So of the 3 places I visited. The first was the cheapest and easily the worst. Felt rushed and seemed like half their customers were stopping in on the way to Nana Plaza (they have since moved slightly further from there). The trouser waist felt like it was made from cardboard to which they claimed was normal for a good pair of trousers and softens after a few washes. Slightly strange that this is not the case with most trousers I bought in past.
The second place I tried was decent quality and the fit was better but still not the wow factor.
My third place was Tailor on Ten which being set in a lovely house had a similar feel to Dave’s in Shanghai. The Tailor on Ten’s shirts may have been twice the price of the cheapest place but the fact that I have probable worn their shirt 100 times compared to the others which I wore twice each means that the others were very expensive if you look at the price per time you wear them!!! You get what you pay for and surprisingly the trousers did not feel like they had a waist made out of cardboard.
After testing with shirts and trousers I had my suit made and since then Tailor on Ten has become my preferred choice. While I am sure there are many other great tailors out there who would make almost as good a suit for cheaper, it is not always about the suit but the overall experience.
Simon with Ben from Tailor on Ten.
The story behind Tailor on Ten is as follows. It was only started in 2010 by 2 brothers, Alex and Ben. Alex had already started a business in Thailand and spotted a gap in the market for a world class tailoring experience that combined great service and transparency with a wide choice of high quality fabrics. At the time Ben was living in Canada but decided to move to Bangkok to join his brother. While neither of them had experience in the tailoring business their mother did, so perhaps there was something in their genes. Since then they spent almost a year before launching researching the industry, fabrics and different techniques to ensure they can produce at the highest quality. In the process they ripped apart many second hand suits from some of the best tailor shops around the world to understand how they were constructed. Since they launched they have grown their tailoring team and most of the senior staff each have 10 – 20 years’ tailoring experience in Bangkok. A combination of a scientific approach, great customer service, and a great team has helped them get where they have got today.
Simon in his suit on a very high helipad in Bangkok – as part of a pre-wedding photo shoot
The Western management team certainly does bring a different mentality and helps set standards for customer service, ethics and innovation, which help create a world class experience. This is evident through the environment itself, their world class website and their transparency.
Unlike most tailors in Bangkok they have their own tailoring team of which some of them are actually situated in their shop. All staff are salaried which is unusual in an industry where the norm is to be paid per piece.
Not only have they built a team capable of great workmanship they have also ensured the choices and techniques they use in constructing the suits is a reason for their success. Whether it is the materials they use for linings and buttons or the fusing process itself, they have been chosen to ensure a world class suit!
They are constantly reviewing the fabric options they offer and are very transparent on the pricing and origins of the materials. Many shops in Bangkok will tell you that it is a top quality Italian fabric but if the suit only costs 5000THB this is highly unlikely or even impossible! With Tailor on Ten you can be confident of what you are getting.
Finally, the environment itself is worth another mention. Similar to Dave’s Tailors in Shanghai they have created an environment that says “we understand what it means to be classy” yet allows customers to relax while they are waiting
While there are many tailors in Bangkok who prey on the passing tourist, Tailor on Ten is equally popular among locals as among tourists and even the local customers are split between Thai and Expats.
So these are some of the reasons I use Tailor on Ten and trust them to make my wedding suit!
Tailor on Ten is situated om Sukhumvit Soi 8. For more informatio visit www.tailoronten.com
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