a tailor-made adventure

Well, apart from stuffing myself silly with good food in Bangkok (we were planning our days' activities AROUND restaurants/eating spots, that's how food-centered this whole sojourn was), I did manage to do a few other things, like get massages...and get something tailored made for myself for the very first time.

I've never met a ready-made shirt I liked and have been considering getting one tailor-made from CYC for a while, so when my friend suggested we hit a tailor or two in Bangkok, it seemed like a sign pushing me in the right direction (I see a lot of signs).

We had heard about the good and inexpensive tailors in Bangkok, but felt pretty skeptical about them because a) they look incredibly dodgy and b) the clothes displayed in the window look really....bleah (if you've taken a trip to South-east Asia and seen these tailors with names like "Amani's Collection" you'd know what I mean).

Plus, I really hate trying to communicate my exact wants to someone who doesn't seem to get it and then starts pushing what he or she thinks at you, and there's always that nagging fear that you're putting yourself in the hands on someone who doesn't know what he or she is doing, and can't give you the sort of advice you need (especially when you know next to nothing about what is good tailoring). It's like finding the right hairdresser who knows what works for you.

But then my friend's friend promised that her tailor was extremely reliable and knew his craft well, and tempted by the idea of a perfect white shirt tailor-made to our poorly-articulated and yet incredibly specific desires, we decided to wander to the shop for a look.

We found the shop filled with Singaporeans ordering suits, dresses and shirts (when we returned for a second fitting we overheard an American expatriate living in Singapore going "Three suits sounds a little greedy...") and were encouraged by their obliging-ness and air of perfect understanding at my rambly description that went: "I'd like a white cotton shirt, fitted but not tight at the shoulders, loose in the body but with a bit of waist, long enough to tuck in but not to the point of becoming a tunic, slim sleeves but not tight, small collar but not too small...and does this material wrinkle?").

They whipped up our shirts in time for a second fitting just one day after we first visited the shop, and on the third day, our shirts were finished and we went to collect them, our hearts secretly pounding - what if we hate it? What it's it was just ever so slightly off and hence completely wrong?

Well, as it turned out, it's not exactly Charvet (the buttons look like the ones on my old school uniform, the finishings on the inner seams could be better) but the fit is excellent, and I finally own a shirt that gives me room to move without making me look like I'm wearing pajamas. For a mere 800 baht! That's S$36 or so. You could buy about half (probably less) a Zara shirt with that money, and the fit would be nowhere as good. I love it. I was thrilled. I found myself envisioning my next shirt, possibly in silk cotton (this one is cotton poplin), maybe with a wide French cuff...

I can see why people can get addicted to this; I don't have a great need for shirts (I work in a very informal setting and it's just too hot to wear a shirt all the time) but I don't think I could go back to buying ready-made shirts...I can't really explain the joy of slipping on the shirt and having it feel perfectly RIGHT, but it's a good feeling.


enc said…
Another brilliant score (I said this on the post above—I'm catching up in reverse order, sorry).

Just look at how well they executed your requirements! It's perfect for you. I hope you'll go for more!
R said…
Hey may I have the address of the shop you went to? :D If you don't have it anymore, some directions or landmarks could help! Your shirt looks amazing and I've been thinking of getting a tailored shirt..
Johnson said…
Near the land mark? Did we go to the same one?!?! I was at this place near Landmark, on Sukhumvit soi 8..errmm..i think it was "the crowns tailor" or something like that. Either ways, I was quite happy with my clothes too!

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