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Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 11:35 AM   #1
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Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

I am interested in visiting Asia (Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bankok, Singapore and so forth), and, while there, having some clothing made for myself. I plan to take magazine photos with me of women's clothing from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and other publications.
Has anyone on this board ever done that?
Where would you suggest I go to have this done?
What country or city is best?
Any suggestions on shops that do specialize in ladies' coats, slacks, shirts, dresses, etc. overseas?
Can I ship any excess clothing that will not fit into my suitcase back to my home in the US--and actually receive them? I probably will not be able to carry all back, and this kinda has me concerned right now.
Any suggestions are appreciated as I have never done this before, so I need some assistance finding my way around on this first go-round.
Thanks!

Orchidflower
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Years ago, many years ago, I had some dresses made as you describe. What you need to know is that they don't provide the 'ease' you are used to in their garments.

What I suggest is that you take some garments you like but are warn out and ask that they be reproduced in a fabric of your choice. They can dis-assemble the garment and use it as a pattern.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Are you saying that they sew the seams without any extra fabric, so you can let things out?
That is a great idea to take some worn clothing for patterns, tho.
But how do you get new patterns for pants made then? Or don't you?
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
I am interested in visiting Asia (Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bankok, Singapore and so forth), and, while there, having some clothing made for myself. I plan to take magazine photos with me of women's clothing from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and other publications.
Has anyone on this board ever done that?
Where would you suggest I go to have this done?
What country or city is best?
Any suggestions on shops that do specialize in ladies' coats, slacks, shirts, dresses, etc. overseas?
Here's the place in Bangkok that we used: http://dress-for-success.com/letter.htm

Victor & Jesse are extremely popular among the military & federal civil service (especially FBI & State Dept). It was pretty funny to go to a COBRA GOLD exercise and watch platoons of shaved-head guys troop down there to be fitted for their next careers. They practically delivered to the hotel in semi trucks and probably shipped entire containers back to the U.S. And if I was staying military I would've had several sets of uniforms made by these guys-- lower prices, better materials, and far better sewing.

We had a dressage jacket made for our daughter. (For you non-equestrians, it's a horse sport that sucks unbelievable quantities of cash out of parental wallets.) It was a fine wool blend with European styling (they were immediately conversant with several different dressage styles) and it was ready in 48 hours-- I imagined a Bangkok suburb sweatshop full of frenetic seamstresses. We spent $175 for a jacket that retails over $400 and can't be found anywhere in Hawaii. They're magicians-- we did it with only the measurements for our daughter and a picture from a catalog (she wasn't along for the trip).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Can I ship any excess clothing that will not fit into my suitcase back to my home in the US--and actually receive them? I probably will not be able to carry all back, and this kinda has me concerned right now.
You gotta be kidding-- shipping is a tiny minority of the cost. They're happy to ship to anywhere you want if it'll encourage you to spend more!

Not only will they ship, they'll keep your measurements on file. Then you can e-mail additional orders from your house, specifying whatever changes you want in material or measurements, and have it mailed to you. It's no different than an Amazon.com order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Any suggestions are appreciated as I have never done this before, so I need some assistance finding my way around on this first go-round.
Thanks!
I think you're making it seem harder than it actually is. For the cost of a round-trip ticket to Bangkok and a couple days' hotel stay, you'll save far more than the expense of the trip.

Be ready to do this on their schedule. By that I mean show up around 10 or 11 AM, or 2 PM, and give yourself several hours of free time. Sit in their chairs with perhaps a frosty beverage or two and be prepared to talk about who you are, what type of business you're in or activities you'll be using the clothes for, and let them get to know you and how you'd like to use their clothes. Show them some reciprocal respect by asking about their business and who they've sold to. It may be an hour before you get down to material samples, let alone the details of an order. It's more like an afternoon of entertainment than a mission to be executed at the lowest cost & least time.

While you're waiting for their fittings, spend the next couple days in the local markets or the Chatuchak Weekend Market finding your ready-to-wear bargains.
http://www.nancychandler.net/product.asp?pId=11
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 12:23 PM   #5
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Great advice from Nords. Relationships are very important in Asia. Approach this as a shopping experience, not as a simple transaction. If you go to Shanghai, check out the hundreds of silk stores on Nanjing Road. Also, be warned, if you are a large person, they may not have any patterns to fit you.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Frommer's Budget Travel magazine has an article about this in this month's issue.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Are you saying that they sew the seams without any extra fabric, so you can let things out?
That is a great idea to take some worn clothing for patterns, tho.
But how do you get new patterns for pants made then? Or don't you?
"ease" is the difference between your body measurement and the circumference of the garment at the same place. Garments with little ease crease when you sit, for example. If you bring a garment whose fit you like as an example ask the tailor to note the amount of ease so that the new garment fits you comfortably.

You may want to bring a pattern.

The amount of ease a person likes in a garment is a personal preference, in part. How the garment is warn is also a consideration. For example, if you have a firm body and stand a lot then you pants/skirt can be warn tighter than if you sit or move and/or a chubby.

Asians living in Asia tend to have lean bodies, this will be particularly true of the people who cut and sew your garment. They may cut your garment as if they will be wearing it.

A dressage jacket is a close fitting garment. Oh, those were the days! (I have a pair of unused size 9 Cole Haan tall jodhpur boots still in the box under my bed - need to put them on E-bay some day.)
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 07:00 PM   #8
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Great advice so far, thanks!
Has anyone ever gone to Hoi An, Vietnam, and had clothes made there? I understand this is called something like the City of Tailors or somesuch indicating that this is THE place in Vietnam.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 08:28 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Most of my clothing is already made in Asia...
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-25-2007, 09:30 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Yes, but the patterns, fabric and notions are all U.S. specified. There are manufacturer's reps that visit the workshops to assure that not only is the product as specified but the working conditions are OK. I worked for such a manufacturer, they are very anal about the product and workforce conditions.

When you are purchasing a tailored item it is completely different.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-26-2007, 02:42 AM   #11
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
Has anyone ever gone to Hoi An, Vietnam, and had clothes made there? I understand this is called something like the City of Tailors or somesuch indicating that this is THE place in Vietnam
Billy and I have had clothing made in Vietnam and in Thailand. Here's our story with photos about Hoi An in Vietnam... : http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/tailor.htm

Be sure to make note of the following:

1) If you are concerned about the authenticity of the fabric you are using, be sure to do a burn test. Silk, wool and cashmere will burn and leave ash. Poly-fabrics will ball up and leave a solid plastic type droplet behind. - If you don't care about the 100% silk or cashmere, but like the fabric anyway, don't worry about it.

2) Be sure to ask for double stitching on the seams so that your item won't 'fray to death' and leave you with strings on the sides where the seams used to be.

3) Ask that the same colored thread as the fabric be used, or you might be surprised to find that they will simply use white.

4) I made it a point to let 'my' tailor know "Not too tight, not too loose" or as she put it "Not too tie, not too loo" - That way I had room to move or more importantly, sit! our behinds are much bigger than these lovely Asians...

5) If something doesn't fit, don't purchase it until you are satisfied. They are happy to continue working on it until you are pleased.

6) The more you buy, the better the price. However, we found in Hoi An, that some shops had certain fabrics we wanted and other shops didn't. We ended up using 2 or 3 shops all together.

7) Compare prices and bargain. I had Asian pajamas (short)made for $11, long ones made for $14, a silk blouse for $6, a full Asian style dress for $12. Billy had a 3 piece suit, 2 shirts (one silk, one cotton) and 2 silk ties all for $42.

We went by pictures. In Thailand, however, I either drew a picture (for blouses or tops) or gave them some clothing I thought fit me well. They didn't disassemble my pants in order to make me several pairs.

Hope this helps! Have a great time!

Akaisha
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

In Hoi An, I have heard varying degrees of satisfied customers from reading Frommer's board. Some say they were lucky with their clothing selections and others really are disappointed.
Is there some specific shop in Vietnam that you prefer?
And, this is an important question, will I have problems traveling alone to these countries? I am assuming not, but I have to ask. (I have traveled alot, by the way, overseas--just not to the Far East.)
I am so happy with the wonderful information you board members have been so kind to share so far. Thank you...and keep any information on traveling to the Far East coming if you can. I am planning to go there so soon as I am freed up where I'm at.

Orchidflower
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-27-2007, 02:55 AM   #13
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
In Hoi An, I have heard varying degrees of satisfied customers from reading Frommer's board. Some say they were lucky with their clothing selections and others really are disappointed. Is there some specific shop in Vietnam that you prefer?
Hi Orchid Flower!
Like I mentioned in Seamingly Wonderful (above), we tried about 3 shops. Also, we had some work done up and down the coast, since we traveled both north and south Vietnam. Also, as mentioned in 'Seamingly': Fabric choices are largest in Saigon, with the prices the best in Hanoi. In Vietnam, seemingly, everyone's father, sister, mother or brother was a tailor. They are not hard to find. Hoi An is the "famous" tailor town, but you can have clothes made virtually anywhere in the country for splendid prices.

The next time I go, I intend to get some of those hand painted fabrics in Saigon and have something made from them. We didnít find them anywhere else in the country.

Quote:
And, this is an important question, will I have problems traveling alone to these countries? I am assuming not, but I have to ask. (I have traveled alot, by the way, overseas--just not to the Far East.)
We see lots of single women here traveling in Asia. I would imagine you will do just fine. Take a look at our Travel Page: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/...nformation.htm

Vietnam Hotel and Travel Information: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/...travelinfo.htm

Thailand Travel Information: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/thailand_travel.htm

Good luck in your travels!

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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-27-2007, 01:34 PM   #14
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Love your help...thanks so very, very much. I am just now learning about the Far East and it's costs. I punched in "Americans living in Vietnam" and came up with more information about the country (not clothing).
Seems Vietnam is pretty darn cheap, and you could live there for far less than $1,000 a month. Maybe $800?
I'm trying to learn so much as I can now, because when I quit eldercaring, I will be scooting out of this area for good; and then I can start using up something like 130,000 airline miles I have saved from my business.
Wonder why more American retirees don't retire for a year or so in Vietnam?
Regardless, I do plan to travel to Bangkok, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore and anything else I can come up with. And I DEFINITELY plan to have some designer classics made over there, which is why I am so interested in what the NAMES and addresses of the best tailors/seamstresses are. I'm getting a whole new wardrobe!!!
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-29-2007, 03:04 AM   #15
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
Wonder why more American retirees don't retire for a year or so in Vietnam?
Not entirely sure -- could be the 'old' stigma of the war -- or it could be visa requirements. Please let us know how it goes for you with getting longer stay visas. We only went for a month - could have gotten it renewed there. Didn't look into yearly requirements. I'm interested in how it goes for long term.

Stay in touch! let us know.
Be well,
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-29-2007, 12:24 PM   #16
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

I would want to stay in the Far East for, at least, 3-4 months. Maybe longer, depending. I am going to learn the area, as well as, searching for business opportunities; so, this trip will be a vacation and business thing both.
From what I have read on the expatriot board for Vietnam, you can renew your Visa over and over without penalty there. Guess they are going for the American dollar in a big way.
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-29-2007, 11:05 PM   #17
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

That's great to hear, Orchidflower! I do believe that Vietnam is interested in the American dollar... We certainly experienced that when we were there.

What are you thinking of doing for business opportunities? We bought some Vietnamese items and they sold like hotcakes when we returned to the US...

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 03-31-2007, 08:52 AM   #18
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Just thinking of living in SE Asia for awhile. Been in sales over 30 years, so I would love to lower my cost of living while exporting something that makes a decent living. I have no dependents once I am thru with my responsibilities with my mother, son's on his way to law school...I'm free for once to do what I want. Wheeeee!!!!
But I have no idea what would sell over here from that area of the world. Any ideas?
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 04-01-2007, 01:52 AM   #19
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

Quote:
But I have no idea what would sell over here from that area of the world. Any ideas?
It depends on where you want to sell your items. International cities such as NYC, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, LA, etc. will have a very different clientelle than, say, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, etc.

Where do you plan to sell? Who would be your clients? What price points are you considering? don't forget shipping adds to the price. If something is bulky and heavy it will take more $$ to ship.

All that being said, you could sell anything from handmade paper to loose gems. Some people sell handcarved teak furniture. Big difference.

It really depends on where you want to sell, if you want to keep inventory, how current you want your items to be, if you want to run a full fledged business or simply do a hobby to pay for your airfare and travel.

You need to figure out your perameters.. It would be helpful.

Do you know where you are in this process?

Best,
Akaisha
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Old 04-01-2007, 11:13 AM   #20
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Re: Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?

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Has anyone had women's clothing made in Asia?
Once. It was chewy.
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