Tailor made in Hoi An, Vietnam

For the past 4 months, I have barely put on make up, or done anything with my hair. My wardrobe has consisted on a few pairs of shorts, leggings or long pants and a few tops. Travelling has made me care less about my appearance, and become less attached to stuff. I still do not own a hair dryer, and now that I am back in the UK, I have about 4 different outfits for Winter wear. A lot of my things are borrowed, or is stuff that I have had lying around for years, or in storage. Much of my ‘stuff’ is stored in various places, and I am in no real hurry to have it back.

backpacker wares - baggy shirts and leggings
backpacker wares – baggy shirts and leggings

Prior to this, I used to care a lot about what I looked like. I wore make-up to work everyday, I straightened my hair, I wore nice clothes and frequently bought more with each week I got paid. I liked to look nice.

During my time travelling in Asia, I bought three items of clothing – 1 t-shirt, 1 pair of baggy pants and 1 super expensive tailor made dress in Vietnam.


Now this dress, it wasn’t quite in the plan to buy, but for some reason, my inner girl decided that it would be nice to invest in, as it was cheaper ¬†than in the UK, it was tailor made, and I could think of at least three occasions that I could wear it at. Although I did deliberate for a little while.



After arriving in Hoi An, from a very long a dodgy bus ride from Mui Ne. I wandered the UNESCO heritage town. It was small, and there appeared to be one main theme. Tailors. They were everywhere. Literally on the one street,there were about 15 shops, and mostly all beside each other. It was big business in Hoi An.

So for whatever reason, possibly because I was tired from the journey, it was raining, and my inner girl was screaming at me, I went to sort myself out with a dress.



I looked in a few different shops, each were similar in terms of what they offered. You picked a design (either from a catalogue, or you could design it yourself), you choose the material, and colour. They measured you up, made it, fitted it, altered it. Done.

That is tailor a made dress in a nutshell.

The tailor I finally ended up going to was called Bao Diep, and although I went in, had a look at designs, came back (twice), the staff that worked there, were incredible patient with me, and were not pushy at all. Even when I changed my mind on the design, colour and material, they weren’t bothered.


I knew I wanted a dress that was strapless, and a wee bit different. This is what I went with:



Wearing my tailor made dress in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for my birthday celebrations. The first time, I had got dressed up in months
Wearing my tailor made dress in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for my birthday celebrations. The first time, I had got dressed up in monthThe dress cost US$25 (about £16), and I was able to bargain it down a little. I have worn the dress three times already, and the quality is really good.

If you are in Hoi An, I would definitely save some space to bring back some tailor made clothes. I really wanted to buy a few more things, but my rucksack wouldn’t have stretched that much to fit any more in.

Definitely one of the nicest things I bought on my travels, and it can be a real good talking point to have a dress from Vietnam, rather than the standard superstores like Debenhams


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