Finding a tailor in Hoi An that checks all of the boxes is tough. The quality is either poor, the prices too high, or the staff too pushy. This can be really frustrating if you’re pressed for time or would rather be exploring Hoi An and not going door-to-door to different tailors.
Lucky for you, I found the best linen tailor while I was in Hoi An! The shop is called Gian Don Izi, and goes by @Iziwear on Instagram. I discovered this shop completely by accident, and only walked in because I saw lots of nice linen clothes on display outside. Once inside, I was immediately struck by how polite and friendly the employees were. No one pounced on me the moment I walked in the door, or made me feel like I was being watched. The people at Gian Don Izi simply greeted me friendly and answered any questions I had.
The next thing I noticed, was how thorough they were with details. After showing the shopkeeper a picture of what I was looking to have made, I was blown away by all the different thoughts and questions she had about the design. Most other tailors I’d visited took one look at my photo and rushed to have me put down a deposit. They didn’t inquire about the specifics or see that I was indecisive about certain details.
These first few interactions with the employees at Gian Don Izi are what first persuaded me to give them a try. I had a good gut feeling about the place, and wasn’t nervous after placing an order.
The linen dresses I had tailored
The first dress I ordered at Gian Don Izi was inspired by a photo I saw on Instagram. It was tea-length, had buttons running down the front, and a top section that tied in a knot. To me, it did not look very simple to make, so I was surprised when I went in for my fitting and saw an almost perfect replica before me.
Hao, the shopkeeper, had done a great job of noting the subtle details in my photo and ensuring they were all accounted for. When I noticed something that was a little bit off or that I wished was tailored differently, she was very gracious about jotting down notes and making those changes.
After seeing how nice my first linen dress looked, I decided to order another one. This time I was inspired by an image I’d seen on Pinterest. The dress was knee-length, had a ruched top, ruffles, and spaghetti straps. When I came in for my fitting, the dress was perfect besides a minor issue with the straps. Again, Hao politely accepted my critique and had the dress fixed in no time.
Each of the linen dresses I had made cost about $32 USD or 740,000 dong. Hao quoted this price based on the amount and type of linen being used to make the dresses. She didn’t pull it out of the air based on what price she thought she could get me to pay. Hao also has a policy of ‘no negotiating’ in her store. I liked this because I didn’t have to worry about whether or not other people in the store were getting a better deal than me.
Since Hao primarily makes linen dresses, she has a lot of different linen fabric options - both color-wise and thickness-wise. If you’re unsure of what thickness of linen to pick out, or which color would look best on you, talk to Hao or one of her employees. They are linen experts.
Hao’s shop vs. a different tailor I went to
In addition to the two linen dresses I ordered from Hao’s shop, I had a dress made at Pink Lotus Tailor. This shop was known for their silk dresses, so I decided to test them out and compare my two tailor experiences.
Unlike Hao, the women at Pink Lotus were aggressive and very forward. They had me picking a fabric and handing over a deposit in a matter of minutes. It was rather impressive in terms of salesmanship but overall led to a poor experience. The ladies at Pink Lotus also did not bother with the details of the photo I showed them. When I came in for my first fitting, the dress they showed me looked like something else entirely. Granted, it was still pretty and well-made.
As they were wrapping up the dress for me, I noticed there were a lot of blue chalk marks on the dress. Since the fabric was white, I was nervous about whether or not the blue would come out. I asked them if they could wash the dress so I could make sure I wasn’t buying a stained garment. The ladies were not happy about that and insisted repeatedly that I take the dress ‘as is.’ For me, this was a bit stressful because I didn’t want to spend money on a potentially stained dress.
In the end, I convinced them to clean the dress. Arguing back-and-forth with those ladies though, left a bitter taste in my mouth. Looking back, I wish I would’ve just gotten all three of my dresses made at Hao’s shop.
Finding Hao’s tailor shop
The coolest thing about Gian Don Izi, is it’s kind of Hoi An’s best-kept secret. It doesn’t show up on Google (at least not yet) and it’s not incredibly well-known. The only problem with this is the shop can be a little hard to find at first. To get there, search 26 Tran Phu, Hoi An in Google Maps. This should drop a pin on the shop so you can walk to it. If you try searching the store name, Gian Don Izi, it likely won’t show up in your search results.
Outside of the store entrance, you should see a bunch of sample linen outfits. Once inside, ask for Hao and tell her Allison sent you. :)