Last time I was in Hoi an, two and a half years ago I got a bunch of clothes made; a couple of suits, a bunch of shirts, some pyjamas and a jacket. Most of it turned out good. I went to 5 different tailors that time. And I did in fact look for most of them this time too, but several of them had changed staff or disappeared.
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Anyway, Mr. Xe is still there, and despite the 2.5 years one of the women there recognised me from last time. This time, I was taking the Xe slogan, “Imagination is the only limit” literally. I was after a couple of special things — a powder blue suit and a suit like Dave Graney’s.
I got on the back of Mr. Xe’s motorbike and we rode all over town looking for a place with powder blue suit material but it was nowhere to be found. Seems it’s a little more rare than I thought. I didn’t see anything approaching pastels either – I guess the eighties really are over.
However, the Graney suit was a go. The funny thing was that I only took a B&W photocopy of this:
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/3918451493/” title=”dave graney by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2558/3918451493_b98055e1bc.jpg” width=”333″ height=”500″ alt=”dave graney” /></a>
and yet Mr. Xe recommended the same colour.
Here I am getting fitted for it. I wanted it a little loose-fitting, which is exactly how it came out. There are a whole load of shoe shops in Hoi an too but I didn’t get time to try and find a pair that would’ve really matched the suit. I found a some chocolate-brown Vans that work okay, back here in Korea. Together with a couple of shirts I had made by Mr.Xe it works really well. I wore it last a saturday and I felt like, “I’m off to the races!”.
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I also ended up getting another suit, kind of a working blue colour made and one white shirt. I also got a black version of my safari suit to complement the white one I have. Plus Mr Xe threw in a pair of black pin-stripe trousers.
J-e also got a bidness suit which looks very nice. Here she is getting measured for it. A good shot of the loads of different materials they have in the shop.
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Anyway this review’t all over the place but mostly I just wanted to say that anyone who is heading to Hoi an and looking for a good tailor would do well to visit Mr.Xe’s shop. They have reasonable, standard prices so you don’t need to haggle. They have a lot of different material to choose from, and will get something if they don’t have it.
When they do the first fitting, or even the final one, if there is something that you want changed they listen and have no problem with getting it adjusted. They’re not hungry for the $$$ so they won’t e suggesting that you get this extra, or that extra.
Lastly, I am a rube when it comes to this stuff, and Mr.Xe is a cat-like clothes-making genius who really likes what he does. He wants to see you in slick looking clothing at the end, so you’re going to end up with something good.
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Just for reference’s sake, Mr.Xe can be contacted at nguyen_van_xe at yahoo .com or tel. 0510 3910388.