Birthday and Christmas for Us!

By: sachilefever on July 30, 2006 - 6:53am

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! We spent the July Jubilee mostly in Hoi An, Vietnam. We planned to stay for 3 nights, but ended up enjoying 6 nights in this little town. The housekeepers would ask us every day, “What time leaving tomorrow?” Our answer always seemed to be “Two more days.” then they would giggle and practice a few more English sentences on us.


We had heard weeks earlier that Hoi An was wonderfully colonial, a pleasant place to shake travel weariness and that we should buy some tailored clothes while we were in town. Tailored clothes? I’m not much of a shopper, and all Lee has been buying are T-shirts to send home, so we thought tailored clothes were a faint possibility. Once we arrived and talked to some tailors, we decided to give it a try with a couple of dress shirts for work – just for fun.


That evening, the monetorium came up in discussion – in saving for the trip for two years, we did not buy new clothes and we would surely need clothes for restarting our careers upon our return home, when our bank account would look especially sad.  So, having tailored work clothes made in Hoi An made sense – we could get better quality and fit for a fraction of the price.  Picking up our first order was too encouraging – good quality fabric, nice stitchwork, and only US$18 for two dress shirts.  By the end of the week we spent US$500.


I know, I know – that’s a lot of money. However, think about a decent dress shirt for work – maybe $25 (at the cheaper end of the spectrum in the US) multiplied by 20 shirts gives you a $500 expense.  That’s 20 shirts for $500, bought in the US.

Now, consider what we got for that same amount of money in Hoi An:  Along with 22 dress shirts, add 5 pairs of dress pants…add 3 blazers for Lee…add 2 jackets for me…. And finally, add 6 pairs of shoes, all tailored to fit us perfectly, and with fabrics that we chose.  For the price of 20 $25 dress shirts in the US, we got all the items listed above.


With $68 in shipping expense we sent home 50lbs of new wear and were a little embarrassed heading to the post office the morning we left town. We realized we weren’t nearly the only ones when we saw stacks of clothing boxes headed out that day.

There are certainly few guarantees – Maybe the fabric won’t stand up to weather and washing like our other jackets and maybe our shoes won’t last more than a season. However, I’d like to think we’re just trying it out, and if it works well, we may be back to Hoi An in a few years with clothing designs and ideas in tow.  

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