Having clothes tailored in Bangkok is an incredibly popular activity, right up there on visitors’ ‘to-do’ list after ‘get a massage’ and ‘eat tom yum kung’. We are often asked, “Who is the best tailor in Bangkok?” But with almost as many tailors as there are tuk tuks in this city it is not easy to quantify who is better than whom. How should we compare Bangkok tailors? Price, style advice, quality of fabrics, quality of stitching, customer service, and honesty – all of these attributes are important in a good tailor, and most of them are subjective.
We have already written some useful tips for people considering Bangkok tailors. Now we are going to walk through the process of having clothes made in Bangkok. For this, we have chosen Tailor on Ten, widely considered one of the best tailors in the city.
The First Visit
Tailor on Ten is actually located in a quaint period house right at the very end of Sukhumvit Soi 8 – an important thing to note for first-time visitors and something that has no doubt confused more than one hapless shopper. It is roughly a 10-minute walk from Nana BTS Station. Consider taking a taxi or motorbike from the entrance of the soi.
On my way to the shop I passed several other tailors, all with similar signs promoting their price, discounts, and quick production times – some even stand outside their shop trying to harass passing people. If ever there was a way to tell which tailors NOT to use, this is it.
Tailor on Ten is noticeably different: surrounded by a leafy garden with just a couple of subtle signs, it creates a nice balance between friendliness and sophistication. Upon entry, I was warmly greeted, offered a seat and a drink – either water or beer. There are rolls and bolts of fabric neatly arranged throughout the shop, with their premium products all on the ground floor. They have fabrics from many of the finest mills in the world – Holland and Sherry, Thomas Mason, Ermenegildo Zegna, to name a few – and even their Chinese-made range is still of good quality.
An impressive part of the experience at Tailor on Ten was the time taken by Ben, one of the owners, to walk me around the shop explaining the particulars of different types of fabrics, weaves and thread diameters. It serves the dual purpose of allowing the customer to get an understanding of the elements that contribute towards a good suit and to display his knowledge of the tailoring business. Importantly, I never once felt like he was trying to sell me something or push me in a particular direction.
After browsing the shirt fabrics, I selected three patterns of premium Chinese cotton, including a red-and-white plaid fabric, at a cost of 1,700 baht each. Tailor on Ten stipulate that unless you are buying a suit, there is a three-shirt minimum order. They claim this is because they cut and stitch in house so it is not viable for them to make single shirts at a time. After choosing a fabric we sat down in one of the fitting rooms to discuss the finer details of my shirt; everything from collar type and length, buttons, cuffs, and customised monogram. This is a really enjoyable part of the shopping experience as you know you are getting something bespoke that will really stand out. Ben, who did my consultation, was happy to give his opinion but always waited for me to give an indication – perhaps a sign that style is not a fixed entity.
Once my particulars were taken and confirmed, we headed back downstairs for my measurements to be taken. The whole process took around 30 minutes, but I already had a clear idea of what I was looking for. If you are undecided or indecisive it could take longer – and if you are looking for a suit it could take a lot longer. A 50% cash deposit is required if you decide to buy something.
The First Fitting
I returned four days later (due to my own schedule) for my first fitting. The tailors claim they can have a shirt ready for a first fitting in less than 24 hours, but because I live in Bangkok there was no real rush for me. Suits take a minimum of three days and three fittings to complete. Again, I was offered water or beer before moving upstairs to the fitting room (which is actually the size of a bedroom). The shirt fit was excellent but there were a couple of changes I wanted to make; the collar and the shirt itself were a little too long. These details were listed and the shirt pinned and the same tailor who initially measured me was the guy taking care of my fitting, which I felt was a nice personal touch and not necessarily standard procedure in Bangkok. The tailor also commented on the width of the arms, and asked if I wanted them a bit tighter – something I hadn’t even noticed. With the alterations to the arms noted and a second fitting arranged, I was out of the shop in 20 minutes.
The Second Fitting and Pick Up
I returned to the shop for a second fitting two days later and was instantly pleased with the fit. The alterations now made this shirt slip on and feel like it belonged to me. Now that I was happy Tailors on Ten set to work producing my two other shirts to the same specifications.
Unfortunately, on the day of the scheduled pick up, the shirts weren’t ready, but I received a text message from the shop warning me about it. I was fine with this as I had already told them I wasn’t in a rush but if you are on a tight timeframe, be sure to ask for assurances that your garments will be ready on schedule. When requested, Tailor on Ten guarantees products will be ready for a specific time.
I collected my new shirts the next day and was very happy with the result. The shoulder fit, arm and body length was perfect and the stitched initials on my left cuff and mother of pearl buttons added a bespoke, personal touch to my shirts impossible to find in off-the-rack clothing. In fact, all of the detailing was produced exactly as I had requested and the quality of the fabric felt as good as any international brand – all for 1,700 baht per shirt.
Tailor on Ten
Tailor on Ten is run by two brothers of Canadian and English parents who have been living in Southeast Asia for the majority of their lives. It is clear from talking to them that they are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. They are mainly men’s tailors, although they do work with women’s jackets, pants and skirts – just no dresses.
They have employed some of the best tailors in Bangkok and everything is cut on the premises, with sewing taking place either in the shop or at their own factory nearby. Paper patterns and measurements are kept on file so if customers return home and decide they want additional shirts or suits they can arrange everything via email.
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 to 19:00 (closed on Sunday)
Address: 93 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (located at the very end of the soi)
Tel: +66 (0) 84877 1543
Price Range: Suits start from 12,000 baht, with Italian wool starting from 17,000 baht – shirts start from 1,700 baht (three-shirt minimum)