A guide to buying tailored clothing in Krabi

Custom made Thai silk tunic

Custom made Thai silk tunic

Krabi is well known for its beautiful beaches, majestic karst landscape and small islands offering the ultimate escape from everyday life. However, Krabi, and Ao Nang in particular, has also become famous as one of the many places in Thailand where Western tourists can order personally tailored clothing for a fraction of the price such services would cost back home.

Although Krabi isn’t one of Thailand’s most well known tailoring areas, the area still boasts enough tailoring businesses providing good quality services to ensure visitors won’t have to venture into the big city to order the tuxedo or dress of their dreams.

Star Tailor, located near the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort, is one of Krabi Town’s most established tailoring businesses. Star Tailor’s customers can choose from more than 900 exclusive designs from the company’s fashion catalogue in a variety of materials such as silk, cashmere, linen, wool, and gaberdine.

With over 20 years of tailoring experience, Star Tailor provides visitors free transportation from their hotel rooms without obligation to purchase, fittings in the privacy of visitors’ hotel rooms, and free pick up service. Star Tailor promises orders can be ready within 12 hours and stores all measurements in their computer database for future orders.

Most of Krabi’s other high quality tailors are located in Ao Nang, which is said to have one of Thailand’s highest concentration of tailor shops. It may be hard to miss the number of tailors attempting to persuade tourists to enter their doors along the Ao Nang strip, but not all of them provide top quality work.

King’s Fashion, located at the Krabi Seaview Resort on Ao Nang’s main street, is one of the area’s most recommended tailors. More Ao Nang tailor shops which have received rave customer reviews include Armarni, facing the Jassi restaurant, Holly Wood Tailor, and the Friendship Tailors - Boss Collection.

When receiving advice from locals as to which Krabi tailors they most recommend, be wary of taxi drivers and street guides who tell different stories and bring visitors to the most expensive shops. Hotel staff usually provide good pointers, and many hotels even house tailors on their premises.

Tailors are well stocked, quick and professional

Tailors are well stocked, quick and professional

Carefully inspecting the fabric, stitching, and workmanship of clothing samples displayed in the windows of most Thai tailors is highly recommended. Seams which aren’t straight or clothes which don’t fall properly on the mannequins are indications of poor quality work.

Research tailors carefully, ask to see examples of their work beforehand, and be wary of any tailors promising overly cheap deals or work finished in a startlingly short period of time. Good tailoring requires patience and time so use common sense, and if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Getting the agreed price and deposit amount in writing beforehand is important, and some tailors require a 50 per cent deposit.

Most good quality Krabi tailors are willing to use fabric visitors bring with them from other shops, will work from photographs of preferred designs, and will ask customers for intermediate fittings to make sure their outfits fit perfectly before they’re finished. If the finished product isn’t the perfect fit, tailors should also be willing to make any necessary alterations at no additional cost.

The more time customers are willing to spend giving tailors detailed descriptions of their desired designs, the more likely they’ll end up with the suit or dress of their dreams. A one of a kind personally tailored outfit which could be lifted out of the pages of a fashion magazine is truly one of the best bargains and most unique souvenirs visitors can bring home from a holiday in Krabi.

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