What’s up Guys!
I came to Bangkok for the month to get my balls clipped and to hang around my old stomping grounds on lower Sukhumvit Road. Another major reason I came back was to do some shopping. I’m 30 now, so it’s time to step my game up. Bangkok is by far the best city in the region for clothes shopping.
I have recently been writing some style tips here on Single Man’s Paradise and if you are looking to upgrade your wardrobe then Bangkok is the place to go!
Custom Made Shoes in Bangkok
A man’s shoes are an extremely important part of his wardrobe. Be sure to read my post about picking the perfect casual shoe. I had an old pair of cheap loafers that were completely beat to shit. I wore these things all over the place for the past year and they looked like hell. Time for an upgrade!
If you are a big guy it may be difficult to find shoes that fit you in Asia. I looked all over Nha Trang and I could not find a decent pair of shoes in my size! I finally gave up and chose to wait until I arrived in Bangkok. I did my research and decided to visit the leather shops on lower Sukhumvit road. There are several shoe makers located on Sukhumvit Road between Soi’s 8 and 12.
I shopped around all three in that area and I decided on Liu’s Bootery. Click that link to visit his website. The owner is extremely friendly, professional and he speaks perfect English. He quoted me 4,000 baht for a pair of custom made dress shoes. This guy can do it all. Oxfords, Wing Tips, Loafers, Boat Shoes, Moccasins, what ever you want he can make it. You can also bring him pictures of a shoe and he can copy it.
There’s really nothing like a custom pair of shoes. He will measure your feet and make them exactly to your size. If you are a tall farang with clown feet then this is your best option. 4,000 baht may seem like a lot but these are high quality leather dress shoes with real leather soles. They will last a very long time and can be repaired after several years of hard use. Similar shoes of this quality are easily double that price in America.
Quality leather often looks better over time. If you buy a cheap pair of fake leather shoes with rubber soles they will be worn down and cracking after a few months of hard use. Trust me I know! Spend a bit more and you will have some high quality shoes that aren’t disposable like the knock off shit you see at MBK.
My goal is to look good but also be comfortable. I don’t own a car out here so I walk a lot! I also don’t want to be buying new shoes every three months because my cheap shitty pair is falling apart. Buying a quality pair is a wise investment.
Custom Made Dress Shirts in Bangkok
There’s nothing that looks sharper on a man then a tailor made dress shirt. When you step out for the evening, it’s time to ditch the T shirts and Polo’s. A nice button up shirt that is fitted to your body will make you stand out amongst the crowd and it’s a sure way to compliments from the ladies.
I’m hard on dress shirts… They never seem to last me more then three months. I sweat like a pig, party, spill drinks and food then I wash them in shitty washing machines. I never use dry cleaners in Asia. So basically I consider them disposable.
For this reason I don’t want to spend too much on dress shirts but I don’t want to buy shit either. Some of the most famous tailors in Bangkok such as Narin Couture and Milan Tailor were quoting me 3,000 baht per shirt… Maybe if I was a powerful attorney that needed to get some business attire made I would shop there. But I just need a few decent shirts so I can get some pussy. 🙂
I’ve experimented with several tailors around Sukhumvit Road and I have a clear favorite for tailor made dress shirts. That is Sam Surin on Sukhumvit Soi 11. They are located next to the second 7/11 on the left side of the Soi across from Ambassador Hotel. These guys have made a lot of shirts for me and I’ve always been happy with the service. There is a young man named Gopal from Nepal working in there and he’s a great guy. Very professional and he knows his stuff.
Using different materials will effect the price but I usually pay around 1,500 baht per shirt. That’s about $50 USD. Prices change depending on materials, features and the quantity you order. I always get a bunch done at a time so the price may be higher if you want one or two. They also do suits and jackets but I don’t wear suits these days so I can’t comment on the quality of those.
Tips When Buying Tailor Made Clothes in Bangkok
You Get What You Pay For
I’m sure that Narin Couture makes some amazing dress shirts for 3,000 baht… They use the finest fabrics and mother of pearl buttons. That’s great, but I don’t think some 19 year old girl wearing flip flops in Vietnam will know the difference between that and my 1,500 baht shirt. If you want to impress your business partners then splash out the cash for the best! It’s still cheaper then your home country I’m sure. For me, I don’t feel it’s worth the extra cost.
You can also go too cheap. Wearing some cheap poly blend fabric around south east Asia will make you sweat like crazy. Go with a decent cotton fabric. Avoid the dirt cheap deals you see around the tourist areas. Many signs read something like “One suit, two shirts, two pants, $200!” You are better off taking $200 and throwing it in the trash. If shirts are 700 baht then you know they are cutting costs on materials and/or labor. Spend a little more and buy quality. I found the sweet spot for shirts to be 1,500 – 2,000 baht. That’s a decent cotton shirt completely custom made. You choose the fabric, patterns and design.
Know What You Want
When I first came to Bangkok I didn’t know anything about style. I had some ugly ass shirts made! Often times the tailors will just do what they’re told. They wont say, “hey that looks like shit.” Or, “you shouldn’t wear that type of shirt with jeans.” They just make what you want and collect the money. It’s wise to do a little research before you invest in some clothing. Your shirts need to match your attire and lifestyle. You don’t want to wear a tuxedo to happy hour ya dig?
Will you be wearing these shirts with a suit and tie? Will you be wearing these untucked with jeans? Are you going for a casual look you can wear to the bar or more professional shirts for a job interview? This will determine the patterns and style of shirts you will have made.
These tailors can make you anything you can imagine so be sure you know exactly what you want. They are often skilled in making shirts but they aren’t very helpful when it comes to style tips. Better off looking here, here and here for help. If I see something I like online or in a store I will snap a picture of it. Then I show it to my tailor and he can usually make an exact copy for a fraction of the price. If you’re stuck for ideas just pick up the latest GQ or Esquire magazine and bring it into the tailors shop.
Avoid Shady Tailors
I always avoid any business with a tout standing outside. “Hello! Buddy! Nice suit for you! Come have a look!” Not only are these guys annoying, I also I feel it’s a sign they are shady. NONE of the top tailors in Bangkok have these assholes out front. Do you know why? They don’t need them! Their business thrives off their stellar reputation and they are not desperate for customers.
Also avoid the “next day delivery” guys. A quality tailor will measure you, then have you come back for a fitting. After the fitting they will make any necessary adjustments and you will have to wait several more days for the finished product. A lot of these shady tailors cater to tourists who are here today and gone tomorrow. They will throw together some cheap shit because they know you are flying out of Bangkok tomorrow. If you say you live there then they will take you much more serious.
Give Yourself Enough Time
The first thing my tailor asks me is “how long are you staying this time?” They always have a lot of customers so their tailors are busy. It takes at least a week from walking in and getting measured to picking up your shirts.
If you want to get any custom made clothing in Bangkok do it right away. It often takes a week or more to get it done. Visit the tailor on your first day and have your fitting the next day. Then you can travel around and visit Pattaya or Phuket. Then end your trip back in BKK and pick up your clothes before your departure.
For other great shopping opportunities you can visit MBK mall or one of the many famous markets around Bangkok. This is where I grab my cheap shit such as shorts, socks, T shirts, Belts, Swim trunks. It’s cheap and the quality is shit but I’m not trying to make a fashion statement with these items.
Designer clothing is also available at any of the bigger malls such as Siam Paragon and Terminal 21. This is the same shit you will see in your home country so nothing exciting there. But if you absolutely need a pair of Levis or Dockers then you can find them there.
If you are looking to upgrade your style then Bangkok is the perfect destination. When you visit Thailand, I highly recommend you bring some extra cash to purchase some tailor made clothes. Stay sharp guys.