Visiting the Tailors in Hoi An, Vietnam

A popular thing to do while in the lively tourist town of Hoi An is to get clothes made by one — or many — of the town’s tailor shops. We had big plans for visiting the shops and taking advantage of the cheap cloth and good workmanship. My wife got a few coats made, some pants, skirts, dresses and blouses. I went for shorts and short-sleeved shirts.

Seeing us pick and choose among the patterns and catalogs, the kids decided they wanted in on the fun. We asked if they wanted shoes or clothes made and the decision was unanimous: shoes. So with their guidelines being “anything and everything” we went searching for a cobbler to make the boys some shoes.

Measuring feet at shoemaker and cothing tailor

Seeing the shoes made from start to finish was fun for the boys. First they had to have their feet measured, then traced on a piece of paper. They then had to thumb through books to select the style of their shoes. Finally they got to choose the fabric, the type of sole, and the colors. It was a fun process.

Custom made shoes from Hoi An in Vietnam

To be honest, the results were a little less than stellar. The soles came off the shoes within a few wears and despite returning to have them re-glued they were never perfect. But in this case, paying for the process instead of the result was well worth the money.

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