During the Chinese New Year, I finally got to wear the cheongsam I got tailor-made in Hoi An. It had been in my wardrobe ever since I flew it back with me from the Vietnamese town.
Hoi An, Vietnam, is famous for its tailors. You literally (yes, in the literal way) cannot walk down a street without passing at least 2 tailors. (Well, not too literally if you’re passing paddy fields.)
Nguyen, you know her from my KL trip, also raved about tailors in Hoi An during one of our Facebook chat sessions. She said I must get at least an outfit done when I am there.
Frankly, I’m not a shopper of clothes. Clothes store make me yawn maybe because I rarely find things my size which I find flattering.
But I thought about getting a qipao (aka cheongsam) made–especially after I saw what Steph from 20-Something Travel got for herself–although I was not sure when I would actually wear it.
Allure of the cheongsam
The perfect image of a lady in cheongsam features a tight fitting dress and curves in the right places.
The not-perfect image of a lady in cheongsam features a loose-fitting dress with curves that suggest pregnancy. That, my friends, was what my dress turned out to be.
I got my cheongsam made at Future. It’s at the street junction of Cua Dai road and Tran Hung Dao. (photo below)
When we were picking out the cloth, the shop owner suggested a black cloth. I explained that I might wear it for a wedding. After looking around, we both agreed on the cloth with blue background with green shiney embroidery.
The lady got my measurements and told me the dress would be ready the next day. I believe it was US$35 for the dress but I have a really bad memory (should have jotted it down!)
I picked up the dress the next day. When fitting, I realized that there were places which were slightly loose. Suddenly I became paranoid that she thought I was making it for my wedding and mistook my bloated stomach from the night before as a growing baby. (It was probably my overactive imagination though).
I felt too embarrassed to tell her that I wanted some parts of the dress to be tighter. I reasoned that I would probably grow into the loose spaces if I keep on eating with my healthy appetite.
I’m not complaining that the dressmaker wasn’t good. I’m saying that as a customer, I wasn’t even sure of what I want so that was the main problem.
If you are heading to Hoi An, remember to get something tailor made! Just make sure that you know how the end result should be and not be like me.