Living in Bangkok has many benefits-excellent domestic help, delicious food, fantastic culture, etc. etc. etc....For men, it has the added benefit of being the center of cheap and beautiful tailoring. In fact, we walk past about eight shops every day just to get to the corner or our street. Yet, my husband had not had a chance to get fitted for anything except a tuxedo.
So, for Father's Day, we decided to change that.
That evening, when he came home from his meetings, I handed him the first of three cards, which directed him on a “tailor-made” tour of Bangkok. Stop 1: Jhasper Fashions, where Pinky and Dave tend a neat and sensible shop with shirt and suiting fabrics exactly to our liking. There, we had the man measured for two top-quality work shirts, discussed having some jackets made, and generally enjoyed their company. Pocketed between tailor shops that frequently have those annoying hawkers trying to pull you in from the street, Jhasper is a cut above. Service was quick and professional, so we left having high hopes for what they would make us.
Next stop, according to the card, was the tried-and-true favorite, Rajawongse. This shop is so popular with the American contingent that we bumped into three acquaintances as soon as we walked in. How can all those people be wrong?
The cozy little shop is stacked corner to corner with great suiting fabrics, from dressy to casual, so we decided on one business shirt and one striped casual shirt. I can see how men find themselves hooked on this place– for a great price you could be sharply dressed in any color or print your heart desires.
At this point we presented the Mr. with our last little card. It was time for a snack break. The kids were still behaving themselves relatively well, so it was clear we could stop for dinner and then push on. After a quick dinner at Bully's Pub the tour continued; we were at the last stop. Empire Tailors.
Empire is THE BEST according to web reviewers-one reviewer raved the shop to be “brilliant” which does not refer to the bright airy space alone, I presume. After dragging two young kids down Sukhumvit, this shop was a welcome break. Instead of being crammed with options, the shop was spacious and the fabrics were select. Sunny greeted us politely and coolly, and while others tried to impress us with their speed and precision of service, he calmly explained our options and gave my husband time to deliberate over what he wanted.
Three shops and six shirt orders later, we planned to return the following week for fittings and the final decision-which shop would be the best? Which shirts would be the most flattering? Which tailor would deliver the closest to what my husband wanted? And my husband, lucky guy, would be the judge.
It turned out to NOT be a simple decision, after all. All shirts from the three shops were the same price, which did help, but were also really close in quality and workmanship. Also, all three shops provided the best service and were sure to have gotten our repeat business if we hadn't also tried two of their competitors! You can't go wrong by ordering shirts from any of these three, and it pained us to try and eliminate our least favorite.
So it boils down simply to which shirts my husband wore first, and which ones made him feel his best. So if you told me there could be only one, my answer is Empire.
Empire Tailors (Sunny)
12-126 Sukhumvit Road (Between Sois 4 & 6)
Also fantastic and much-appreciated for their help:
Jhasper Fashion (Dave and Pinky)
155/32 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana)
Rajawongse (Jesse and Victor)
130 Sukhumvit Road (Next to Landmark Bldg)