The city of Hoi An — so exciting with its beautiful old historic buildings. An old center of trade between Eastern and Western cultures. Traditional lamp-makers and woodcarvers! And of course, custom tailoring — cheap high-quality custom tailoring.

Hundreds of tailors courted us from the sidewalk. "Some pants?" "You like Dockers Mister?" "Want to see latest J. Crew catalog?"

We brought in clippings from Vogue, thrilled about having the latest fashions at a fraction of the price. The tailors assured us they could recreate the most complex couture designs. We were measured in exhaustive detail — distance between earlobe and metatarsal was solemnly recorded.

The second fittings were a little bit of a let down — mod mini-dress became generic x-large muu muu with four pockets and satellite dish sleeves. And there were four inches between me and zipping up my new pants. Apparently, the tailors are still getting used to the western booty.

But we were optimistic about the third and fourth fittings.


"No, that’s not a paper lining, I only use fabric of course."

"…Ok, I’ll uh try those pants on again."

"There, finished!"

"Um, aren’t the pants supposed to be able to close in the front? And isn’t this belt supposed to wrap around my waist twice rather than one and a half times?"

"Heh. I make for you in fifteen minutes."