During a recent trip to Patong Phuket, Thailand, Trevor Guilday [Bespoke Unit’s Travel Editor] and I wanted to find the best tailors the city had to offer. We had several needs to get a suit(s) and a tuxedo each for some events we had upcoming in Hong Kong and Macau. So the pressure was on!
From our initial research we selected ten of the most highly rated tailoring houses in Patong based of Trip Advisor and Google Reviews. We then went to each shop and bought garments from custom shirts to tuxedos [and in the process massively blew out our budgets! When in Rome…].
Best Patong Thailand Tailors
Below are our top 5 in alphabetical order [not quality / preference order], please click for an individual and specific review of each:
- Exclusive Tailor – best cut for a slim man, and very close to Bangla Road
- Magnifique – fantastic lining options, with exquisite unlined jacket finishing
- RK Fashions – modern shop, with wonderful tuxedo cloths
- Star Tailor House – large selection of fabrics for some fun dinner jacket options
- Suit Master – best selection of fabric, and great at fitting larger / odd shaped man [like myself]
All five of these houses offered something slightly different, excluding the one most important common thread in that they were all great people.
I’d highly recommend all!
Even though they were not the cheapest on offer, they did offer by far the best value for money, but more on that later…
Things To Consider When Buying A Suit In Patong
When buying a suit in Patong, Thailand, or anywhere in Asia for that matter, there are several key things to consider:
We’ll explore all four in a little more detail.
Back “home” for me, being the USA a custom suit typically takes four to six weeks from initial measurements and ordering. Not all of us can / are away that long on vacation, so these guys can crank them out FAST!
I believe all of our top 5 have their workshops within the city of Patong itself, and some additional production facilities / fabric stores in Bangkok.
Some tailors can even offer an “overnight” service, but I’d strongly recommend against this if it can be avoided.
The five houses above all go through 2 – 3 fittings to get the jackets, trousers and shirts just right. This is needed to make tweaks, especially for the first suit you have made, as this can be used as the template that you can order additional garments from in the future.
If you’re like me and become an instant kid in a candy store as soon as you enter a tailor shop, you’ll need a plan / have an additional “fun” budget to satisfy your sartorial appetite.
When you’re “accustomed” to paying well over $1,000 per suit, and can now have them in the $300 – $500 range it’s quite easy to get carried away.
Our recommendation is to go with the basics if you don’t have a strong “smart” wardrobe. You can never go wrong with a navy blue and / or charcoal grey suit. Then, if you have those covered, a black or more fashion forward navy blue tuxedo could / should be on your list. Finally, if you’ve reached this point / beyond that the sky is truly the limit!
The one thing I would say, and this is directed to the already custom suit veteran, please don’t expect super high value cloths for this range as it’s just not economically viable. There are two costs to each suit: fabric cost and construction cost. So making a suit from four to six meters of $100 per meter fabric can’t make a $300 suit. They too have a business to run. In such a case, some of the shops offer higher grade fabrics, or like I did, take this lower cost opportunity to have a little fun and order something a little more crazy than you usually would!
Furthermore, to add to the two “cost components” above, all the the jackets were fused chest pieces, and none offered a floating canvas. Technically, a full floating canvas being better than a half canvas is optimal, as the garment “floats” and conforms to your body shape better than the cheaper / less time consuming fused option. In addition, if poor quality glue and / or canvasing material is used, “bubbles” on the fabric can appear after several wears / cleanings. Again, for the price point and turnaround times I find this to be an acceptable compromise [but not at the $100 -250 per suit level as too many corners have to be cut on both the fabric and construction ends of the two piece cost equation].
Getting The Optimal Fit
All men are NOT created equal.
Although Trevor and I are both over six foot, we could not be more different.
I on the one hand am a larger set gentleman, with a “pronounced” stomach, and not a butt to speak of, whereas Trevor is a Slim Jim with a big a**!
Thus, we are not going to look our best in the same cut, fit, and pattern clothing [adjusted for our size].
I’d highly recommend you read our 15 Minute Guide To A Correctly Fitting Suit, and if you have time read some of our more specific guides on what clothes suit your individual body style.
Even with that being said most of us men have other common “irregularities”. For example, most men do not have evenly sloped shoulders [Trust me. Walk down the street, and you’ll be shocked when you actually “see” this for the first time].
So with these two things in mind – both body shape and any individual irregularities – a custom tailor can work wonders to get you looking your best.
BUT, and a big but, you should come prepared with some idea of what you may want and how you may want it to fit. These Patong tailors fit hundreds of guys each year, all with different tastes of what the ideal suit is for them [even if they are quite frankly wrong!].
Further to, it can be hard to achieve certain elements of a well fitting suit without meeting your tailor in person. The big advantage of getting a suit made right here in Patong is that you’ll actually get to interact with the tailor! I, for example, have forward sloping shoulders and often have issues with excess chest piece fabric. However, being able to articulate this in real time with the tailor eradicated this issue.
Stick To Your Budget [Unlike Me!]
I know budgets are meant to be broken! Or is that rules I’m thinking of? Maybe it’s both….
Regardless, it is quite easy to get carried away. Unlike in the USA and UK where most of the cost creep is in up-selling higher end fabrics, here the risk is more of getting more suits!
Long story short, set a budget based of both your lifestyle needs and income, then go from there.
In any case, you’re going to get a great deal, but don’t ruin that “value” by making overly extreme purchases that make no sense to you!
For me, I’m 100% okay with $300 on a purple short suit, but for someone else that only gets dressed up for weddings and funerals that’s most likely not the best use of $300 while traveling around Asia.
Best Value For Money – Final Recommendations
For me the best value for money was not the cheapest and / or the fasted but a mix of these four:
- Fit – ALWAYS #1 consideration, no matter if it’s a $5 suit from Goodwill [which I’ll happily wear], or a $10,000 true bench made bespoke suit from Savile Row [which I’m yet to own!]
- Fabric selection
- Service / People
From reading what must have been several hundred reviews, and personally trying out the “Top 10” in Patong, with the right game plan in hand ALL of our Top 5 Patong Custom Tailors shall get you suited and booted in the right direction with enough spare change for a cocktail or two down on Bangla Road.
As a quick reminder, remember that these will take 3 – 5 days, cost about $300 – 500 [or more for higher end fabrics], and have fused construction of the suit jacket’s chest piece. I’d stick to these Top 5 we recommended or others from other ratings sites. Be wary of a deal that seems too good to be true, as some of the competition is in a race to the bottom where you’re the one that ends up losing!
The best “things” in life aren’t free, but they can be a little cheaper and more fun when buying a custom made suit in Patong Thailand!
Please click the following links for our full review on each of our favorite tailoring houses:
"Our review of the top 5 custom suit tailors in Patong! We had custom garments made at more than a dozen custom suit shops in Phuket before narrowing it down to a list of the best tailors based on value for money."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★