7 ways to get those fitting clothes!
#1: Leave it to the experts – Go tailor!
The most convenient option is to go visit a conventional tailor shop. There
are four major tailoring hubs in Singapore
- CBD area: Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar (One Raffles Place, Boat Quay,
Int'l Plaza, etc)
- Peninsular Plaza
- Chinatown (Pearl Centre, People's Park Complex, People's Park Centre, etc)
- General Orchard area (e.g. Orchard Tower, Orchard Plaza, Far East Plaza,
Most shops in Peninsular Plaza and the Chinatown area cater to the mass
market with relatively affordable pricing. On the other hand, the shops in CBD
may be slightly more expensive but offer greater convenience to the office
crowd in the vicnity.
The shops in the general Orchard area caters primarily to the tourist crowd,
promising turnaround of 24 - 72 hours. As with all tourist places across the
world, the prices vary from client to client. Those who are keen to hone their
bargaining skills can try their luck there.
#2: Straight to the source – Go direct
The unspoken secret in the industry is that most of the shops outsourced
their production to a few major production centres. These centres are found in industrial estates. Examples include Grand City and Lai En which are found in Ubi and Defu Lane respectively.
Price conscious consumers can get a lower pricing at these places. The trade off, however, is that the locations tend to be less accessible. Making multiple trips can be very time consuming and the cost of your time and travelling may offset the price savings.
#3: Room service – Door-to-door tailoring service
Door to door tailoring service offers the highest level of convenience and personalised service. If going direct is on the extreme end of inconvenience, door-to-door tailoring service offered by a few niche providers, is on the other end of the spectrum.
White Label and Black Label (two different firms) offer such personalised, door to door service. Meeting with the tailors are typically on an appointment-basis only.
#4: DIY – Online tailoring
There are a number of online tailoring sites where you can get your tailoring fix without leaving your seat. More popular names include Modern Tailor, IndoChino and Blank Label.
These sites tend to have their production based out of China and Thailand, which allow them to offer lower prices to consumers.
The lower price is also achieved by "outsourcing" the "measurement taking" to consumers like you and I. Though clear instructions are given, there is the risk that you may take the measurements wrongly and end up with clothes that do not fit. Thankfully, there is often a return policy, though making returns still remain a hassle.
#5: Make it fit – Alteration
For those who have a near-average body shape (average as decided by clothing brands), it is possible to get a better deal by buying clothes off the rack and altering it to fit your body shape. Clothing brands which offer an Asian cut includes Uniqlo and G2000.
However, note that certain things can't be altered or are too costly to do so. This include areas like the collar and the shoulder. Hence, always get the collar and shoulder right, as the other areas are more alterable.
If you have multiple parts which require altering, it is probably going to be a more costly affair than tailoring it from scratch. It is also possible that the shirt is sewn in a way that makes it hard to alter. As such, don't assume that all clothes are alterable or are cost effective for alteration.
#6: BYOF – Bring your own fabric
For those who are more adventurous, you can go source for your own fabric in fabric centres such as People's Park Complex and Textile Centre. You can then bring the fabric to a local tailor shop or at a at-home seamstress to sew it up.
The advantage is that you are not restricted by the fabric selection found in any one given shop and it is a rather creative process for those who enjoy the thrill of putting something together from nothing. However, the cost savings is likely to be minimal.
#7: Tailoring Tourism – Go overseas
There a number of places where you can get a cheap tailoring fix overseas. Major destinations are China (e.g. Shanghai), Thailand and Vietnam. Prices are significantly lower by at least 30%.
However, lower prices come at a cost. For instance, you have to schedule your trip around the tailoring as you will have to make 2 to 3 trips back to get the clothes done right. If you are in a rush for time, you may not have sufficient chance to make the necessary alterations and thus end up with clothes you would not wear. Lastly, the fabric is generally of lower quality.