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We know that travel is not one size fits all so to help, we have created the Plus Size Travel Too website as a hub of plus size experts, all looking to share their knowledge with fellow-travellers. If you're seeking adventure and don't know where to begin then don't worry, you're definitely in the right place.

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Where to get Custom Clothing in Hoi An, Vietnam as a Plus Size Traveller by Hannah Logan

In 2016 I spent nearly a month backpacking around Vietnam as part of a 4-month adventure in Southeast Asia. It was my second time in this part of the world. After spending years worrying that I was too fat for Asia, I finally got up the courage to visit Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Myanmar in 2015 and fell in love with the landscapes and cultures. While I definitely had a couple of fat-shaming comments (particularly around elephant pants at the markets in Bangkok) the good overshadowed the bad and after a particularly positive plus size experience in Thailand, for 2016 I was ready to try some new countries in this part of the world, including Vietnam.

I’ll be honest, Vietnam as a plus size traveller wasn’t the easiest place I’ve been to. I definitely got some looks and I’m sure some comments, but overall, I enjoyed my time there. Particularly Hoi An; a stunning city famous for its tailors.

There are thousands of tailors in Hoi An making it a popular place for travellers to come and get custom-made clothes, shoes, purses, and everything in-between. From wedding dresses and bespoke suits to jeans and sundresses, you can get anything you want.

Of course, with so many tailors in one place, you know that quality (and ethics) are going to vary. I did plenty of research ahead of my business and learned that many of these so-called tailors operate like sweatshops and employ children and women for disgustingly low prices. While I’m always after a bargain, this is something I did not want to contribute to.

After some digging, I came across a tailor called BeBe Tailors (there are, in fact, two in the city).  Upon arrival, I asked my hostel for their opinion. Was it a good place? In terms of the quality of the product and working conditions. The staff told me I chose wisely which made me confident in my decision to use this tailor for my custom made clothing in Vietnam. 

I’ll be honest. I was a bit worried when I arrived. I was already well aware that I was bigger than many other people they made clothing for. A fact brought up rather quickly earlier that morning when I visited a different tailor with a fellow backpacker. This woman looked at me and told me right away I required more material and would have to pay more than my slimmer friend. While I understood the logic behind this, especially for custom clothing, I still felt shame for being called out so quickly as ‘the fat one.’

So, when I walked into BeBe tailor I hovered a bit at the door. Unsure of where to go, what to do, and who to talk to. I was greeted quickly with a bottle of (much needed) cold water pressed to my hand. Then, with a warm smile, I was invited to sit down and discuss what I wanted.

Unlike other tailors I had passed by, their shop was bright and airy. There was a comfortable seating area I was led to where I could browse patterns and photos of other designs and a seemingly endless display of bolts of cloth. Silky patterned materials, heavy wools, airy cottons in every colour imaginable. It was a fashion lover’s playground.

There were plenty of patterns and designs to browse through but I had brought my own. I wanted a wool winter coat, a couple of sleeveless tops, and a pair of shorts. The staff member flipped through my photos on my phone, made a couple of notes and asked me to email her the photos. She told me could do it all and priced it out for me. It wasn’t cheap, but it was comparable to what I could expect to pay at home for something off the rack.

Minutes later she was measuring me for my sizes, her tap tight across my hips and chest. I stood awkwardly waiting for a comment about needing more material but nothing was said about my size. She finished and asked me to come back in two days.

About forty-eight hours later I came back. I was again greeted with a smile and this time led to a change room where my pieces were waiting. I was assured they were not yet finished but they wanted to try for sizing.

When I came out the women expertly circled me, making tucks and adjustments as needed. The waist of the shorts was too loose while the arms of my coat a little too snug. The tops were a good length but maybe I would like it a little more fitted?

“You have curves!” one stated with a smile, “you may as well show them off!”

I was beyond grateful that these women were clearly working not to just design clothes for me, but clothes to look good on me and fit my body. Their attention to detail made a ton of difference and when I came back a day later for the finished products, I left feeling confident and beautiful with my new pieces.

It’s been a few years since my tailor-made clothing experience in Hoi An and I still have the clothes. The wool coat especially is a favourite and has travelled around the world with me. I love it so much I actually emailed them in 2019, three years later, and asked if they still happened to have my measurements on file so I could get another one made in a different colour. They did and I have a brand new berry-pink one sealed away in a bag waiting for me to decide to bring it out. I love it just as much as my original indigo one.  

So, for any ladies visiting Vietnam and looking to get custom made clothing- head to BeBe Tailors. From one fat girl to another; I highly recommend their professionalism, skill, and kindness. Especially in a part of the world that can be so hard for women above a certain size.

Hannah Logan is a disaster-prone adventure traveller from Ottawa, Canada. She loves scuba diving, castles, and anything that makes her feel like Indiana Jones. You can follow her adventures around the world on her travel blog, Eat Sleep Breathe Travel and on Instagram at hannahlogan21.