Samui Wining & Dining
THE TRAVELLING TAILOR
Bao Bao Café & Eatery opens up a world of street eats in an original setting.

Get measured up for bespoke clothing wherever you choose, thanks to Paul’s Fashion.Just off Chaweng’s beach road, there’s a clothing shop run by one of the longest-standing tailors on the island, Paul Subedhi. Look through the window and you’ll probably see him checking through his stock or measuring up one of his many clients. The walls are filled with bright bolts of cloths, with different colours, textures, thicknesses and so on. They’re made of all kinds of materials, and range from silk through to the cottons and everything in between. Every kind of material has its own properties, and you have to have imagination, not to mention great expertise, to be able to turn everything into outstanding products. Paul does just that; he was born into a family of tailors and grew up with his family producing clothing of all kinds. He set up on Koh Samui with the intention of producing affordable, quality fashion, and he’s kept to that mandate. Just as an example of how good the prices are, he can make you a suit for as little as 5,000 baht or a shirt for 1,000 baht.

          

Perhaps he has a love of moving around, for even on Samui he’s frequently travelling from place to place. That’s because he’s one of a select few tailors who doesn’t depend on his clients actually walking through the door. If customers don’t want to come to him, he goes to them, taking plenty of samples with him. It’s a rare tailor who does that, but Paul certainly doesn’t mind. “It’s part of the service,” he says, modestly. “I’m happy to go to hotels, villas, resorts – anywhere on the island.” In fact, he can do all the fittings at customers’ accommodation; you need never go inside the shop at all. However, if you decide to visit Paul in his store, you might like to take advantage of the free round trip he offers – from any hotel or villa on Samui.

          

Paul offers an extremely personal service. Even if machines make the clothes a cinch to produce, the human factor is crucial. You need watchful eyes to make sure the details are absolutely correct, nimble fingers to sew everything perfectly and, every bit as important, you need to take into account the individual client that you’re dealing with. Get measured up for bespoke clothing wherever you choose, thanks to Paul’s Fashion.

          

Whether you opt to go to the store (it’s on Chaweng Beach Road, just down from Central Festival and just before you reach The Library) or you ask Paul to visit you, the process is exactly the same. He first ascertains your needs. If you’re buying a suit, for example, would you like it to be formal, informal or somewhere in between? He’ll also want to know the climate where it’s to be worn; what’s suitable for a Tokyo summer is obviously not going to be appropriate for wintry Stockholm. Some of Paul’s clients know exactly what they want, while others have only the vaguest of ideas. After all, it may be their first time ordering bespoke fashion. No matter, Paul is amazingly good at working with people and can help you find something that will satisfy you. You’re welcome to bring him designs you’ve seen on the internet (Pinterest is a great place for inspiration) and Paul also has catalogues you can browse through.

          

Once you’ve talked everything through with Paul, he will measure you up, and soon you’ll be able to come back for a first fitting. After adjustments are made you’ll come back for a second fitting. Soon afterwards the finished clothes will be ready for collection. Try them on first just to make sure everything is perfect for you. But of course, thanks to Paul being willing to travel, all these steps can be carried out in your resort or villa instead. All of this usually takes three or four days from start to finish. But if you have left things to the last minute, everything can be completed within 24 hours.

          

Paul and his team are very confident in what they do; they’ve had years of experience, and know that their clients will be satisfied. But you don’t need to take their word for it. At Paul’s Fashion there’s a guarantee that comes with all the clothing that they make, and it’s an extraordinary one: they won’t accept any payment for any finished product that a customer isn’t totally happy with. This means that the service, materials used, the design, the workmanship and the fit all have to meet their customers’ approval. It even covers the shoes that Paul sells (though unlike the clothing, he doesn’t make them). If you check out what Paul’s Fashion customers say on TripAdvisor, you’ll find a long list of satisfied clients. Paul has been awarded the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence for the last four years in a row, so you know that you’re in the most capable of hands.

          

Buying clothes from a bespoke tailor like Paul is always an uplifting experience; as an expert he’ll have you looking better than you ever would with off-the-rail clothing. And just as good, everything is done with your convenience in mind. Drop in on the travelling tailor – or let him drop in on you. Either way the results are sure to please.

          

Dimitri Waring


 


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