My Tailor in Guangzhou

Many Americans find that they are too large to wear Chinese size clothing.  For example, on a recent trip to a clothing market I was looking for a dress.  A small is something like our size zero to two.  A medium is a size four to six, and a large is a size 8.  An extra large is about a size 10.  Larger than this, and you’ll have difficulty finding much. 

The good news is that in Guangzhou, it’s very easy to have clothing made.  Near the Haiyin Bridge there is a fabric market.  First find a tailor and select an item of clothing from their photo catologs.  Then they will measure you and tell you how much fabric to purchase, then purchase the fabric.  Get a friend to help, especially a friend who can act as translator.  And don’t take anything for granted.  One of my friends made a big mistake in that she just assumed the tailor would hem her dress the correct length.  The dress had been made by a seamstress outside, with finishing to be done by the girl in the shop.  But the girl didn’t measure properly and cut so much off the bottom that the dress couldn’t be salvaged.  So look carefully at the quality of the work in the shop, the styling, and notice if there seems to be a steady stream of local customers (or not). 

Be aware that unless you are a regular customer in the fabric shop, the asking price per meter will probably be about double the price the shopkeeper would charge to a local.  It is worthwhile to have a Chinese language speaking friend go with you to negotiate, or at least hold out for a lower price. If  in doubt, ask for a swatch of the fabric you are considering, take it to the tailor and ask whether it’s a good choice of fabric and what is a good price.  The tailor often will know where to get the best price and may negotiate on your behalf.  Shopkeepers give tailors good prices because they know they’ll be back. 

Occasionally someone asks me for the name of my tailor.  The tailor we use for men’s clothing speaks some English (it’s improving all the time).  His name is Leo and his phone number is 135-6022-6068.  He prefers not to have the overhead of a shop, he comes to the house.  The seamstress I personally use doesn’t speak a word of English, and she’s not the same person I’d use for an evening gown, but her prices are reasonable and she is very helpful.  She is in shop E46 in the building closest to the bridge.  Her phone number is 3357-4756. 

The seamstress I’d recommend for an evening gown is in the second building away from the bridge, on the first floor, near the manicure place and across from the shop that has nice linen.  Sorry don’t know the shop number or phone number.  They are much more expensive but the quality is far superior for design and quality in women’s clothing.  Of course there are many tailors and seamstresses and these are just three.  Choose carefully. 

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “My Tailor in Guangzhou

  1. I thought that I’d leave a note to tell you thanks for this post. You might have written this years ago, but it’s still relevant and helpful. Now if I can just find a place in GZ that sells women’s shoes in a size 41…

    • Thanks for your comment, Camille! Yes, I did write it years ago but I hope Mr. Luo is still a great tailor! Also, for shoes size 41 … I knew of a few places where one could reliably find them, but it’s kind of hard to give directions when I’ve forgotten the street names! I’d like to suggest that you ask the ladies in GWIC for referrals to the shoe shops. The longer term expats know where to find them.

  2. kab232

    This post is still helpful now, Mr Leo is making me some shirts and pants this week! Still has the same number, and is still in Guangzhou. Wasn’t fazed by the fact that I’m 6’3″ either.

  3. David hoh

    How much does Luo charge for workmanship for shirts and suits?
    Where did you buy your fabric? And what is the quality like?

  4. T

    Can I have a little more detail in finding mr luo. I will be in the area June 6 2012

  5. Jo

    Hello, would you have a recommendation for a tailor who can make gowns?

  6. Thanks for this post! I will be looking to visit Guanghzhou for a tailor… earlier this year we shipped some fabrics from China, and now planning a visit as the fabrics were great value and quality. Will look him up.

  7. james

    This is a very good tailor.His name is James.he speaks very good english.he does suits for many American and European stores.i did my suits with him and i was impressed.the custom made suits were superb,attention to details was just great.i live now in usa now and alot of times i just give him a call and he will do my suits and post to me in Mayland usa.i believe you will be impressed if you give him a try.His number is 008613066330521.
    He also does mens shirts and female dresses HE LIVES IN GUANGZHOU

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