Looking good never goes out of style. For the well-dressed man about town that means getting a selection of tailor-made, bespoke outfits that can be worn to a variety of social engagements. But how does one go about finding a skilled modiste who’s a cut above the rest? Well, there are definitely some key things to look for when deciding. A good tailor pairs a wide variety of quality fabrics with precise, on-time, in-fashion cutting skills, and the best ones usually don’t have to advertise, as their reputation precedes them. With reputable reputations in mind, here now are eight dandy suggestions for Bangkok’s most dapper dandies.
In business for 16 years now, Duly the Fine Shirt Shop (also known as Lala Duly) has long been regarded as one of the best made-to-measure shirt boutiques in town. They currently have two locations in Bangkok, where they offer multiple styles of collars, bottom cuts, and front plackets (where the buttons sit), all made with fine fabrics imported directly from textile manufacturers in Italy. In 2014 they expanded operations to include made-to-measure suits as well, and just recently they have begun to offer made-to-order shoes. The business partners behind this successful venture are retail manager Vichuda Phanurai, who takes care of the shop, operation and sales, and his partner Toey Bejrajati, who takes care of all the product development. The flagship Sukhumvit 49 store recently relocated to the opposite side of the street from the original shop, and now boasts four times more space. When asked what the most in demand styles these days, Vichuda answered, “Bigger lapel size jackets and high waist trousers”.
All you need to say is “Perry’s” and any well-dressed man in Bangkok will know you’re talking about Perry’s Custom Tailor. The shop first opened its doors back in 1974 in an ideally located spot on Silom Road that would later find itself neatly sandwiched between the Sala Daeng BTS and Silom MRT stations. To this day the family-run business is still very much in the expert hands of Phonchai and Narong Thientuma, twin brothers who are well into their 70s but not about to retire any time soon – at least not according to Narong’s son Andrew. The twins learned the trade from their father, a tailor who emigrated to Thailand from mainland China in 1928. Over the decades the brothers’ list of satisfied customers has included diplomats, politicians, business leaders, movie stars, and even royalty, both Thai and international. It’s said that Phonchai and Narong (the one whose nickname is Perry) are famous for their old-school ability to measure and cut ‘by eye’, meaning they can size up a customer for a perfect-fit suit without needing to take any measurements at all.
Thattaworn ‘Von’ Sugunnasil is generally regarded by people in the Thai fashion industry as of one of the most impeccably dressed men in town. And while he’s not actually a trained tailor, he is a designer whose understanding of style, clothes, and fabrics is intuitive; further enriched by the time he spent apprenticing at a Parisian couturier. In 2014 he debuted his intimate atelier, Vvon Sugunnasil, and in 2018 expanded operations by opening a much larger studio on trendy Soi Somkid – within easy reach of BTS Phloen Chit. The custom tailoring services available include full-hand bespoke (crafted from start to finish by hand without the assistance of any machines), and half-hand and machine-made bespoke (which both use specialized machines to varying degrees). Materials, meanwhile, range from fine Japanese 120 wool, to Italian silks and wool from Cerutti and Zegna. Von’s personal taste leans towards luxurious French tailoring, impeccably designed to fit and flatter the body type of any man – or woman – looking for an investment piece for their wardrobe. Having dressed stars like Nadech Kugimiya, Prin Suparat, Gunn Svasti, Varit Hongsananda, as well as society A-listers such as Jay Spencer, Ou Baholyodhin, Polpat Asavaprapha, Noppadol Baholyodhi, Veekrit Palarit and Suquan Bulakul, Von has become the go-to tastemaker for many Thai society notables.
(by appointment only)
For the man who wants to stand out from the crowd, Parrish Jones offers a blend of classic tailoring skills and futuristic high-tech gadgetry. They are the first shop to bring 3D Body Scanning Technology to Thailand, wherein a scanner analyses your body shape and takes thousands of precise and detailed measurements in seconds flat. Once scanned, the trained stylists on staff are there to help you choose from a wide selection of superior fabrics, fully individualize your customized fit and style, and select finishing details such as button colours. The shop itself has an array of accessories to complete your look, including cuff links, ties, and pocket squares, as well as shoes, wallets, and belts. And if you really want to go the extra style mile, there’s even an on-site barbershop with two chairs. The shop itself recently underwent an extensive remodeling, which has the clothing portion now on the second floor, and the fully stocked bar and lounge at street level.
Bangkok-born Harji “Sunny” Palsingh is the man behind Empire Tailors, the company his late father started back in 1978. The first shop opened in what is now the Intercontinental Hotel, but in November of 2008 – to coincide with their 30th anniversary – they moved to their prestigious new location on Sukhumvit Road, close to the Nana BTS station. From the beginning, Empire Tailors made its name by offering the highest level of expertise and discipline when it comes to bespoke tailoring. And although that tradition lives on, the shop nowadays operates more like a full menswear store with suits, shirts, shoes, t-shirts, and accessories such as ties, cufflinks, pocket squares, and more. Every made-to-measure suit is individually hand cut and tailored to cater to each customer’s needs and preferences, and while the store has its factory not far away, all the alterations are done in-house. “The classic two button suit style is still our bestseller,” Sunny replied when asked about current fashion trends, “however the bigger lapels are back in fashion now.”
First opened in 1980, Pinky Tailor is an old school operation that has amassed a long list of loyal clientele. The shop itself boasts three floors full of fabrics from around the world to choose from, and whether you deal directly with Pinky, or his son, Win, they’ll tell you straight up what is and isn’t possible. Quality workmanship is why many Bangkokians swear by this shop, and as a customer you’ll be guided through each step of the bespoke tailoring process – from choosing the right materials and designs, to getting measurements exactly right so as to fit your individual physique and character. No wonder Pinky’s customer fan base includes fashion icons, models, actors, celebrities, artists, ambassadors, and government officials.
Since opening in July of 1997, conveniently located a stone’s throw from the Nana BTS station, Narin Couture has established itself as one of Bangkok’s premier tailor shops. Owner Narin Bowonnaowarux studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris – one of the best academies of its kind – where he learned both suit design and construction. He’s known for taking his time with his beautifully crafted made-to-measure suits, and the attention to detail is what has kept customers loyal for so many years.
Although relatively new on the scene, The Suitmaker has accomplished a lot in the year and a half since owner Kittisak Paewpraingam launched this tastefully decorated shop in the Nang Linchee/Yen Akart area. Specializing in the classic English-style Savile Row look, these bespoke tailors recently partnered with Aston Martin brand to host a fashion show at Siam Paragon, and also formed an alliance with renowned tailors Benson & Clegg of London – a favourite of the British royals – offering accessories from them such as neckties, buttons, cufflinks and pocket squares. A few of The Suitmaker’s notable high society clients include Joe Chorkanchang, Gun Plengpanich, Adisai Kunajara Na Ayudhaya, Nattiruj Lerdwannaruj, Kittisak Paewpraingam, and Narongchai Khunpluem (the mayor of Bangsaen district).