Most of you know that I love to travel to places where the USD stretches faaaaarrrr! You can’t blame me for wanting to get the most bang for my buck. It’s also no secret that I love fashion, so I take advantage of the strong dollar when expanding my wardrobe. Many people get custom clothes made in Asian countries where there are tailors on every corner. What is better than a bespoke suit that will cost you 1/3 of what you will pay in the States?!
My latest fashion score happened in Nairobi, Kenya. The Kenyan Shilling is about 100 : 1USD. Word of mouth led me to my tailor, Ally, at the Kenyatta Market. The search for stalls 18 and 30 were a bit rough but once we found him the mission to get the most fashion forward African attire was on! I was able to pick out material and haggle with Ally on the price for my group. The “we have a group of 100 people visiting Nairobi and I’ll be referring them all to you” line worked like magic! I picked out a few different patterns and showed the tailor photos of the pieces that I wanted him to recreate. Print out your ideas…trust me…this is the best way to go. Ally measured me and I paid in advance for my outfits. I ordered a skirt set, pencil skirt, jumpsuit, maxi skirt and dress for about $100. SCORE!
Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best out of your tailor:
- Haggle! Especially in Nairobi. No price is final.
- Print out pictures. Often we have issues relaying what’s in our heads effectively.
- Share materials. You have to buy a certain amount of material and may only want it for one piece. Share the leftover with friends/family.
- Give the tailor a deadline but also enough time to create perfect pieces.
- Ask for your scrap material. You may be able to get more use out of it.
Check out a couple of my Kenyan creations…