I was never really a "suit guy" before I came to Taiwan. I would avoid wearing it at all costs. Besides, in my home country there weren't many occasions where wearing a suit would be the norm. If you're not in politics or big business, wearing a suit is pointless. Of course there are some posers and wannabes... But once I came to Taiwan and got the current job, wearing a suit more frequently was inevitable. Taipei is a global city full of important people. If you want to be taken seriously in the business world, you need to have a proper formal wear. So far, I'm not as rich to fly to London and pay £3,000 for a bespoke suit at Savile Row, but I have a great mother-in-law, who followed the Taiwanese tradition and treated her new son-in-law a custom-made suit.
Where did I get my suit made?
I went to Ximending, to the EZ Collezioni shop. They have several branches in Taiwan and they specialize in custom-made suits. I have not known about them before, but now that I do, I have to say that they are really good. I was pleasantly surprised at their professional attitude, friendliness and good service. Let me stress, that they did not pay me or give me discount for writing this post, I am only doing so, because I want to help those like me who need a customized suit at a decent price somewhere in Taipei. This is purely my personal recommendation.
The shop is very small, but was quite full with people every time I passed by. All employees are wearing customized suits (including a female) and you can immediately see, that they offer a very fine product. I had my wife with me, who handled all the details, I am not sure, if they speak English well enough to serve you. I think it's better you bring someone, who speaks Chinese with you.
In order to get a perfectly fitting suit, you will need to give them your measurements. But not only that, they will ask you all kinds of questions in regards to the look of your new suit. You choose the materials, patterns, colors and some additional design elements. They will fill out a form first and later ask you to try on a generic jacket and pants and take your measurements.
The most interesting and partly awkward part was when a very lovely young lady took my body measurements. She was of course very professional and careful, but I did feel a bit embarrassed, when she put the tailor's meter around my too roundly shaped belly. In a normal situation, where a beautiful woman would be so close to me, I would of course pull my belly inside, but what's the point in doing this here? In the end the suit would be too tight and would need to be altered to my tummy's reality. There was no way to escape her perfect measuring skills and I just had to let her do the things she had to do. The toughest part was, when she went down on her knees in front of me and measured some very private parts. I won't go further into this, but if you're a guy, you probably understand the tricky situation. However, if you want a perfectly fitting suit, that's just part of the bargain. And she's really very fast and accurate. Later I was thinking about how she sees men. Since she has measured so many male bodies, she must see a guy and already know all his sizes. Kinda scary in a way, as if she has some kind of super powers.
On the photo on the left you can see the suit I've chosen. They needed about 1 month to make it (I guess it's because they have a lot of customers) and it cost me 9500 NTD together with the shirt (that's around 225 Euro or 330 USD). If you want only jacket and pants, it will cost you 7700 NTD, the shirt is 1800 NTD. The tie is for free. Their cheapest suit will cost you 3800 NTD (90 Eur or 130 USD).
I have to say the suit fits perfectly, the materials are great, I couldn't be more satisfied with what I got for my money. Adding the good service with a lot of tips, I have to say that EZ Collezioni in Ximending is really a great shop and I will definitely return, when I need another excellent suit. And next time I don't need to be taken measurements again, they saved them in their database. Of course If I
get fatter lose weight, they might need to take the yellow tailor's meter out and take few measurements again. But next time I am ready for it.
Show bigger map
You'll find the shop at the northern part of the Kunming Street 昆明街 in Ximending (click here for a detailed map), very close to the intersection with Hankou Street 漢口街. Use the Google Street View above for your reference.
[My LIFE IN TAIWAN page][All photos by MKL, 2011]