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Sam's Tailor

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Sam's Tailor Review

Unlike many famous Hong Kong tailors, you won't find the legendary Sam's in a chic hotel or sleek mall. But don't be fooled. These digs in humble Burlington House, a tailoring hub, have hosted everyone from U.S. presidents (back as far as Richard Nixon) to performers such as the Black Eyed Peas, Kylie Minogue, and Blondie. This former uniform tailor to the British troops once even made a suit for Prince Charles in a record hour and 52 minutes. The men's and women's tailor does accept 24-hour suit or shirt orders, but will take about two days if you're not in a hurry. Founded by Naraindas Melwani in 1957, "Sam" is now his son, Manu Melwani, who runs the show with the help of his own son, Roshan, and about 57 tailors behind the scenes. In 2004 Sam's introduced a computerized bodysuit that takes measurements without a tape measure. (It uses both methods, however.) These tailors also make biannual trips to Europe and North America. (Schedule updates are listed on the website.)

    Contact Information

  • Address: Burlington House, 94 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong | Map It
  • Phone: /2367–9423
  • Website:
  • Subway: Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Location: Tsim Sha Tsui
Updated: 02-19-2013

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    They lost my shirt--and then it got worse

    Sam's Tailor is the absolute worst tailoring or purchasing experience I've ever had. They damaged my fabric, lied to me about it, and then insulted me when I confronted them. For the full details, read on: My boyfriend and I visited Hong Kong at the end of a two-week vacation with extended family. I am a graduate student in the USA and I don't have a lot of money, but I was saving up to invest in some quality tailoring on this trip. My boyfriend's mother is from Vietnam, and while we were visiting that country we bought three different types of raw silk directly from the producer in Hoi An. The shop is known for producing very high-quality Vietnam silk, and my boyfriend's mother remembered it from when she had visited the town several years before. My boyfriend, his mother, the producer, her husband and I all watched the silk as she measured it out. It was brand new and in excellent condition. We had also previously bought silk in Saigon. When we got to Hong Kong, we decided to look for a tailor. After consulting a number of them who seemed apt to do a rush job--and wary that quickly done would be poorly done--we felt confident leaving our silk at Sam's. They assured us that they would do the work slowly and carefully and mail it to us back home. I was convinced by the inviting atmosphere of the shop, as well as by the fact that Sam's appears in a number of guidebooks. Not to mention the celebrity photos everywhere. My boyfriend and I each were to have four shirts made (all silk), and we each left a sample shirt (silk) which we had had tailored in Saigon. When the box arrived several weeks later, it was missing one of my shirts. There were scraps left over of the material from which the fourth shirt should have been made, but no shirt. I contacted Sam's immediately through their website. I received a quick response saying they would look into it. After two weeks--during which I continued to contact Sam's--I still hadn't gotten a reply. I didn't know if they'd just forgotten to mail my shirt, or if they'd sent it to somebody else, or if they mangled the fabric. I posted a review on trip advisor, at which point I began getting quick responses from Sam's. After communicating with "the team," the man (Roshan) emailing me told me that the silk "was damaged." I asked him what he meant, saying that the silk had never left my possession, and that I had purchased it directly from the producer and watched her measure out the fabric. Moreover, when we got to Sam's one of THEIR TAILORS opened up all the bags and looked at the silk--there was no damage at that time. I also took a picture of the scraps and emailed it to him, pointing out that they had been heavily worked with, and that there was a ghastly tear in one area. I also asked that if the silk had been damaged, why wouldn't they send all of it back instead of only a small amount? The man's reply was that the silk was "already damaged" when the tailor got it and that he "didn't notice" until he was partway through the shirt. In my response I repeated how I had watched the producer measure out the silk from the bolt. I emphasized that my boyfriend and his mother and the owner's husband were all present when we were measuring out the silk. We all watched it, and the silk was pristine. The silk did not leave my possession until I dropped it off at Sam's. If damage occurred, it was while it was in their possession. To say the least, I was deeply upset and stunned that Sam's wouldn't even acknowledge their error. This company relies on public image, on the presidents and celebrities, on the guidebooks. They present themselves as refined, fine craftspeople, but the reality is that there is no substance to that image. It's an illusion. Yes, the tailoring is good, but to ruin a customer's silk and then lie about it is unacceptable. The real kicker is that my boyfriend bought the EXACT same fabric in Hoi An, just in a different color, and had it tailored at Sam's. I can't believe that they didn't even offer a refund for the cost of the tailoring. In my opinion a quality, reputable company would offer to make another shirt for me instead. Well, finally, after emailing Roshan a bunch more times, he told me that Sam would call me. When Sam did call me, he immediately started haranguing me about how the silk we bought was "terrible quality," the kind you use to make "baby dolls," and that he had to "beg" his tailors to work with it, because he wanted to "do it for the poor people" (my boyfriend and I). Not only is this hugely insulting to Vietnam, but it's a blatant lie. It's a perfect demonstration of how Sam will play the role of authority figure and try to make you feel bad. Awful! When my boyfriend asked him for a refund, he said he hadn't even charged us that much, only $26 US for a shirt. My boyfriend reminded him that he had in fact charged us $48 for a shirt (350 KHD). Sam said he would give me a refund, but I'm still waiting for that to happen. Don't waste your hard-earned money, time, and energy. This guy is a sham. It's all farce.

    by zandrabananza, 4/24/13

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