22 October 2013


Once upon a time somewhere in the Philippines, our friend, Duncan, who claims to be Scottish, grew up in an expat home. He was given a proper British name and his parents bore the Scottish accent but Duncan was and remains today truly Asian. He attended boarding school in Britain, and did begin his career there, but his heart has always been in the East. Thankfully he and his wife, Nicola, are now as well.

In the Philippines in the 1980s there was another family living the expat lifestyle. A family with a lot of kids, two named Ben and Alex, grew up alongside Duncan, and they all became lifelong friends. They lived in a few different countries and eventually Ben and Alex ended up living in Bangkok where the brothers now own a stylish custom tailoring business. When Duncan heard we were planning the trip to Bangkok, he said we must meet his friends. So we did.

Mission number one: find a specific tailor somewhere in Bangkok.

When traveling through Asia, specifically Bangkok and Hong Kong, the thing to do is to have some custom clothes made during one’s stay. When we began planning this Bangkok trip, Duncan had a specific tailor in mind. Recommendations are always great, especially when many local shops will tell you that you are purchasing one quality of fabric but actually selling you a cheaper option. The problem with the recommendation, however, was knowing that we were searching for one specific shop in a large city. Finding the tailor was a game in which we almost gave up because we just couldn’t seem to find where the shop was located.

After some guidance from some local vendors who pointed us to the correct street, we walked into an idyllic neighborhood and, just when we were about to give up for real, spotted the sign. 

Tailor on Ten is a lovely shop that appears to be set up in an old residence, now providing a beautiful setting for the street corner shop. A stone walkway guides guests to the front porch, which is home to an open seating area. Inside the door, the dark wood floors shine brilliantly under the lighting and contrast with the white walls filled with copious colors and patterns.

Fabric suited for shirts abounded in solids and patterns while rows of jacket, pant and skirt material were presented for customers’ inspection; ties were deftly displayed on the wall like art in a gallery. Additional rooms for back office work, changing, fitting and construction were located off the main floor.

Megan and I observed while Troy flipped through a binder offering detailed criteria: pants, shirts, jackets, skirts; he needed pants. Fabric choice (wool, polyester, blend; which type of wool, thin, merino), cut, pocket options, pleat or no pleat (MEN: always no pleat – ALWAYS), cuff or no cuff. Troy, decisive, took mere seconds to determine what he needed so when a representative approached, he was ready.

With the details documented, Troy was shown his selected fabric options and was immediately measured. After placing a deposit and scheduling a fitting for the next afternoon, we were ready to go. We had some time to speak with Ben (kindest, most genuine man on the planet), send Duncan’s regards and even snap a group picture, and we were still finished in under half an hour.

Tailor on Ten fits women as well as men; if I actually had a job, I would certainly have had some clothes made and I will absolutely keep them in mind for a time in which I will require a working wardrobe. The coolest part, in my opinion, is that once the shop has a person’s measurements on file, ordering can be done online or over the phone. Ben advised that the shop would even send fabric swatches to customers in other countries so that they can feel their options before making a purchase. How’s that for service?

If you are traveling to Bangkok, definitely make an appointment with Tailor on Ten. 

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