by Kelly Wetherille

Living outside one’s home country (and one’s comfort zone) forces people to look at things in a new light, and often to be more creative than usual. In Japan especially, I find that this is no more true than when it comes to shopping for clothing. Granted there are those petit expats among us for whom this poses no problem in terms of size, but the challenge can also lie in a difference of taste. For example, office wear for women in Japan tends to be fairly low quality and has very little variety: it’s often difficult to find anything other than simple skirt or pant suits in black or beige. While there may be more out there for men, the less basic and better quality suits can end up costing the equivalent of a month’s salary. Add this to the size differences between Asian and non-Asian men, and looking good at work starts to seem like a near impossibility.

This is where the services of an experienced, top quality custom tailor come in. Deepak Bijani established Vinnie’s International in Hong Kong in 2000, and has a total of 21 years of experience in the tailoring business. Although based in Hong Kong, his clients are spread across the world, and he makes frequent visits to Tokyo, the US and Europe. While in Tokyo he spends his time visiting his customers’ offices and homes (at no extra charge) in order to take measurements, give recommendations, and take orders. Vinnie’s specializes in both men’s and women’s business and formal wear, and products include suits, tuxedos, shirts, coats, and evening dresses. Prices are reasonable, with a perfectly fitting custom tailored shirt starting at $49, suits from $399, and cashmere blend coats from $466. These rates are comparable to (and often less than) those of department stores, but are worth every penny when you consider that you can’t put a price tag on the perfect fit. Several packages are available for added value, excellent for expats who need to stock up on well-fitting clothing.

Bijani’s next visit to Tokyo is scheduled for October 21–29, and he makes about six to eight appearances here per year. While in Japan he can be contacted on 090-1042-0140, or book an appointment in advance by emailing [email protected].

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