Travel

This Trip to Shanghai Involves Far More Custom Suits Than Most

Come, Join a Week-Long Shopping Tour of China's Biggest City

By Sam Eichner ·
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Photo: Getty Images

A new touring company wants to whisk you away on a week-long trip to the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, and send you home with some professionally tailored suits, overcoats, shirts, shoes, eyewear and other customizable dapper things. They also want to indulge your hankering for Peking Duck. Which is equally if not more important.

Dubbed Tailor Made Shanghai, the just-launched venture is the realized dream of one David Soffer, an American businessman who spent some quality time in China (like, seven years) and became somewhat of a made-to-measure fanatic in the process. According to Soffer, the shopping tour is the first-of-its-kind (indeed, we haven’t heard of anything quite like it).

Right now, there are limited spots available for three trips in 2018, one of which falls during Shanghai Fashion Week in April. And to celebrate the launch, if you sign up before the end of the year, Tailor Made Shanghai will make sure you leave with 2 two-piece suits and 3 tailored shirts free of charge. Soffer, who speaks fluent Mandarin and took a test group this past April, will be your personal guide, squiring you around to the finest markets and introducing you to his roster of talented local tailors. But this isn’t just about shopping (although it is very much about shopping). You and fourteen likeminded travelers will stay at a five-star hotel, check out some unique cultural centers and events, and sample a variety of the city’s gastronomical offerings, from hot pots, to Xinjiang fare, to Beijing cuisine, all chosen by a man who called Shanghai his home for years. We can’t say for sure, but we can only imagine he’d have some solid nightlife recommendations for you, too.

As much as Soffer sees Tailor Made Shanghai as a touring company, though, he’s also deliberately positioned himself as a smarter alternative to made-to-measure ventures like Modern Tailor and Indochino. Unlike those and others which, according to Soffer, serve as middle men to factories in China that actually make the clothes and send them back to the states, clients traveling with Tailor Made Shanghai pay the tailors and artisans directly. Soffer himself says he does not make a commission or take a cut, meaning the clothes are cheaper and the people crafting them, presumably, make more money. In addition, you’ll get your fancy new vêtements by the time you return home, so there are no shipping costs.

Naturally, flying to Shanghai for some tailored formalwear isn’t as convenient as using an app or website. But hell, it could be quite the adventure. Involving several suits. And soup dumplings. Lots and lots of soup dumplings.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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