***Update September 2013: Jewel is no longer my favorite tailor but back when I wrote this blog posting, he was (I have since found someone who makes house calls and delivers on a more reliable schedule — I think we may have inundated Jewel with our orders and he fell behind during the Ramadan season). Please see my map of 99 expat places for some of the tailors I now like, plus other postings on tailors. *** My favorite tailor in Dhaka is a man named Jewel (well, it may spelled “Jhul”). He does not speak much but his smile is sweet and he can tailor shirts, dresses, sarees, shalwar kameezes, etc. It’s best to take a sample of what you want or look through his books of necklines for what you want. He usually measures me although now I’ve got a good relationship with him so he knows my style and measurements. He gives you a receipt with snippets of your material taped to it (and he tapes the other snippets in the big book of work orders). One week later, clothes are usually ready. Unless it’s wedding or holiday season. The cost is around 250 Taka ($3) per yard of material and 600 Taka ($8) to make a shirt.
Jhul works at Aadita tailor shop in Gulshan One market. The shop is about the size of two king sized beds with a myriad of material stacked neatly from floor to ceiling. The shop owner is also a fine gentleman and he has another shop around the corner called “Fit” where they specialize in menswear and western style business suits.
If you spend a long time choosing “ribbon” (edging), cloth, and patters, the staff boy will run and fetch you sweet cha (chai). The five or six guys working here will always invite you to take a seat (stay a while) which can be necessary since some trips to the tailor can take three hours. The time spent will also depend on how “insistent” you are. The ladies buying sarees usually push their way to the front. You too should show your eagerness.