October 9, 1995

Hong Kong has a long-standing as a shopper's paradise, although it is no longer the trove of bargains that it once was. But its innumerable clothing stores come up short for those who are even slightly tall or otherwise built beyond typically tiny Cantonese proportions. "I can't find my size in Hong Kong stores, and even if I do, it doesn't fit my upper body," Felshman says.

Fortunately, Hong Kong tailors' reputation for quickly crafting quality garments is as long-standing as its merchants'. While men's wear is the mainstay, many in areas frequented by tourists or expatriates-- such as Central on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon-- cater to both sexes, and some do women's tailoring exclusively.

Danny Chen, manager of Irene Fashions, which specializes in business attire for executive women, explains the appeal of custom-tailored clothes: "The fit is perfect. Clients think the prices are good for the quality. And they choose their own fabric and Details. Many of Chen's customers have paid $1,000 for a suit by Armani or Donna Karan but Armani's colors might not suit them, or someone else at a meeting might be wearing the same Donna Karan suit as Chen or Wong charges $500 to $700, depending on the fabric, for a suit comparable to a $1,000 designer version. A good wool skirt might run $100, a simple dress in the neighborhood of $150 to $200, and a silk cocktail dress perhaps $300 and up.