Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Your Clothing Tailor in Taiwan UPDATED

One of the good things about Taiwan was the opportunity to have clothing Tailor made to fit.

The "Question of the Week" concerns your Tailor Shop and what you had made while in Taiwan and what you paid for those beautiful clothes were wore to the Club.

I'll start it out.

My first suit was purchased the first week I was in Taiwan, December 1965. I don't remember why I was outside the gate and into the storefront shop so soon after arriving at Taipei Air Station. I remember that the suit was gray in color, supposedly it was Italian Silk and Wool fabric and it cost me $25. US. I wore that suit until the seat of the trousers was worn out. I moonlighted at the MAAGOOM Annex as a Night Manager three or four times a week. Wonderful job for a single guy. I had to wear a suit to work, so I wore out my share of nice business suits during the 2 years I worked at the club. The food at the club was probably the best on the island, I say that becuase I ate at every club in town and our club had the best American food, hands down. We talk about Prim Rib today. During my time working at the club, we served a buffet each Sunday evening and the main meat was Ship's Round. That was some wonderful beef. I would eat and eat. Of course I did not have to pay for my meal, but the food was something else. The kitchen staff must have been 40 people, maybe more. We made everything from scratch, everything...

Before I left Taipei in 1968, I had Mr. Loo's East Compound Tailor Shop make up 6 suits and a couple of Sport Coats for me. I was leaving the military and assumed I would work in some type of business where a suit was required. As I remember, I paid $40 per suit and $25 per sport coat.

I also had shirts made at another Tailor Shop. I don't have any of those shirts today, but, I went to a Tailor Shop across Chung Shan North Road from the Chinese Military Hostel next to the Navy Exchange. (Quality Tailor and Shoe Company) The shop is no longer there, the area where it was located is now a park. As I remember, the tailored shirts were excellent quality, heavy duty materiel, and costs around $5. I wish I had some of those shirts today. You just can't purchase shirts like those any more. (Found 2 of those shirts in an old box in my garage just after Christmas 2012.) 

Do you recall your purchases. I remember the excitement when pulling on a new shirt, stepping into a new suit, smelling the wonderful aromas of the new clothing, pulling on a pair of shoes, checking myself out in the mirror and heading out the door, smiling and feeling great. And not to leave off the Ladies, what about your wife or girl friend's visits to their Seamstress and those hard wooden chairs you sat on forever waiting for her to finish.....


What memories come to your mind? Tell us your Tailor Shop stories. Click on "Comments" below,



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong on this, but I think that by the time I landed in Taipei in 1973, many people were buying their suits in Hong Kong. But Mr. Loo's tailor shop sure seems to ring a bell.

I was stationed on Okinawa back in 1963 and I did have a new suit made in Koza at that time. I think I finally wore it out (or maybe grew out of it) 6 or 7 years later.

Dennis said...

I do remember Mr Loo's Tailor Shop. I only had 1 sport jacket, shirt and pants made in Taiwan and that was only to attend a Christmas Party in 1973. I was not a real clothes guy at that time - more like a t-shirt and jeans guy. I remember several tailor shops right near the HSA compound. Believe the quality was pretty good. That is all I can add to the tailor post.

unclemilt said...

i was stationed at tas from 3/71 until 8/72,and i worked at the apo i used to take a sears catlog downtown to a tailor, i don't remember the name and for the catlog they would make me a five piece suit. i dad manny outfits make during the yr and half there. the most fun dury any man could have.

John/STRATCOM said...

Ah, the good old days of custom clothing which I have since outgrown. We were stationed and lived on the local economy in Chiayi but frequently spent days off in Tainan with occasional trips to Tsoying and Taipei, and frequent trips to Taichung. My favorite tailor was Peter's across from the NCO Club in downtown Tainan. Great duty and the weather was far more comfortable than Thailand or Vietnam.

ferguson6552 said...

Oh yes, Mr. Loo's East Compound Tailor! Did we ever frequent that shop! My father was with USAID in S. Vietnam and the rest of our family was stationed in Taiwan from 1967-1969. We lived up in Wellington Heights between Tianmu and Beitou.

Most of the families in Wellington shared what we called "sew amahs" - seemstresses who came into the homes to take measurements for the women's dresses.

But for us men, the tailors downtown were the ticket. I had a variety of suits and sport jackets done at Tailor Loo's - a deep green plaid suit, cut trim like the Beatles wore in '63-'65; a grey plaid jacket with black slacks; and my "dinner jacket" for the formal dances at Taipei American School - a very dark blue formal dinner jacket with formal black trousers, and cumberbund and criss-cross tie, both made of a blue paisley fabric. My my, was I a dandy!

For everyday school clothes we schlepped down to XiMenDing (Hsimenting) and got scads of shirts and pants and shoes and jackets tailored for PENNIES! Very inexpensive. And the tailors - whether at Loo's or in XiMenDing - were very willing to experiment, so we special ordered all sorts of out-of-the-ordinary features: epaulets on the shirts, gather straps for rolling shirt sleeves up and buttoning them, Mandarin collars, notches in the front of pant hems. My oldest brother even had a tailor make him a jacket exactly like the one James Bond wore when he and Honey Rider dined with Dr. No!

There was also a tailor and shoe maker right around the corner from the MAAGOOM (Officers' Club) who made up jackets and boots for countless GIs. We had them make up jacket patches for the gangs we belonged to at TAS - I was in "The Cards" and my patch was the King of Clubs. I also planned to have the boot maker make a bright red pair of Beatle boots, but couldn't quite scrape together the money before I left Taiwan.

Bill Meiners said...

I was stationed at TAS 1969-1970. I had a number of things made at Mr. Loo's. Vests, Jackets, Pants, Soft leather Boots. I still have a suit, but on the inside it says "Sunny's Tailors". I remember the rest saying Mr. Loo's with my name on the tag. I did however buy a light jacket from a vender out by the front gate. It was black with a Dragon on the back. When it was reversed it my wifes name on the shoulder and the name "Cowboy" on the back. It seemed that all of us with a nick name had one. It is close to 40 years since I was there, so some things are a bit foggy. Of course the Falcon Club did not make things any clearer. Thanks for the Memories.

Jim said...

I was at Taipei American School from 1972 until 1978. Someone mentioned a tailor right around the corner from the MAAGO club. It might have been Quality Tailor. The shop was literally built into the side of the club grounds on the steet running from Chungshan north road east towards the Embassy shop.The HSA East compound was on the other side of this street. I had many items made there throughout my stay. My old man used to bring in one Brooks Brothers shirt and tell them: " Give me two dozen just like it." Save for the label, you couldn't tell the difference. $4 US each custom fitted. Talk about perks.

Anonymous said...

my name is len jackson and i was at tas in 1967-1968,loved every minute of it. i was a small town farm boy and i was totally overwelmed by the slot machines,bar girls,happy hour at 13 club,mongolian bbq. i worked in the base comm center and lived in the 2nd floor of the barricks. friends were earl aubuchon,tom ward,jack brennan,and larry mccormick.

J AllenGlover said...

I remember Taylor well. On of the best suits I ever had was made by Taylor Loo in 1965. My USAF Postal Guys and myself were the sharpest looking group in Club 63 in our Taylor Loo suits.

Allen Glover said...

I worked at the USAF Postal facility at Taipei Airport as a registered mail clerk. Had to meet all incoming US flag Flights to sign for the registered mail. Northwest and SAT were the only US Flag Carriers along with the USAF Flights. My name is Allen Glover everybody called me Jim while I was there I guess because James was my 1st name. I do it again in a min if I could 1965-66