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

Friday, December 28, 2012

45 Year Old Sport Shirts from Quality Tailor Shop in Taipei See Light of Day

Yesterday, I removed Christmas decorations from the outside of the house, boxed and stacked them back on their shelf area inside the garage.  

My car was out on the streetThe garage looked OK except for a few items that sat on the floor awaiting shelf space. A daughter brought over a single mattress and left it with me.  I forget why.  I needed to get the mattress back against the wall and the only way to find wall space was to rearrange the garage.  

It took 3 or 4 hours to get everything in place.  I don't work very fast, you know, a cup of coffee, bathroom break, get a cold bottle of water from the icebox, then take a mid-morning break, grab a tangerine from the tree in the back yard, sit down and watch Fox News on the old garage TV, eat the tangerine.  Lots of excuses to stop and rest.  No rush when you're retired huh.....

While I was moving boxes around, I came across an old HP Printer box.  One of my daughters had labeled the top,  "Dad's old clothes."  The box was from the early 90's, too long ago to remember what was in it.  I decided to open it up.

It was filled tightly to the top with all sorts of my old clothes. Clothing from Taiwan, Okinawa, the US, Italy, and Hawaii, where I now reside when not in Taiwan

I started going through the box examining each piece, the ones that had stains went in the rubbish can.   I ended up pitching 80 per cent of the items. The  items that were clean, I put aside for my oldest grandson.  He came by my house last night and wanted all of the sport shirts and pants I had laid aside for him.  Whether he wears them or not, who knows, but he just might start a fashion trend within his group, wearing Grand Dads old shirts and slacks.

The sweetest finds inside the box were these two sport shirts, tailored by Quality Tailor and Shoe Company  They were ordered in March or April 1968, just prior to  leaving Taiwan.  

I also ordered 6 suits and a couple of sport jackets from Mr. Loo's East Compound Tailor shop.

These two shirts are in remarkable shape.  They are both cotton.  

The blue is made of a heavier grade of cotton than the green shirt.
You just don't find the heavy cotton fabric in shirts bought off the shelf today.

Quality Tailor label from shirt.

Quality Tailor shop sat on Jiu Quan Street  just west of the north-west corner of Chung Shan North Road



This Google Earth photo shows the area of the old Quality Tailor and Shoe Company.

Quality Tailor sat right along the sidewalk, along Jiu Quan street, where that silver van is parked across the street.

The Main Officer's Club wall fence made a 90 degree turn here, coming down the hill and turning along the sidewalk as it ran along side where those vehicles are parked today. 

Anyone have an old photo of Quality Tailor Shop?

Photo courtesy USTDC Blog
Here's that (O'Club) MAAG Officer's Open Mess Taipei circa 1960, as it faced toward Chung Shan North Road. Jiu Quan street was a short distance off to the left of this photo.

Jiu Quan street was taken out, starting on the corner of Chung Shan North Road, westward to where the Metro Station (MRT) sits today.    The street was removed when the Taipei Floral Exposition began construction on the grounds area of the old HSA West Compound, they left the Football Stadium standing, but took out everything all the way north to the old Zoo area and Children's Park.   I should note that the Temple and buildings were not removed, however, the Floral Exposition was constructed all around the Temple grounds, on the west side of Chung Shan North Road.  

The Taipei Floral Exposition took-in all of the property on either side of Chung Shan North road from Minzu Road northward, (except the old Roma Hotel building) to the Keelung River, except for the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Taipei Story House, both of which sat just next to the Keelung River at the north end of the HSA East Compound.

If you go to Google Earth today, and look down on the old East and West HSA Compounds, they're gone, you only see the Floral Exposition remains. 

To see how it looked before the Floral Expo, move your mouse to the top of the Google Earth page and point your mouse on the clock icon, left click your mouse, it opens into a time-line bar running left to right.  Left click your mouse and hold it down as you move the time-line and picture along the bar until you reach 12/30/2006, release your finger from the mouse.

Now you can see the old areas of the East and West Compounds before the Floral Exposition began construction, and Jiu Quan Street still existed off Chung Shan North Road, you can see cars and trucks on the street.

I don't recall what those shirts cost. I'm sure they were reasonably priced, probably $4.00 to $5.00 each, and of course, they were tailored to fit perfectly. I probably ordered 10 or 12 shirts, maybe more, since I needed long sleeved shirts for for my new suits.  

In a previous post to this blog, a number of years ago, I wrote of Mr. Loo's Tailor Shop in the East Compound.  A number of Comments were left on that post, here are two, talking about Quality Tailor...

          Jim said... 
"I was at Taipei American School from 1972 until 1978. Someone mentioned a tailor right around the corner from the MAAG O club. It might have been Quality Tailor. The shop was literally built into the side of the club grounds on the street 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." 

ferguson6552 said... 

"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 Taipei American School - 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. 

You can still pick up tailored shirts and suits in Taiwan.  There are a number of shops scattered around the area from Min Quan East Road northward to Minzu East Road.

They still tailor shirts and suits for you.  I've seen prices posted in their windows, but would expect the window prices are for the very lowest quality goods.

Most of us will have to settle for shirts and suits off the rack unless you're ready to fork over the big bucks for quality silk and wool suits with a couple of free shirts thrown in.

Come to think of it, being retired, who needs more than one suit anyway?

Have you got any photos from your days?

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