Recently, I splurged on a beautiful black, sequinned tulle dress for my birthday from My Theresa and sized up, thinking that it ran small. What a mistake! After the hassle of getting it through customs to Korea via DHL and paying for the import fees/duties (around 150,000 KRW), I realized that it was too big and that the most economical solution would be to have it tailored rather than go through the exchange process.
Mysposa Wedding Dress Tailor
Most of the English-speaking tailors that had been mentioned in the expat groups were either men’s suit tailors in Itaewon or vague mentions of taking clothes to the dry cleaners for alterations. Since I trusted neither for my frou-frou gown, I went hunting for a wedding dress tailor. Fortunately, someone suggested MySposa, a wedding dress tailor, in Seongsu-dong, Seoul.
So, I emailed MySposa at email@example.com with my phone number and photos of the dress. A few days later, Miyoung Lee texted me back in English to make an appointment. I was so relieved.
On the day of my scheduled fitting, I came in and tried on the dress to show her where the dress needed to be taken in — mostly around the top section — and she was able to alter my dress with a two-week turnaround. The cost was 80,000 KRW. I returned in two weeks to pick up the dress, and it was absolutely perfect!
Mysposa Tailor is an English-speaking wedding dress tailor in Seoul, South Korea that is open from 10am to 7pm on weekdays. You can make an appointment through Kakaotalk, email, or text message.
How To Get to There
You can take the subway. It’s a 10 min walk from Seoul Forest Station (Bundang Line) or a 10 min walk to Ttukseom Station (Line 2). When you see Seokhwa Building, walk through the driveway to Building B, and you’ll see the Mysposa sign outside the entrance. Walk up to the third floor, and there it is.
서울 성동구 성수1가 1동 72-15번지
석화빌딩 B동 3층
72-15 Seongsu 1-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Seokhwa Building B Building 3F)
Sook Clothing Repair
I updated this post for 2022 since I once again had a pile of clothing that needed to be altered. I knew that a very simple alteration that could be easily explained — e.g. hemming pants — could probably be done at the local dry cleaner, however, my pile was a little more complicated.
Since I live in Gangnam, I didn’t feel like trekking all the way to Seongsu-dong again. This time, I went to a specialized alterations shop in Gangnam, but it was a no-go. Long story short, the owner didn’t want to deal with my imperfect Korean and take the risk of damaging my clothing. It’s a common experience as a foreigner in South Korea.
Frustrated, I reached out to just about any lead that I could find for an English-speaking tailor in Seoul, South Korea, and let me tell you, it ain’t easy. It’s true when they say that if you need an English-speaking anything, your best bet in Seoul is to go to Itaewon.
I spoke with my Seoul-native mum over the phone, and we were discussing how the tailoring profession tends to be lost on the fast-fashion-loving younger generation and those tradesmen skills are more often found within older generations. They are the same generation — the ajussis and ajummas — who are also not that great at the internet or speaking English.
I emailed one men’s suit tailor in Itaewon, Bruce at Dynasty Tailor, who was incredibly friendly and helpful. Though he didn’t specialize in altering women’s dresses, he suggested that I stop by and he showed me a quick alterations shop nearby.
The alterations shop was a little hidden, but I was so relieved to find another English-speaking tailor for quick fixes. I only brought a few dresses out of the giant pile that needed altering. The owner wasn’t there at the moment, so Bruce called the number on the door and the store owner quickly returned to the store. He was able to fix the items that I brought in within about a week, and it was a relief to be able to explain what I needed in English.
Sook’s Clothes Alteration (Tailor): 27, Itaewon-ro 14-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 이태원로14길 27)
Quick Alterations and Repairs
There was another tailor that I was able to find as an emergency backup in Itaewon that would be able to communicate in English and repair women’s clothing. I had a colleague of mine call them for me and ask for their hours, and she said, “The store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.” I haven’t been yet, but will probably do so in the future! If you make it there before me, please let me know what it’s like!
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And if you have any more suggestions or experiences with tailors in South Korea, please drop a comment below!