How to Get Custom Clothing Made in Mexico City

After getting a hair transplant, I decided to step things up a notch from a style perspective.

Why have a fresh hairline without some extra stylish clothing?

At least that was me logic.

I was in Mexico City already for the operation, so I decided to hit up my buddy Vance and see if he had any ideas on where to get some clothing made.

I’m talking custom clothing for men hand-made with only the finest materials money could buy. Well, my budget could afford.

Being the CDMX savant that he is, ole’ Vance knew of more than a few spots to check out.

So we made plans to get together one Thursday afternoon, find a spot to get custom clothes made, and generally shoot the shit.

This post is a result of said shit shooting, rummaging around Mexico City, and ultimately, getting sick 100% custom clothing made by a damn good garment maker + tailor…all while south of the border.

Custom clothing heaven!

How to Get Custom Clothing Made in Mexico City

After checking out a handful of tailors, fabric shops, and garment makers in centro CDMX…we stumbled upon a winner:

Casa Cuesta

The place looked a little more high-end than the other spots we had already stopped into.

Vance said the place came highly recommended.

So we walked in and immiedately up a long, dark staircase to their fabric room. While the other spots only had a small selection of fabrics to choose from, Casa Cuesta was different.

They had hundreds. Maybe even 1,000+ different fabrics.

Just look:

Casa Cuesta fabric selection.

The selection was vast. Vance and I knew we were in the right spot.

An employee quickly sauntered over and began asking what we’d like in Spanish. No issue. Vance was damn near fluent and I’m conversational.

We said we were just looking at this stage, but were interested in custom dress shirts and custom blazers for men.

The employee knew exactly what we were looking for and quickly began giving us a tour of their fabric selection.

We looked through the fabrics for about 30 minutes. Vance used to work in the garment industry in Lima, Peru.

So he knew a thing or three about quality.

I didn’t.

Luckily, it wasn’t too tough to find what you want at Casa Cuesta.

My first request was an all-white fitted dress shirt.

The lady employee took me to her white fabrics, about two dozen of them, and quickly helped me find what I wanted.

I picked out what was surely the dopest fabric and the customization process began.

The lady whipped out a binder with about 20+ different customization options for a damn dress shirt. Every single one with multiple photos to help with clarification. From the collar to the fit to the buttons and more…

Every single detail of the shirt was customized to my specific desire.

I picked exactly what I wanted and she marked everything down while taking my exact measurements.

Taking notes on what I want.

‘Twas a far more detailed process than I ever expected.

Both Vance and I commented on how many options there were. Baffled that a damn dress shirt could be created in so many ways.

The total cost?

$105 USD.

Ready for pickup in 5 days!

Talk about fast service. Let’s just say I was more than impressed.

But there was one more item on my docket…

Fresh to Deaf?

A custom red linen blazer.

I knew this would be a little more complex than a white dress shirt, but figured it was doable once I found the most important part.

What’s that?

The fabric.

I needed a high-quality dark red linen fabric.

Not exactly the most common color or fabric out there. But if any place would have something like it, well, that place would be Casa Cuesta if you’re in Mexico City.

And they certainly did.

In fact, they had exactly what a wanted.

A high-end red linen.

This:

Red linen swag.

The minute the lady brought it over for me too check out I was sold. Instantly. It was what I had envisioned.

So I began to inquire about the price of a blazer, a jacket, whatever you wanted to call it. And that’s when the bad news came…

She wanted $500 USD for one blazer.

Not a whole suit mind you.

Just the blazer.

Yeah, that wasn’t the type of pricing I was looking for.

Not in Mexico.

Hell, not even in the ole’ USA. I could get a custom blazer for under $500 bucks back in the States if I did a little digging.

But this was a high-end spot.

And got damn did that fabric look so good. Exactly what I had wanted and envisioned.

I asked her for a lower price and she looked at me crazy.

Damn.

I told her I need a few minutes to think about the blazer.

So Vance and I are standing around chatting about the fabric, the blazer, the price, etc. I’m just mulling things over in my head.

Probably not going to pull the trigger on a $500 USD blazer.

The lady has gone off to put in my shirt order.

And an old dude comes up to us and asks if we need any help. Asks what we think of the fabric.

I’m like…

“I love it! Stunning red linen, but the price for a jacket is a bit too high for me right now.”

He looks up at me and asks how much I can spend:

I tell him around $300 USD equivalent in Pesos.

He whips out a calculator and does some pricing in front of me.

It’s clearly all for show.

After his 10 seconds of incessant typing on a calculator, he looks up and flashes me the numbers:

$315 bucks in Pesos.

“Yeah?!”

He nods his head.

Let’s do it.

He walks over to the original lady looking to charge me $500+, tells her the deal, she looks up at us and frowns – then nods in agreement.

Works for me.

The only issue?

I have to come back tomorrow for the fitting.

That means more centro CDMX…

The Process

So I come back the next day, another 45 minute Uber ride that costs me $6 USD, and the dude is waiting.

He cuts up the red linen fabric for my jacket and says I’ve gotta pay for the fabric here. Then we’ll walk down the street to his tailor of choice.

I’m like sure. Whatever works, hombre.

I just want a slick red linen blazer.

So I pay the $90 bucks or so for the fabric and then we walk a few blocks.

Into a decrepit old building, up five flights of stairs, and into a backroom of a “professional” tailor and his 80-year-old apprentice.

Oh, and this was at the entrance of the building…

This ain’t it, chief.

Seems legit.

The employee from Casa Cuesta introduces me to the tailor and then jets off.

The tailor will give him his cut once I pay.

I hand over the fabric and the OG tailor takes measurements. Tells me to wait five minutes in Spanish and then scurries off to the backroom of his backroom office.

So I’m sitting there twiddling my thumbs and he comes out with this contraption. Tells me to try it on.

I do…

Backroom of the backroom.

He gets more measurements, tells me to bring cash, and come pick it up Tuesday.

Perfect.

I’m hype. This is working out exactly as I had planned. Sans the whole backroom of a decrepit building thing, but I can live with that.

When in Rome and shit.

The Final Result

So on Tuesday, the day before I head back to the USA for the holidays, I drag my arse back to centro CDMX one more time.

Another 45 minutes in an Uber for $6 bucks.

I hit Casa Cuesta and try on my shirt.

More than legit.

I pay.

The employee wraps my shirt up all nice and shit. Then I’m off.

Easier than I ever expected.

I head over to the tailor.

He’s waiting for me in his backroom.

The blazer looks incredible sitting on the rack. Just waiting for Papi Rubio to try that bad boy on. I mean just look at this thing:

Mi amor!

The OG tailor hands me the jacket to try on. The material is soft. The stitching perfect. Pretty high-end.

Except there’s just one issue.

One issue that I often have with suits and blazers…

My shoulders are too broad when there’s shoulder pads in the jacket.

I try it on and look like an absolute brick of a man.

5’11” + 210 lb. of straight gringo staring in the mirror:

Shoulders too much.

I comment on the pads. He mumbles a few things back in Spanish, basically stating that he can do whatever I’d like – but that it wouldn’t be ready before I leave if any alterations are required.

I nod.

He’s right.

I fly out in the AM tomorrow. He’s not working all evening to perfect some jacket for a random gringo who’s never done business with him before.

The jacket looks good enough, so I pay him and head on my merry way.

Happy about the quality of the fabric and stitching, but knowing I’ll have to hit a tailor when I get back to the USA.

So that’s what I do.

I head down to my favorite little Vietnamese lady tailor when I get back.

Tell her about the shoulder pads issue.

She nods.

“Yasss! I fix for you.”

That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.

I leave my baby, my red linen blazer with her and comeback a week later.

And, well, the end results speak for themselves:

Lookin’ daper.

Overall, I’m incredibly pleased.

Total costs for the shirt and the blazer come out to around $460 with all tailor work included.

Not dirt cheap, but not horrible either.

Should You Get Custom Clothing Made in the “Third-World” While Traveling?

My answer?

Hell yeah!

Why not take advantage of lower cost of labor and/or materials?!

You’ll generally at least get a little better deal than you would back home without sacrificing any quality. I’d say my blazer is better than anything I’d get made back in the States – unless in Miami, NYC, LA, Chicago, etc.

Is Mexico City the best place to get custom clothing made?

Not necessarily.

I have a few buddies who got stuff made in Bogota, Colombia.

The quality was quite similar and the costs were about 40% off of what I paid in Mexico City.

Obviously, going to somewhere like Vietnam would probably get you the best custom clothing and custom suits for the cheapest price.

But I’m no SEA veteran, so that’s purely speculation.

Overall…

If you have the chance to buy custom clothing while traveling abroad, I couldn’t recommend it enough – as I’m exceptionally happy with the result and quality of my shirt + blazer.


More pics, part #1.

More pics, part #2.

More pics, part #3.

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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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Colin - December 16, 2018

Here in Lima the garment district is called Gamarra. I pay about $200 for a tailored cashmere suit. I’m 6’2 230lb so most people will pay a little less (less fabric). http://limacitykings.com/gamarra/

I will offer a piece of advice, maybe could have prevented the $500 quote. Whenever buying nice clothes, WEAR NICE CLOTHES. Save the sweats for the gym.

Now get a flashlight to go with that red blazer and go to the cinema so you can have a blast roaming the aisles shining the flashlight in people’s faces and asking to see their tickets.

Reply
    Jake D - December 16, 2018

    Lol fuck yo’ flashlight!

    But damn, $200 for a full suit is quite a deal. I know Vance had said some of the stuff in Lima may have been a bit cheaper, but a full suit would have been $500+ here at Casa Cuesta…

    So that’s a damn good deal.

    I believe custom suits were going for $240-350 in Bogota a year or so ago.

    Reply
Vance - December 17, 2018

Gamarra is a paradise. I regret not getting any clothes made there for myself.

Reply
    Jake D - December 17, 2018

    Damn…Will have to check it out the next time I’m in Lima.

    Reply
Big Will - December 17, 2018

That train conductor style though haha

Lookin good man. Solid content.

Reply
    Jake D - December 17, 2018

    LOL shots fired!

    Reply
JD - January 1, 2019

When are you gonna write a post about the hair transplant?

Reply
    Jake D - January 1, 2019

    Hell yeah.

    Probably won’t be for a few months, as I need to get true before and after pictures.

    Reply
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