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January 21, 2011

A Tour of My Tailor's

It was about time I put a face to the tailor behind all of the projects this blog has been witness to. I spent many an afternoon hanging out at my tailor’s when I was home for the holidays, and I thought of snapping some photos around the shop to share with you, my dear readers.
With a crown in the logo and the words “haute couture”, my tailor’s storefront is what I’d call humbly bold.
Mang Jun is master cutter and owner of Toppers, and is the only person I deal with when having my kooky clothing concoctions created. He is ace at fitting, but don’t hesitate to go down to the smallest detail with him to have your garment look exactly the way you want it.
Mang Jun with the same comical smile he flashes when I haggle with him for discounts
And for a little tour of the shop:
swatches of suiting material
bolts of shirting fabric in different shades of white
and even more fabric to be fashioned into anything you imagine. I’ve got my eyes set on that green sandwiched between two blacks.
alteration notes over age-old clippings for inspiration
a shirt with a note to “put botton hole”
Mang Jun at work
Inside the workroom:
sewing machines and alphabetized shelves for every customer’s last name
Mang Jun’s wife, a head seamstress, at work
an exquisitely embroidered Barong Tagalog (the Philippine national costume) freshly finished
looking out onto busy Katipunan Avenue
The scene outside:
the auto repair shop right beside my tailor’s
sleepy dogs and plants potted in plastic bags
I had been calling the shop’s poorly-attended line to follow up on orders that were a little late, and after a bit of persistence, finally got them to deliver the last few pairs of pants they had to finish. I came home with this:
What they might lack in punctuality and refinement, they make up for with a down-to-earth and almost cheeky sense of customer service.

I love my tailor and it’s high time you find the one you’d adore yourself.
Toppers Gent’s Haute Couture
2277-D Katipunan Rd.
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
telephone: +6324367938
For my tips on getting things tailor-made, check out The Dandy Project Guide to Getting Things Tailor-made.


  • Brandon Acton-Bond
    January 21st, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Your tailor = THE reason to live in Manila.

  • Prêt à Porter P
    January 21st, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    But I deal with lateness when it's someone good.

  • Mat
    January 21st, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    nice to see the other side, we don't have this on this sort of scale.if you move nearer a city yea but we don't do anything creative. though i do have chap who does me ok for the basics

  • Gabrielle Poshadlo
    January 28th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    this gives me a great idea for my column, only I'm pretty sure Indianapolis doesn't have a tailor this cool.


  • Franc
    February 25th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    OMG … I seem to remember that my dad also went to "Toppers" years & years ago (when I was really young and before our family moved here to the State permanently) to have his barongs and suits made … I always used to look forward to coming with my dad to pick up his treasures and be the first to see what new stuff my dad had made … Like you, my dad had nothing but great things to say about the place … These days, here in L.A., I can only dream of finding a place like this … Thanks for unearthing this memory.

  • Izzy
    February 25th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Franc: It's my pleasure to bring back such good memories for you. Hopefully you could make a trip to Toppers if you visit Manila soon!

  • jasmin castro
    June 11th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I’m so proud of my dad which you call “mang jun” his full name by the way is juanito g. castro, in behalf of him, I would like to thank you for giving an awsome article of our shop. we appreciate it soo much!

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