Turkey sells lots of
great leather apparel,
including suede garments.
Turkish cuisine is based on lamb and
mutton, which means there are lots
of soft skins from which to
make fine leather clothing and
the center of the trade, but all cities
have shops soft leather and
suede coats, jackets, skirts, dresses,
vests, hats, gloves, handbags, wallets
and many other items.
(By the way, beware of this VAT
To discover the best places in a short
time, you need the help of personal
Here are Tom's Tips on Buying
1. Look in several shops
go to the Kürkçüler Çarsisi ((kewrk-chew-LEHR
char-shuh-suh, furriers' market) in
Bazaar, then look at other shops outside
the market in surrounding
streets. There are many other shops
throughout the city—have a look
at them as well. Shop on your own,
not with a local who may expect a commission
from the shopkeeper.
2. Be sure of the fit
on several garments, ask prices, and
take notes. Be sure that any garment
fits comfortably! These garments are
made by hand, and each is a bit different.
If it doesn't fit just right, try another.
3. Shop at least 3
shops before buying
Preferably, don't buy the same day.
Think it over and come back. Go outside
the Grand Bazaar into the surrounding
streets, where there are lots of
leather shops paying much lower rents.
Shop there, too.
4. Consider custom-made
Turkish shops will offer to have a
garment custom-made to your specifications
(size, style, color, accessories, etc.)
for the same price--or at least not
much more--than an off-the-rack garment.
Why not? They're all made by hand anyway.
Often they will not even demand a
firm commitment to buy. (If you reject
it, it'll just go on the rack for sale
to someone else.)
If you'd like to have a garment made, allow
as much time as possible! Do
your shopping as soon as you arrive
in Istanbul, have your measurements
taken, and give them time to finish
the garment without rushing.
Have it shipped?
Although they will offer to ship it
to you (if it would be finished only
after you leave), what do you do if
you're dissatisfied after it arrives?
Better to try it on and approve
it before you pay.