Custom Tailored Clothing in PereiraIt’s the stuff of dreams, where the fairy godmother pops into your life, snaps her fingers and suddenly you look fabulous!  The reality is much more complicated.  Especially when it comes to figuring out how to clothe yourself.  Seriously! Have you ever wandered into a large department store, tried on half a dozen items but yet each one didn’t fit you in some way?  What if your curves are really popping and you want to wear something sexy?  Whatever the case, we have all eventually, mostly, found that one brand or brands, that fit your body.  Or not.  In this article we are going to show you How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira, so that you too can look your very best, without having to pay the the “very best” price tag!

The Tailor-Made Myth

We have all taken a pair of pants in to get a button sewn on or taken in according to our height, but very few of us today in the 21st century really consider custom clothing anymore. Not outside of comic con, renaissance fairs and cos-play gatherings at least. And even then, most of us wouldn’t really think of going to a tailor for something we want. Well, Custom Tailored Clothing in Pereira is surprisingly cheap and quite good in quality too.  This is especially noted in comparison to the prices that many of us have typically paid, especially for higher quality import clothing. This is the story where Pereira City Guide goes and gets some custom made clothing.  We are going to bust the myth that Tailor-Made is exclusively for a someone with a private chauffeur and a French poodle!

In Pereira there is a very large clothing industry.  Well known brands like Gino Pascalli and Arturo Calle are even based here.  Medellin may be the center of Moda, but much of it is made in Pereira.  In the city center there is an industry that caters to the tradition of custom made clothing.  For most of clothing or fashion history, there has always been a very human personal element which was included.  Someone with a trained eye could look at their customer and determine the most suitable garment for their size, gender, budget and accepted fashions.

Medellin may be the center of Moda (or fashion), but much of it is made in Pereira.

Over the last 150 years the industry has become very dehumanized, and infamous for its human rights abuses.  Without naming names we can say that most of the popular brand has at some point, or is currently involved in a sweat shop labor system.  The end result is a piece of mass produced clothing whose cost to profit ratio is balanced by unsustainable practices that result in abuse against the environment and against humans.  We have all be seduced by a huge publicity industry which has seduced our selfish imaginations while covering up the ugly truth.  Enter the little-known city that dreams big in the Coffee Axis, Pereira.  Most “Sastre Modistas” or Tailors, of Pereira are small family-owned businesses who take pride in their work.  Many of the same employees have worked here for 10 years or longer.

Donnotto’s Calle 17 #5-29 in El Centro. Call or drop in for an appointment: 310-397-3852 Or, if you speak Spanish, you can email ahead of time for information:

One of those small, locally owned tailor businesses is Donnotto. Señor Jose Otto, the namesake of the business, struck me as a very humble, yet distinguished person of good character, in a world that has mostly forgotten their manners.  He is what the Paisa’s call “Muy formal!,” or very genteel and polite.  I spoke with Señor Otto about How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira.  Here are some of the insights I gained from our conversation.


Senor Otto is no stranger to hard work.  Having come from country roots and a farm family, he knew from a young age that the life wasn’t for him.  As a young man his wish to go and study was granted where he learned how to be a tailor.  From there he founded his own business in Pereira.  Today he makes the clothing of well-to-do families, or for special events, executives and even a few foreign clients from the United States and Germany.

Tailor Made Myth

The Interview

Pereira City Guide: How does costura here in Pereira compare to Medellin?

Señor Otto: Medellin is very good, but here we have people who are also very good at costura.  Here we have Gino Pascalli, Arturo Calle, Costa Azul, which are businesses which do very pretty, very nice work.

Pereira City Guide: What kind of clothing do you like to make?  What would you call your specialty?

Señor Otto: Me, I like to work with elegant clothes.  So if you come to me and say “I have to go to a meeting, it is very important, and I must look a certain way”, I will do it.  Not necessarily elegant clothes for evening events, but the ones that you can go anywhere with and look very nice, do business and be well-appointed.  I do all of this.  My passion is mens suit jackets, pants or vests, skirts and jackets for women.  My true passion is clothing for executives.  I do the small, but important details.  I do work for a bank, they call me, I bring catalogues, samples and take their measurements.  Something I am especially interested in, is Plus-Size.  There are very few factories in Colombia which work with large sizes.  I help women create dresses that will fit their bodies in a flattering and appealing manner.

Pereira City Guide: What do you call your profession in Spanish?

Señor Otto: Sastre Modista (Dressmaker-Tailor).  Editors Note: Sastreria is the confection (or making) of clothing, Modista is the tailoring and fitting of clothing.

How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira

Pereira City Guide: About how long does it take to make clothing for clients?

Señor Otto: A pair of pants only takes 2-3 hours to make.  If you need it within a day, we can do it.  We can also make small repairs the same day if needed.  If you don’t need it immediately we usually will have it of you in a week and a half.  Complex pieces like suits and dresses require a minimum of 5 days to complete the project.

Pereira City Guide: What are the costs associated with having custom clothing made?

Señor Otto: We do very good quality work.  Because of this, our costs are higher than others in our profession.  We also have to charge more for plus-size, over size clothing because of the amount of time needed to complete the project.  However, people like our work, and many men come to us for to add in special details like secret pockets, or even “watch-pockets.”  A pair of pants can cost you 80,000 pesos (~$26 USD) and a shirt 60,000 pesos (~$20 USD).


Pereira City Guide: How does the quality of clothing which is custom-made compare to factory made.

Señor Otto: The quality is very fine.  Custom clothing is almost the same cost, slightly more expensive, but will last 4-5 years.  For example, products from China, are very bad.  We do not work with products from China.  We cannot accept these products, we must learn to be more selective.  Especially for oversize, plus size, the quality of clothing is much better in make than anything you will buy in the street.  And remember, it is also important that it looks good on you. Calle 17 #5-29 in El Centro.  Call or drop in for an appointment: 310-397-3852  Or, if you speak Spanish, you can email ahead of time for information:

How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira

Custom Clothing in Pereira

I love good linen pants. They don’t fit my body well, and it is difficult to find a pair that look good on me AND that fits in all the right places. I commissioned Donnotto’s to make me a pair of linen 3/4 length pants and a shirt which I fancied from Pinterest, and in the process learned How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira.

  1. Design: At their shop we discussed details and made a few changes on the original pattern.   There was an outside pocket which looked very cute in the picture, but which wouldn’t be very flattering with the shape of my hips so we changed the form a bit. The original shirt has a bit of a high, but draping heckline. I like the basic style but requested that the neckline drape just a bit lower than the one in the picture.
  2. Materials: I chose a cotton/linen blend in a beige color for the pants.  Linen is a natural fiber which has always felt really nice next to my skin.  Wrinkles don’t bother me, I just want to wear stuff that is NOT synthetic.  For the shirt I had to go a couple blocks away and pick out either a polyester or cotton jersey material for the blouse in the color or pattern desired.  Of course I opted for cotton jersey.
  3. Measurements: They took my measurements to ensure the right fit.  Legs, hips, inseam, waist (along with high or low rise preferences).  For the shirt, arms, shoulders, bust, hips.  I made sure that this shirt is also long enough.  Most clothing in Colombia is too short in the torso for me.
  4. The Waiting: Then I waited a week and a half.  They can do it faster if needed however according to demand and quantity they prefer to feed it into their normal workflow which can cause delay.
  5. The Cost: My total was 120,000 pesos or $40 total for a well-made linen pant and a cotton jersey shirt.  I’m happy!

UPDATE: As you can see, there is a timeline issue, in this story we are talking about linen capri pants, and the picture shows linen pants and linen shorts. At the time the capri pants were done, they didn’t photograph well even though I really LOVE how they fit, and the quality of the material. Speaking of which, they wash great. Even though they are linen, this fabric is good enough quality that after 8 months they still look really nice!

The new pants and shorts also had a special detail of a secret pocket, and no belt loops for a smoother silhouette. The result, durable long lasting pants which look great and fit me perfectly!


Thanks for checking out our latest story about “How to Buy Amazing Custom Clothing in Pereira!”  If you would like to see more content like this in the future then be sure to pick up a copy of Pereira City Guide the eBook.  Available now on for Kindle!  Each purchase you make helps to ensure that we continue to bring you the Definitive Guide to Pereira in English!

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