One year in China. Let's do this!

A jacket for you, a jacket for me

For those of you who personally know me, you can all vouch that I put immense amounts of time into my wardrobe and appearance on a day to day basis.  The delicate selection of lacy tops paired with fitted pants is a fine art and one that I take quite seriously.  And for those of you double checking that you are in fact reading Charlotte’s blog right now…you will also know that I am completely full of it right now.  Let’s be real, I care much, much more about the cannoli I am about to devour in two bites than the color of my free t-shirt that I have decided to wear that specific day.  And the pants?  Which ones are clean?  Yes, those will do just fine.

The entrance to the fabric market at the South Bund!

The entrance to the fabric market at the South Bund!

So it seemed like a natural thing then, to make my way over to the South Bund Fabric Market to go get a tailor made trench coat.  Nothing says high fashion like a tailor made piece of clothing hanging so wonderfully over a hoodie and track pants.  Am I right, ladies?

As I stood in the market, bargaining relentlessly over the 10 kuai difference in proposed prices between mine and the store vendor’s far-too-high price, I realized how obscene this was.  Here I was, once again, telling  a Shanghainese local that my parents didn’t love me, gave me no money, and I was incredibly, horrifically poor and needed to save 5 kuai as a result if I were to eat dinner tonight.  This was all while I held my iPhone taking pictures of the garments and whipping out my wallet filled with freshly-taken-out-of-the-ATM hundos.  Yikes.  Fortunately, the woman found my attempts at speaking in Chinese quite amusing and gave me the price I wanted anyways.

Coats galore.  This was the stand where I bought my first tailor-made piece from Shang.

Coats galore. This was the stand where I bought my first tailor-made piece from Shang.

After half an hour of talking with the woman as she measured my arm length (thank goodness for the past year of practicing warrior 2 poses for yoga otherwise that could have been embarrassingly painful to keep my arms raised for that long), I was back on my bike and on my way home with my wallet 350 RMB lighter.

I have to head back to the market in 10 days time to pick up the jacket.  Here’s to hoping my 100% Chinese language conversation lady worked out and that I won’t be walking out of the shop with a man’s smoking jacket covered in purple sequins and Hello Kitty themed buttons.

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4 Responses »

  1. How did the jacket end up looking? Pictures please =)

    • Ended up turning out quite nicely! Didn’t take any pictures of it though sadly. But would highly recommend going to the South Bund Fabric Market next time you make your way to Shanghai and want some quality – and cheap! – tailored clothing.

      • I’ve only been to Shanghai twice, and both times not long enough. I’m missing China badly now, thinking about it all! I miss over the bridge noodles. Guo qiao mi xian! – Brothers Jiang – a typical hit in Kunming is everywhere now!

      • It’s a pretty wild and fun place to live, that’s for sure. Seems like you are doing your fair share of travel though. And I will have to check that place out then…will let you know what I think haha!

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