I have a wonderful Hong Kong tailor. I was not in a rush to check out the Shanghai custom tailor scene. Finally, the weekend before Chinese New Year I decided to head over to the South Bund Fabric Market (南外滩轻纺面料市场) for the first time. I know it will be less crowded. Many of the stores have closed already for the coming new year.
I was right. A arrived at noon time and the market was not too crowded. The main fabric market has three floors of, totally maybe 100 or more shops. Which one to pick? I looked for one that is:
- neat and organized
- has good reasonable styled clothing on display
- not too flashy
- displaying men's clothing only
- already has a Chinese customer inside
- not have a pushy sales person
- not run by someone too old or too flashy
I found a shop on the second floor. The sales person was friendly but efficient. Once I told her I wanted to try to make a single pair of pants, she helped me picked the materials and style. Turned out she speaks very good English, but we mostly conversed in Chinese. Except I have no idea the Chinese terms are for pleats (褶 Zhe3), button down, etc. I ordered a pair of khakis for 200 CNY and a button down shirt for 130 CNY. Dress pants will be 250 CNY. Prices are obviously very good compare to off the rack in the US, and about half of what it cost in HK tailored. But until I actually get them I would not know the quality.
I went across the street to the smaller market. I bought a cashmere sweater for 560 CNY because I actually needed one. They will tailored one for about 640 CNY. I also found a interesting hand made shoes store ! The lady said her father is the master cobbler and have been doing it since he was six years old. I told her this will be a lost art and hope that her family keeps it up. She said she can do the upper part of the shoe but a girl is not strong enough to do the sole, but she will keep the family business going. A pair of custom leather shoes will cost around 1800 CNY she said. Some day I will try them out.
Stay tune for the second post for updates once I received the cloths.
How to get to the South Bund Fabric Market
The address is:
South Bund Fabric Market
399 Lujiabang Lu
Nán wàitān (South Bund)
qīng fǎng miàn liào (light fabric)
shì chǎng (market)