Retro Revolution: Where to Find Vintage Clothing in Shanghai

Retro Revolution: Where to Find Vintage Clothing in Shanghai
By Andrea Scarlatelli ,

One of my favorite things about Shanghai is the total and utter freedom people exhibit when it comes to clothing choices. I’ve seen grunge, prep, goth… you name it, Shanghai has got it (including a girl in a taffeta party dress and heels walking down the street on a Monday afternoon – like I said, anything goes). One of the more popular fashions is the classy and always-stylish retro look. Thick-framed glasses, peasant blouses, and A-line cocktail dresses are just some of the styles you’ll see on the street that hearken back to a golden age of fashion. Check out the look for yourself in these cool-to-be-square stores.

For those who love rocking the art deco spectacle frames (you know who you are!), stop by the oasis of retro, thick-framed glasses – otherwise known as Shanghai Code. All their glasses were produced between 1940 and 1990, so their vintage claim is actually the real deal (and really, who wouldn’t want to replicate the fashion from 1990?...). You can’t find these models anywhere else, and certainly not in the variety Shanghai Code offers. Aviators, tortoise-shell, Buddy Holly-style… they’ve got them all. But for those who actually need a prescription for their glasses, you’ll have to look for those elsewhere – these bad boys only come with glass lenses. The store also carries old-fashioned tin toys, travel bags, and watches, but in Shanghai Code, be assured that it’s all about the glasses.

Shanghai CodeView In Map
Add: Back door, No. 2, Lane 274 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu, Shanghai
Open: 12:00-20:00
Telephone: 021 6473 6581

Vintage fashion gets it’s due at Lolo Love Vintage, a quirky little hole-in-the-wall located somewhere between retro heaven and Weihai Lu. Lolo, the store’s creator, is a Shanghai-based stylist who gets most of her wares from Europe. The store itself is a charming, bright space chock full of bold colors and wacky patterns. The 1920’s style undergarments are a particularly interesting draw, as are the elegant 1960’s- inspired dresses that simply scream Jackie O. My only recommendation is that you allow plenty of time to brows,e because each nook and cranny seems to offer another vintage revelation.  

Lolo Love VintageView In Map
Add: Rm. 288, Bldg 11, No.696 Weihai Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市威海路696号11号楼288室, 近石门一路
Open: Sun, Mon, Wed, & Fri, 13:00-21:00
Telephone: 021 150 0074-4302


Venture down a largely residential lane on Fuxing Zhong Lu and you’ll find a gem hidden among the houses. Lao Zhai Workshop stocks over 3,000 pieces of vintage clothing from every part of the world. This regional diversity is reflected in the eclectic offerings like qipaos, peasant blouses and costume jewelry. Shanghai designer and store owner Zhai Peng personally purchases each piece of clothing and is known for giving great fashion advice to those unsure of how to wear certain items. The collection is largely pre-1970’s and can be tailored on-site to ensure a personalized fit. The shop’s warm colours and casual surroundings make it almost feel like you’re rummaging through your (very fashionable) mother’s closet.

Lao Zhai Workshop老翟工作室 View In Map
Add: Rm. 101, 1365 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Baoqing Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市复兴中路1365号101室 近宝庆路
Open: 10:00-21:00
Tel: 021 6437 3631

Designer Cairn Wu Reppun is a Shanghai darling, with her label Kaileeni already a huge hit and her store, William the Beekeeper, rapidly catching people’s attention (and not just for the unusual name). Reppun’s offerings are vintage yet timeless, such as flowing maxi dresses, classic plaid button ups, and simple sheath dresses. Known as a place that is friendly to up-and-coming designers, this is the place to discover new artists creating retro pieces. And yes, William the Beekeeper also does sell honey.

William the BeekeeperView In Map
Add: 84 Fenyang Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu
地址:上海市汾阳路84号, 近复兴中路
Open: Tue-Sun, 11:30-20:00; Monday by appointment only
Tel: 021 138 1809-3796

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Keywords: Vintage clothing Shanghai retro clothing Shanghai vintage stores Shanghai vintage fashion Shanghai


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