Shopping in Shanghai is, for a large portion of the population (both local and expat), a way of life. A "national pastime", if you will. The rush of a large purchase, the feel of bags upon bags hanging on both arms, the trying on and re-trying on of countless garments... This city was made for it. But alas, not everyone is up for the crowds, the haggling, the crowds, the hassle – and did I mention the crowds? That's where online shopping comes in, and Shanghai's options are rapidly growing. You already know that you can buy groceries and booze online, but what about designer wear? Read on for some Shanghai-based online fashion stores where an entirely new wardrobe is just a few clicks away.
1) Shopping Lu
Touting itself as the "first online fashion store" in Shanghai, Shopping Lu certainly delivers on variety. They sell everything from electronics (computers, laptops, printers, cameras, etc.) to accessories (hats, belts, wallets, ties, gloves, jewellery, etc.) to sports equipment (ping pong, weights, swimming, football, fitness, tennis, etc.). They even have a "Moto" section where you can buy electric, gas, and old-fashioned bicycles! The only area that seems to be lacking a bit is the Beauty page, where only hair dryers, straighteners and electric shavers are available. They also have Office, Packages and Travel sections that are "coming soon." The website itself, available in English and Chinese, is very easy to navigate and there are two features that really make it stand out – the online customer service that is available instantly (you basically speak to a representative on their instant messenger system) and their payment method of cash on delivery.
2) Daft Shopping
Warning: For men only. It's not that the website is necessarily female unfriendly, it's simply... made for men. And fashionable men at that. This means plenty of apparel options (T-shirts, button ups, underwear, hoodies, shorts, pants, etc.), footwear (dress shoes, sneakers, slippers) and accessories (belts, cufflinks, ties, wallets, etc.). Daft Shopping even sells "military" items such as a survival tool set and "tactical glasses" that look vaguely like night-vision goggles. You can also soothe the metrosexual inside of you by purchasing items for shaving, washing and skincare from their "grooming" section. But the crème de la crème of this man-centric haven is the "lifestyle" area, where you can buy things like rabbit or mink skin rugs and throws – because really, what says "cool" like over-the-top bachelor pad décor? The website, available in English, is pretty fool proof. I particularly like their policy for returns and exchanges – if the fit isn't exactly right you can return the item or exchange it for free.
Nine Months Maternity
3) Nine Months Maternity
Catering to the pregnant portion of the expat population, Nine Months Maternity offers a wide selection of maternity wear, lingerie, swimwear and the pregnancy must-have: maternity jeans. With brand names like Funkie Baby and The Spoiled Mama, it's a fun website that gives pregnant women hope that they won't have to slouch around in sweatpants for nine months. Also offering accessories like diaper bags and skin lotions, the company aims to "ensure a chic and smooth transition into motherhood." If you're not expecting but know someone who is, there's a special section of gift ideas for those in early pregnancy, five to seven months along, coming soon and for the baby him/herself. The English website is broken down by both item type and designer to make it easier to find what you're looking for. They also offer coupons for a free "pregnancy wardrobe consultation" if you're a bit stuck on what you'll need.
4) UE Mall
Let me start first with the drawback – this website is only available in Chinese. That being said, even a non-Mandarin speaking expat can figure it out in a relatively short period of time – mostly because everything they offer is listed (in English) by designer. This is the online version of the UE Mall, and they certainly offer everything you could possibly find in a brick and mortar store. Claiming to be "the first high-end fashion online shopping center," you'll certainly find plenty of famous names – Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani... these are just a handful of the 59 different brands (and yes, I counted) available online. The online UE Mall is basically like stepping onto Nanjing Xi Lu – minus the crowds. Despite the fact that the site is only in Chinese, it's definitely worth a visit – especially if you already know the brand name for which you'll be looking. After all, isn't fashion the one truly universal language?
5) Woo Scarf & Shawl
For those accessory hounds out there (you know who you are), be sure to visit the website for Woo Scar & Shawl, where you'll find scarves (generally thinner strips of fabric, often with fringe on the ends) and shawls (generally larger pieces of fabric meant to be draped around the shoulders) aplenty. Choose from cashmere, "water wave," hand embroidered, pashmina, "super" pashmina, a silk cashmere blend, and "unique designs." They also have a men's section and accessories such as gloves and slippers. Prices are on the steep end, with scarves starting anywhere from $188 USD to shawls that run a mind numbing $4,880 USD. The website itself is a fairly basic set up, but there aren't items listed for every category. For example, if you click on the "Shanghai in Love" option under "Pashmina," nothing comes up. That's either a kink in the website or they really are out of that style at the moment.
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Keywords: Fashion in Shanghai Online fashion stores in Shanghai clothing shopping in Shanghai Best clothing stores in Shanghai
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