Undoubtedly one of the best things about being an expat in China is that if you are lucky enough to live in one of the larger cities, it is always possible to find relatively cheap tailor made clothes. Shenzhen is no exception to this trend, and no matter if you are in the city for a few weeks or end up getting stuck here (like me) for several years, it is worth building up a rakish wardrobe of tailor made shirts, trousers, suits, coats, or anything you can think of. Shenzhen has it all, and the beautifully tailored clothes you buy here will generally be a fraction of the price for the same service in the UK, Europe or the USA.
While it is true that tailors are as widely available in Shenzhen (as is the rich array of material to choose from), you should be warned that quality does vary, and usually the more up market (and pricier) you go, the better the final garment will be. However, this isn’t always the case. I once had to get a suit made very quickly in Shenzhen due to an unexpected job interview. A week later the suit arrived but the trousers were so big that a clown would have been embarrassed to wear them. It was too late to get them altered, and so I had to suffer the ignominy of looking like an old fashioned vacuum cleaner that needed to have its bag changed.
You want it? They can make it!
At the same time, there are some truly excellent tailors in Shenzhen, and you can usually choose from dozens of different garment designs and hundreds if not thousands of different materials, fabrics, colours and patterns. The best thing to do is ask a sharply dressed expat (note: don’t look for these in Shekou) where he or she got their wares from, and they will usually be happy to offer you advice before you get measured up and part with your hard earned cash. Here’s a rundown of a few good places to get tailor made clothes in Shenzhen.
1) Luohu Commercial City
Not only is it a paradise for people who want to purchase fake bags, shoes and other knock-off gear, but Commercial City in Luohu also has a fabric market on the top floor. If you want straightforward, no nonsense tailoring, then this is the place to go. There are many tailors here, so once you have selected your fabric, choose one that you like the look of (unless a friend has recommended someone in particular). Many local Chinese come here, and a smart business shirt for a man or woman will set you back around 150 RMB, which isn’t too bad considering that it is a tailored garment. Some tailors may offer discounts if you buy in bulk, but don’t count on it. Try haggling and see what happens.
Luohu Commercial City (top floor)View In Map
Add: Opposite Louhu Railway Station, Louhu District, Shenzhen
Opening hours: Daily, 09:30-21:00
2) Baima Fabric Market
Baima (white horse) Fabric Market in Dongmen, Luohu, is much more of a traditional Chinese fabric market. While you can still pick up suits, shirts and dresses, you can also find a large range of authentic traditional Chinese silk garments for women. A wool pea-coat might set you back between 500-800 RMB, while a hand stitched cashmere overcoat won’t be much more than 1000 RMB. Although Baima Fabric Market is a little more expensive than Commercial City, the general quality of tailoring and choice of fabric is superior. If you are interested, you can actually buy genuine animal fur here, including fox, dog and mink. Interested? I didn’t think so.
Baima Fabric MarketView In Map
Add: Dongmen Lu, Laojie, Luohu District, Shenzhen
Opening hours: Daily, 08:30-21:30
Nestled inside and near the south entrance of the Marco Polo Hotel in Futian, Latland is about as up market as it gets in Shenzhen when it comes to tailored clothes. Latland was set up by a Hong Kong chap, one of whose special talents is to import practically any kind of fabric you can think of. They say they have access to 4000 types of material for shirts alone, and even claim to have made a jacket for Nicholas Cage! With this kind of pedigree, clothes here come at a price. A basic suit will cost you around 3000 RMB, but depending on the fabric, it could be a lot more. Nevertheless, if you have the cash to splash on luxury, then why not?
LatlandView In Map
Add: 1F, Marco Polo Hotel, Mingtian Lu, near Fumin Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8291 5796, 4008 815 678 for home tailoring service
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-18:00
4) Shangle Jie
Jumping several rungs down the price ladder but still offering good tailoring service is a small street in Shekou called Shangle Jie. There aren’t any big names here; more like an old tailor and his wife who will mend and polish your shoes while they fit you out for a pair of trousers. It’s pretty cheap and while there may not be a huge choice of materials, if you look hard enough you can usually find something appropriate. There are several tailors on this short stretch of road, so take the time to check them all out, and be prepared to haggle!
Various TailorsView In Map
Add: Shangle Jie (near Fuzon Hotel), behind Hiachang Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-20:00
So as you can see, there are plenty of places in Shenzhen to get tailor made clothes. A couple of years ago, a friend from Scotland came to visit. In an impassioned nod to our beloved homeland, we decided to get identical three piece tartan suits made up (see pic above). I can’t say which tailor it was, as she made me promise never to reveal who made the suits in case it ruined her business forever. Now, if only I could find some decent brogues to go with it…
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Just a heads up to anyone shopping for tailors in Luohu. Stay away from Shanghai New Age Dress #5090 on the 5th floor by the escalators. Very bad experience. They were friendly at first, but as soon as I asked them to make a change (their fault) they became hostile. Anyway, buyer beware!
Jul 06, 2016 15:06 Report Abuse