Shanghai Tours-Shopping and Bargaining in Shanghai
Posted Oct 16 2013 8:37am
Attitudes are much changed from the 1980's when a job was assigned to China tours every person for life, regardless of merit or performance. In those days, I couldn't get clerks to help me but now they range from aggressive to incredibly discreetly helpful ("Madam, XXL is our largest size"). In fact, everyone in the hospitality industry is well-trained, patient and pleasant, from cab drivers to waiters to shop girls. It's a highly competitive job environment, replacements are cheap.
If you are a Ladies size 6, you are a size L. If you are an 8 or 10, you are an XL or XXL. Clothes don't come any larger over there. By the time a sweater is long enough to cover your wrists, it will be twice as wide as you are. Chinese Yangtze River cruises women are petite, petite, petite. Until dairy products become common in the Chinese diet and women develop larger bones and bosoms as we have in North America, I'll probably have to stick to shoes and purses, which is no hardship since there are lots of classy styles at good prices.
The solution to XXL and avoiding being completely demoralized is to hit the dressmakers. My sister-in-law is a pro when it comes to shopping and just came back from Shanghai with the Shangri-la travel scoop. She says to head for the Dong Jia Du district. She could not give me the actual address of the shop she went to, but assures me that "any taxi driver will know what you're talking about".
As you go through the little entrance of Dong Jia Du, you'll see over 100 little shops and each one will tailor make any clothing you like. She had a full length cashmere coat made, with silk lining and fur collar, she selected all the materials, and Shanghai tours picked it up three days later. $US 120. (OK and she is Chinese as well so, bring moral and language support with you if you're a foreigner)