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“Great time (if you enjoy haggling), and great deals on men's clothes”

South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market
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Private Shanghai Shopping Tour with Local Shopping Guru
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Early Bird Shanghai Street Breakfast Tour And Visit Fabric Market
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Private Local Shopping Experience in various Shanghai Markets
Ranked #27 of 1,334 things to do in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed August 29, 2013

In October, I wanted to get a few shirts, pants, & a suit, to be mailed back to me in the U.S. With a ~31" waist and ~28" legs, I've had trouble finding nice-fitting clothes in the U.S. After spending an hour or two researching the fabric market on several websites (e.g., timeoutshanghai, shanghaiexpat), I made sure to visit a few booths that were recommended by these sites (e.g., 196-Amy, and 235-Jiang Hong He). I was happy with their selections of fabrics, hanging examples, and prices (post-haggling), and I also found a few others that seemed decent (171-Sherry, 105-Harrison, 212-Rita, and 310-Eric).

For each of the shops that seemed decent, I took their card and made notes about what I liked/disliked, and the prices they quoted (post initial haggling). I spent 3+ hours walking around and chatting/haggling with shop owners (due to my grandfather's genes), before making a decision. Most of the tailors started with a high price for a basic suit around 800-1000 RMB, pants for 300 RMB, and shirts around 200 RMB, but most came down to 500-700 for a suit, 150-200 for pants and 110-150 for shirts. I wore a shirt and suit that I already owned that fit OK (a little snug), and most tailors can copy existing clothes, but it wasn't necessary.

I ended up ordering 4 shirts, 2 pairs of khakis, a gray suit, a summer cotton jacket from 310 (Eric Chang, Cotton Shirt/ Custom Made). I really liked his examples, he was friendly and seemed competent, and was not pushy. His prices were not the lowest, but I felt it was the best bet (since I wouldn't be around to request alterations). I really had fun picking out fabrics, and Eric helped me pick (floral) patterns for inside cuffs & collars that matched my shirts. I was also able to pick button colors, thread colors, and angle-cut cuffs.

He offered to deliver the products to my hotel to try on, but I didn't have enough time, so he just mailed them to me in CA. I told him several times not to rush, and they arrived about a month later. I've honestly never been complemented so many times on my clothes. The shirts are a little snugger than I would have asked for, but are still nicer than any of the store-bought shirts that I have, so I wear them weekly. They've been laundered many times by now, and still look good. I've worn the suit a few times, and the summer jacket once, and they fit great.

PS The street food outside was awesome.

6  Thank Bret S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 9, 2013

I ended up going to the South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market over three days and had several, coats, dresses and a business suit made. As the previous reviewers have said, you do need to bargain hard. One thing I noticed was when I asked how long it would take to make an outfit; the standard response was a few days to a week. When I replied it was too long as I was only in Shanghai for a few days they quickly replied back, "the next day".

I did need three visits for the tweaking......but in the end, I was quite happy with the quality and price, however, I must warn everyone against one particular tailor.....No 160.......... As she is on the first floor she was one of the tailors that nabbed me first. Point to consider...tailors do get less expensive on the second and third floors.
I ordered a coat and a dress from her. The sleeves on the coat were way to short. She only agreed to replace them after a lot of complaining on my part. I asked for 3/4 sleeves and ended up with sleeves at my elbow. The dress was the disaster. During the first fitting I noticed a seam where it shouldn't be and in fact, the seam was a complete mess. Additionally, the V in the neck line was off center and the stitching was really messy in that area. Of course they promised to fix it. The next day the front of the dress looked ok but the back was a disaster. I refused to take the dress. Only after I reminded the girl that of the four tailors I was working with she was the most expensive. I think she knew I was onto her then and eventually let me go without taking or paying for the disastrous dress. In the end, I payed 900 hundred RMB for the coat. To give you a comparison....I had a coat and a dress made upstairs for 850 RMB, So avoid 160 at all costs....Oh, and they close quite early around 6....6.30.

8  Thank Destinyspeaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I have shopped here a few times now, and find it a fabulous place to get tailor made clothes, belts, scarves and other clothing items. Things to consider when shopping here:
* Yes, do bargain and bargain hard. There are lots of shops selling the same thing, so walk away if you aren't happy with the price and try another store.
* However, beware that you usually get what you pay for. The cheaper prices are often associated with lesser quality.
* Taking items with you and having them copied works very well. You need to be specific about what exactly needs to be done though, as most places will try and skip overlocking or extra time (cost) if possible.
* Make sure you ask for the clothes to be finished before you need them, and try them on as changes may be required and you need to allow time for that.
* I have found the stores with "built in" changing rooms seem to have better quality, maybe because they are expecting you to try on the clothes?
* Shops by the entrance are more expensive than those further in.
* Most of them speak a little English, so you should be able to make yourself understood without knowing Mandarin or Shanhiese, but if you have a local who can translate, that can help
* Do NOT shop at shop 256 (second floor coat tailors). They did not create my coats when they were supposed to, and did not deliver the second time either. There was quite a large fight to get my deposit back, and I am pretty sure I only got it because I had a local with me and we got the security guard. We did wonder if they tried to do that to foreigners and just keep their deposits?
* The Tailors at shop 387 (third floor corner store with a changing room) are a little more expensive and less willing to bargain, but their clothes were VERY well tailored and good quality material. I had 7 pairs of trousers made out of wool/cashmere that are as good quality as the originals, which were a very expensive brand. I will be using these tailors for all my suits, shirts and coats in the future.

9  Thank Kirstin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

How could you not want to visit a place that can make anything you can imagine (or have seen in a magazine) for a fraction of the price you'd find in a store? You absolutely have to bargain and sometimes you strike out in terms of quality. But, I've gotten some great cashmere coats made here and I love going back.

2  Thank Cmonkez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012 via mobile

If you're looking for suits or dresses tailored this is the place to go. There are three floors filled with fabrics and shops, where most have formal clothes. I ended up with a suit jacket, two pants and six shirts tailor made for RMB 2100. Take care when choosing your shop: all of them have the same fabric, the difference is in the craft of the tailors!
We found that the best quality was on the first floor (try booth 155-157 for suits and shirts. Booth 190 for the widest range of silk fabric!)

A few tips:
Always bargain a bit, though too much will lower quality. If you can't get anywhere, try adding items for a cheap price.
It takes them max. 2 days to complete your order. Nevertheless, say you're leaving Shanghai earlier than you actually are, as delays happen.
Make sure you go on a weekday early in the morning. The market gets very busy in weekends.

20  Thank vstenhjem
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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