Date: Mar 7th 2014 3:37p.m.
Contributed by: chelseastone

Not just for the Chinese-speaking! Going to the tailor is easy, frugal and fun. Don't be intimidated if you lack Mandarin. You may be surprised to hear just how simple getting an item of clothing tailor-made can be.


1. Choose a market


Shanghai is full of talented and affordable tailors. There are also plenty of not so talented or affordable tailors. The old tried and true locations to search for are both near the Bund: The South Bund Fabric Market has been a favorite place to find tailors for years. You can find it in Huangpu district at 399 Lujiabang Lu (near Nancang Jie). Taxi is easy or you can take Line 4 to Nanpu Daqiao Stop.


Perhaps a bit lesser known is the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market, which is -- you guessed it -- on Dongmen Lu (near Zhonghua Lu). That's easily accessible by taxi or Line 10 Yuyuan Gardens.


2. Choose a tailor stall


Fabric markets in China consist of floors and floors of options. Unless you have a reliable friend's recommendation, it can be a bit daunting to choose a tailor you trust. Don't look at the clothing displayed on the mannequins; they're for show so of course they're the highest quality. Instead, in order to judge true tailor quality, look at those shirts that have been made and are ready for customer pick-up.


Keep a keen eye for details like buttons and hems -- are they nice and neat or tacky and hastily done? The devil is in the details. If the tailor presents a fabric sample book, ask to see the original bolt, or, even better, a completed item made from the same fabric.


You can also ask your potential tailor to do a "fabric test". Want to be sure your clothing ...

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