Trim Up For Autumn

With summer slipping away, fashion can seem to stagnate in the autumn as more layers are put on and darker colors take precedence. As it gets colder, our clothes begin to match the dull weather as warm jumpers and trousers become the outfits of choice. However, this does not need to be the case, as the Autumn/Winter catwalks showed; costume jewelry and simple embellishment can breathe new life into a dull ensemble. 

If you are looking to revamp your winter wardrobe, and add color or a new design to your clothes, Shanghai markets might just have the solution you are looking for. The Yu Gardens Trim and Fabric Market is a fashion lover’s paradise, filled to the brim with little stores containing hoards of material, buttons, fur and feathers. For a couple of RMB, you can transform your outfit by adding a string of pearls to a headband, lace to a skirt or even rhinestones on your shoes. We went with the mission of finding items to recreate catwalk trends for everyday wear. There is a lot to see and choose between in the market, so we would recommend spending at least a whole afternoon to really look properly at the stalls and find little treasures to add to your wardrobe. 


The Simple Shirt:

Customizing clothes can be tricky, especially if you are not a sewing expert. However, for beginners, we found that adding to a plain shirt is definitely the easiest option. While always a staple in your wardrobe, especially for the office, your shirt does not have to remain plain to emulate simple style. We took inspiration from Valentino’s Ready to Wear collection, with their bold shirt collars and detailed cuffs. We added simple pearl style buttons, white lace flower detailing to the cuffs and striking collar tips to our oversized sheer shirt. With a bit of simple sewing, your old shirt is reborn yet is still appropriate for both smart and casual wear. Collar tips are our top recommendation, but other designs and stones are available at all good fabric markets if you are feeling confident. 


The Classic Bracelet:

Pearls are always an elegant addition to any outfit and were seen frequently in extreme necklaces and headwear on the catwalks this season, particularly Alexander McQueen, in both rebellious and regal looks. To achieve this look, but without spending the big bucks, simulated pearl strings can be bought at the market for under RMB 10. Pearls attached to bangles were particularly eye catching on the catwalks and stood out as a must have statement piece. We were able to achieve this look at the market for only RMB 30, some glue and patience.





The Embellished Headband:

Taking inspiration from Givenchy’s floral headwear, we decided to keep summer alive in Shanghai and made a floral headband, a great way to bring some colour to the autumn months. This look can be difficult to make, especially finding the right flowers, but we used a bouquet of fake flowers that we then sewed onto lace, before attaching to a plain headband. 












Yu Gardens Trimming Market:

If you are feeling inventive, customizing with charms from the trimming market is definitely the way forward. This market is a brilliant find if you have a spare weekend and it really puts the fun back into winter fashion, with the individuality you can bring to your old clothes.

Renmin Lu, near Henan Lu. Open daily 10am to 6pm


Hong Qiao New World Pearl Market

This market has more than just pearls, and is spread out over three floors with a variety of items. The freshwater and cultured pearls in the market are supposedly priced at a sixth of the price you would pay in the US or UK, so you are certain to find some brilliant bargains (especially with some bartering).

3,721 Hongmei Lu, near Ya’nan Xi Lu. Open daily 10am to 10pm


South Bund Fabric Market

The South Bund Fabric Market is jam packed with tailors and fabric shops. If you aren’t confident enough with your own customization or want a particular outfit made, this is the place to go. Many of the stalls and shops have their own tailors on site, so we recommend going with a picture of what you want, to make the process a little easier.

399 Lujiabang Lu, near Zhongshan South Lu. Open daily 10am to 7pm


Qipu Lu Clothing Market 

Qipu Lu Clothing Market is the largest whole sale and retail clothing market in Shanghai. There is a lot of choice, with items catered for local consumers as well as the expat market. For emerging trends at low prices, Qipu Lu is the place to go, but we suggest making an early morning weekday trip, to avoid the crowds.

168 & 183 Qipu Lu, near Henan Bei Lu. Open daily 6:30am to 6pm



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