Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Hilarious Reblog on Buying Clothes in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011

This post is from mylaowai.com. The author, there are many, but mylaowai is hilarious, do a good job of proving that we the cynical, are correct and China has many many many many defects….

excerpt from here:
So, you are in China, and you want some clothes? Every city and town has a ‘fabric market’, where you can choose the fabric you want, and have the clothes you desire tailored at a reasonable price. You will enjoy the high quality and low cost, and you may even indulge in a little friendly bargaining with the tailor. Enjoy!

Right, that’s the bit for the dumbfuck tourists out of the way. When I want clothes, here’s what I do:

I go to Thailand.

China is a bit problematic when it comes to clothing, and footwear, and, well pretty much everything else actually. For one thing, Chinese are not merely smaller than real people, they have entirely different body shapes: no hips, no ass, no tits, legs that are as well-muscled as chopsticks, complete lack of chest and shoulders, flat heads, flat feet. So finding clothes you can wear isn’t just a matter of merely scaling up the stuff they wear. And ‘tailor’ or not, no one in China seems to comprehend that what you want to buy might not be what they want to sell. As for quality, well that’s a joke on a good day. The fabric you think you are buying, well, it isn’t. The buttons are made of soda-biscuits, thread dissolves in water, colours run and everything shrinks upon washing. The stitching is barely enough to hold the stuff together on the rack, and no further. And the price? Outrageous!

When I want clothes, I generally take a long weekend, leaving Friday after work and returning Monday night. I fly to Bangkok, where I meet my regular tailor (note: always go with an Indian or Nepalese tailor). He looks up his records, measures me for any changes, and gets right to work. The quality is superb, and I can get a couple of really nice suits and a few shirts (and perhaps a pair of shoes) for the same price as some raggity shit from China’s finest ‘tailor’. The weekend away in a nice country with great food and friendly people can be considered a free bonus.

Recently I wanted some new clothes. And unfortunately, I was far too busy to be able to go to Bangkok, even for three days. I knew it would lead to disaster, and I knew I’d pay over the odds, but I needed some clothes. So I went to the ‘fabric market’.

I’m not completely stupid, so I brought with me a shirt and a pair of trousers that I wanted copied. You’d think a Chinese could at least do that, right? I selected the fabrics, gave explicit instructions, obtained a completion date that was ten days longer than any tailor in Bangkok would give, and (after significant argument) paid a deposit equal to the normal full price that a tailor in Bangkok would charge.”

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