It's harder to characterize Shanghai style because it's extremely varied. Similarities between Beijing and Shanghai: people wear lots of black; people wear lots of animal
print. Apart from that, there's not too much in common.
Footwear in Bejing tends towards mid-calf boots and platform wedges. In Shanghai you see a lot more ballet flats (which makes sense, considering the climate and the fact that it is a walking city) but also towering heels and booties, which aren't so popular in Beijing.
I saw lots of coloured pants and print pants. Lots of shorts with tights and heels. Lots of pattern mixing.
Sometimes I wasn't able to interpret what I was seeing. I am sure many women were carrying expensive designer bags, but since I don't know anything about bags I couldn't identify them or tell the real ones from the fake.
Sometimes I couldn't tell a thrown together look from an intentional one. The photos I took were all looks that I felt I could make some kind of sense of, if you know what I mean. Also a few window displays. Uniglo closed down briefly during the recent contretemps with the Japanese, but is operational again.
In photo #1, not sure if you can tell but the woman is wearing print pants as well as the Union Jack.
Twelve years ago in Beijing you could still see the occasional older woman with bound feet. Some middle aged to older people still wore the old Communist style jackets and pants with cloth slippers. Younger, upwardly mobile people dressed in Western styles, but not really up to date, or they dressed conservatively and in a very lady-like way in slightly modernized qipao and heeled pumps.
Today in Beijing, it's a very different story. On Wanfujing you can buy Gucci and Versace and Vuitton, of course. If you can afford it. But lots of ordinary people are also having fun with fashion.
Skinnies, worn with tunics and cropped jackets quite often
LOTS of mid-calf boots; these are favoured by Beijingers over booties or boots or ballet flats or heels
Lots of wedge heeled pumps with decoration (e.g. sparkly buckles or bright colour)
Lots of wedge sneakers
Plaid pants on guys (not so much on women)
Fur and leather - TONS of it
A few photos:
Pics 1/2: Store windows in a working class neighbourhood bordering a fancier district. This is a chain store, not a special boutique. Clothes were not super expensive or high quality but were not terrible quality, either. They were getting into the autumn colours.
Pic 3/4: I got a kick out of this young woman fooling around in the Forbidden City. Her jeans almost have a jodphur look to them, though it is hard to see in the photo.
Pic 5: Some young men walking around the Hukou Lake area. I liked the plaid pants.
Pic 6: This young woman walked an incredibly long, steep staircase to get to the famous Drum Tower in her pink monster wedges. Look at her pattern mixing and bookending! She is a PRO! She gave me permission to take her photo.
Pics 7/8: We spent a terrific day walking in the 798 Art district where we saw two weddings.
Pic 9: Where we had lunch that day. SO good!
Of course, not everybody is dressing this way; you still see lots of people without the means or the interest to play with their manner of dress. But a huge number are experimenting, especially in the younger generation. And from the little I have seen I would say that the city is truly developing its own distinctive look.
I am now in Shanghai where the look is very different. Hope to post pictures of that very soon!
Those of you who have lived through some of my previous travel preparations will know that a). the prospect of a trip sends me into a panic, and b). the panic is largely wardrobe related!
Well, thanks to Angie and the collective wisdom of YLF I feel as if I'm in much better shape for my trip to China and Vancouver than I've been for any of my previous trips and I don't even need to post any "what to wear" questions.
In truth, I'd love to show you some of my outfits (and see them myself through the camera's eye) but there just isn't time. So I'll hope to get pics from the road and I guess I'll learn what needs improvement that way.
In the meantime, this is a VERY challenging trip to pack for because we'll experience a wide variety of climate conditions, (everything from below freezing to 30 degrees C, potentially). We can only take one bag plus a small carry on each, and we will be away for a long time AND doing a variety of activities.
Even so, I'm feeling relatively good about what I'm bringing and confident it will carry me through.
For this trip, I took the wise advice of some of our members and wrote down each ACTIVITY that I know I will be doing. I then came up with a potential outfit for that activity for two temperature ranges.
Obviously, layers are key to this, and that's the mainstay. So I need a lot of mix and match possibilities. Fortunately, my closet is finally becoming more integrated and it has been easier to come up with those options than in the past. (Thanks YLF!)
The main issue is footwear. I need a lot of different kinds! So that takes up room in the suitcase.
Here's a sampling of what's going in the bag. Will it all fit? Stay tuned to find out!
Some YLF items of note:
The MaryK wonder scarf (yay scarf twin!)
The Portobello skirt (waving to Shannon, skirt twinnie!)
The waxed denim moto (waving to Ariadne!!)
The Ann Taylor silk leopard shirt (waving to Shiny, Ann, and Vix!!)
The DV booties will be on my feet (waving to Una!)
The Brooks Brothers white shirt (waving to Angie...oh, and I have a story to share about that eventually, too!)
Just in time for Angie's blog post, here's today's look.
I am wearing:
Gap cable knit sweater (a mere $8.99 on sale!)
Ann Taylor silk leopard print shirt (for which I splurged and paid full price)
Suede pencil skirt (from consignment, $7 plus a small alteration fee to narrow it)
And because I promised to add this for the winter, the coat shot: VC colorblock pea coat.
Though I am a bit leery with my short legs wearing booties and bright tights, this nevertheless feels very "me." Happiness factor a 10.
Thank you for looking and comments & critiques welcome.
It's a bit dark today so you may not see a lot of detail, esp. with the coat. Grrrr.
I SO wish my mum would have let me take her picture, but you'll have to use your imagination. Note, she has silver white hair and rose-gold glasses.
A silver, blue, white, and black paisley blouse in satin I'd bought her about five years ago.
A purple and black tweed jacket from Laura Petites
A purple, fuchsia, blue, silver, white "cocktail" ring
Pearl earrings and pearls
Pink nail polish
The blouse showed a bit below the jacket and at the neckline for a really interesting and unexpected pattern and texture mix
The only thing missing was the booties that she still wants...but probably really shouldn't wear, at least not with the heel she keeps talking about! (I have heard mutterings about stilettos....don't forget she is 87 and broke her ankle and foot last year!)
My outfit was a lot less interesting by comparison. But you see, these taupes are getting a LOT of wear, as is Mary K's wonder scarf. For which I am endlessly thankful.
I'm back at home and ready to report on my Ann Taylor shopping experience.
The Good: The store is located on the top shopping floor of the Eaton Centre, nice and handy to all the other places you might want to visit such as BCGBMaxaria, J.Crew., BR, Zara, and Michael Kors (to name but a few).
The store is a goodly size. They don't have everything that is available online, obviously, but they do have a good selection that compares favourably to many US locations I've visited, and the petites section is a REAL petites section, with a considerable amount of stuff.
They also have accessories and shoes.
The service is pleasant and helpful. I particularly enjoyed the young Irishwoman who was helping in the dressing room area. The dressing rooms are comfortable.
Full price items cost exactly the same as in the US store. Returns with receipt within 60 days, which is useful for those of us who do not live in the city but do go there periodically. I could potentially buy something, change my mind, and still return it without charge.
The Less Good:
1. We can't order online in Canada...YET. They told me online ordering would be coming "soon" but they couldn't say when.
However, IF you know your size, you can now phone the store and they will deliver to you for $7.95 if they have it in stock. This is good for those who know their AT sizes.
2. Sales: nothing was on sale in the store, not even stuff that IS on sale right now online, and they would not honour a coupon I had. They said that Canada will have its own specials. Harumph.
In the end I bought two items at full price anyway, the gorgeous blouse that Shiny and Vix also have, and the pants I showed you.
So, I had the pieces (sort of) so this is what I did today. It looks better IRL (you'll have to trust me on that) because my tank doesn't look so darn purple. Also, my hair and scarf looked a lot better: I'd just lugged a bunch of things into the house and was in a bit of disarray.
Okay, so I don't have the cool cons or the gloves (not to mention the Hermes bag and designer scarf). But I DO have the YLF attitude!! :-)