Monday, 26 March, 2012 - 12:43

Tianjin... who are you wearing?

by Sarah Crack

I have always had a love for fashion and am currently embracing the new trend of snapping the unsuspecting ‘average Joe’ as they wander around town. The pavements of our high streets are now slowly becoming the new red carpet and ‘street style’ is definitely in. At home, in the UK,  I constantly find myself ‘people watching’ to gather style inspiration, whether having dinner, ambling down a crowded shopping street or even just popping out to the supermarket. This has not changed since making the move to the bustling city of Tianjin in China.

I did not really know what to expect when it came to Chinese fashion. I was slightly concerned that I would return home with an odd, yet eclectic mix of clothes purchases from the Chinese high street. However I have, for the most part, been pleasantly surprised. From what I have seen, the style here is unique and bold as well as being very cutesy, even if sometimes a little twee.  But all in all I am a big fan! The girls all dress up and make an effort whether they are going shopping, going to work or even going out for a messy Chinese hot pot. Kitten heels are very popular here…one slightly older lady was even attempting to climb the Great Wall in a pair of snazzy yellow heels! You see a lot of lovely dresses and knitwear in the shops. The Chinese love to use very cute designs on their clothing, usually involving teddy bears, hearts and various baby animals. The patterns are rather nice too, ranging from floral to polka dot. There is also a good choice for the male shopper and couples will often dress to match!

In China, anything goes when it comes to the way you dress and that is what makes a jaunt through the local area so fascinating. I have seen combinations of blindingly bright colours, animal prints, panda hats, the highest platform heels you have ever come across as well as diamond encrusted jeans. And visors (caps with no top) are very popular with the slightly older generation. There is however one thing that the Chinese do best…and that is to alter the English language to emblazon wonderful and nonsensical words over much of their clothing. I am determined to purchase at least one of these items before I return home, as well as a hoody, complete with animal ears.

I get a lot more people looking/staring at me here than I ever expected, although more for being blonde than for making any kind of fashion statement (I hope!). I often get photographed or ‘papped’, as I like to call it, whilst wandering through the city.


Do you like the sound of Chinese fashion? Which countries or cities have the best sense of style in your opinion? Why?

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