An Observation Of Shanghai’s Fashion Fads

An Observation Of Shanghai’s Fashion Fads

Despite being someone who has very limited knowledge of fashion, it is still interesting to see what is trending, (or at least seems to be trending), among the locals of the most cosmopolitan city in China. From huge chunky wedge shoes and everyone carrying the same bag, to the slightly odd habit of men pulling their trouser waistband up around their stomach. I wonder what makes or breaks these styles and how they catch on.

It seems recently not a day passes by that I don’t see at least several people sporting one of these fashion items; some seem to have become long-term habit, yet every now and then a new one springs up.

Linkin Park T-shirts

Being one of the first foreign bands to make it big in China, Linkin Park has a huge fan base here, especially as a lot of their music is featured in popular films such as Transformers, as well as many online games. After their 2015 The Hunting Party tour in China their popularity has continued to grow; yet oddly it appears that it is the Minutes to Midnight logo that has stuck as the sought after fashion logo, despite this album being released a decade ago. Perhaps this particular logo can be printed very cheaply, or perhaps this is just the album that their Chinese fans continue to love.

McQueen White Wedge Shoes

These shoes are everywhere, whether they are fakes or the real deal they are a big hit. According to one Shanghai local these shoes are popular because the genuine McQueen’s are: ‘really expensive and not easily available as they are fairly limited, so it makes you look more fashionable and shows you have money.’ She continued to note that it seems people working in advertising industry especially like to wear these shoes. Other super popular shoes include: Stan Smith’s white tennis shoes, Puma’s slippers and Michael Jordan’s sneakers.


So many brands of bags seem to be hitting the streets of Shanghai recently; it’s hard to keep up. The most popular include: Issey Miyake’s Bao Bao silver triangle bags, MCM’s studded backpacks, Fendi’s monster-face backpacks, Fjallraven Kanken’s backpacks, Anello’s backpacks… the list goes on.

Phone Cases

The fashionable style for this accessory seems to be the cuter, the better. From phone cases in the shape of dolphins and rabbits to ones with straps and self designed graphics, you can find all sorts of designs. Though no one style appears to be dominating, it seems that a jazzy or customised phone case is a must.

China’s larger cities are well known for their expensive shopping malls filled with designer brands from Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger, to Versace and Louis Vuitton; and it is no secret that a lot of China’s younger generation are very fashion conscious. Shanghai has also hosted the Shanghai Fashion Week twice a year, every year, since 2001, and is home to many boutique clothes stores that can be found on the elegant streets of the French Concession area.

Shanghai has long been one of the fashion centres of the world, yet there a few trends that I’m not sure will ever quite make the runway. For instance, skin colored above-ankle socks frequently sported by Shanghai’s older ladies and the semi-graphic men’s printed t-shirts, are not exactly couture.

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