Shanghai women are remembered by the typical image of wearing cheongsam, with a linen handkerchief on side lappet and a sandalwood fan in one hand. Shanghai is the birthplace of modern cheongsam, and the “artisanal technique of Shanghai-style Cheongsam” is listed among the first batch of Shanghai Intangible Cultural Heritages.
So, how can a visit to Shanghai be called a visit without a date with cheongsam? Setting out from Shanghai Textile Museum with the echo of history on the road and heading for Changle Road and South Maoming Road for a custom-tailored and exclusive cheongsam, you will feel vividly the delicate life attitude of Shanghai.
Shanghai Textile Museum
It used to be the No.9 Shenxin Textile Factory, and is opened to the public as a museum exhibiting the changes and culture of Shanghai textile industry in the past 6,000 years.
When visiting the museum, there are six “most worth seeing” things:
1. The oldest fabric: Han clothing and Hu clothing on the Silk Road during the Western Han Dynasty. Though there are only the fragments after the long history, the details of the ancients’ dress more than two thousand years ago are still reflected.
2. The most startling exhibit: the pottery gauges in the Warring States period. The fabric texture looks fine and delicate. It is very rare even in the country.
3. The most valuable exhibit: a set of imported teak furniture used by Li Hung-chang in the plan of building the Shanghai Mechanical Textile Bureau in 1878. There are 12 square chairs around a long table.
4. The exhibit that is the most difficult to find: an old weaving machine. It is said that the Qing-dynasty old loom was passed for five generations.
5. The most beautiful exhibit: the “Shanghai School” Beijing Opera and Kunqu Opera costumes. They used a lot of real gold and silver. Although they lasted through the years, they still look as good as new ones.
6. The most precious exhibit: astronauts Zhai Zhigang’s space training suits.
Add: 128-150 Aomen Road, Putuo District, Shanghai.
Opening Hours：09:30 – 16:00 from Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Mondays, and the museum will also be closed for Chinese Spring Festival)
Cheongsam Street on Changle Road
The Changle Road, between South Shaanxi Road and South Maoming Road, is one of the most popular places to get tailor-made cheongsam. On this less than 200 meters street, there are several authentic cheongsam custom shops, such as Ligulong Cheongsam Shop, Hanyi Cheongsam Shop and Manloulan Cheongsam Shop. Every cheongsam shop stabilizes in this street with long decades, and is very trustworthy when you want a custom-tailored and delicate cheongsam, whether classical style or refined fashion style.
Cheongsam Street on South Maoming Road
Maoming Road, between Changle Road and Nanchang Road, is quite a famous “high-end tailored clothes street”, well known for cheongsams and Chinese-style clothes. The cheongsams sold here are infused with international style and attach more importance to the fashion elements. It is somewhere you can go to prepare your outfits before going to a party. The Leaves Fashion Cheongsam Shop on South Maoming Road is one of the popular destinations for ladies.
Special attention should be paid to fashion and fabrics when selecting a cheongsam. After that, the tailor will measure your size.
An authentic cheongsam should have symmetric collar and wristbands, and be straight in its vents and smooth in its lining.
It takes about 7 days to customize an ordinary cheongsam; for a cheongsam of a complex style with complicated embroidery, you may have to wait for 15 days or longer.