Situated near the Chaoyangmen metro station, the Chaowai Yuexiu Clothing Market (朝外岳秀服装市场) has opened its doors in 2005, and its popularity increases among foreign visitors. For a city explorer, the Yuexiu Clothing Market is definitely a good venue to look for interesting Chinese souvenirs, silk and fabrics, and various accessories.
The market is neatly decorated, and well-lit. Past its entrance gate, an information desk greets and serves customers politely. Traditional Chinese style accessories, fashion sunglasses, and bags are sold on the basement. Business suits, T-shirts, and casual wear are on display on the 1st and 2nd floors. The 3rd floor is a colorful fabric world offering Chinese silk and handicrafts. Compared with other Beijing clothing markets, Yuexiu Clothing Market is more quiet and cleaner.
As I was strolling along the alleys, I noticed most clients were foreigners. Based on my observation, shop owners generally speak a little English or Korean.
On the 1st floor, most shops offer casual wear –mostly Korean fashion, but some stores offer traditional Chinese apparel and business suits. I entered a shop specializing in women’s shirts. Some of their items showed flower prints, some were designed with solid colors. The shop assistant told me their merchandise are manufactured in Guangzhou. I picked up a kind of shirt called Paopaoshan (泡泡衫) priced at RMB 80. White from a distance, the fabric actually featured a few thin lines in light colors. The shirt was accessorized with a pair of thin belts sewn at the bottom of each side to be knotted easily in a butterfly shape.
Besides modern apparel, you can also find traditional Chinese apparel such as Qipaos (旗袍), and Tangzhuang (唐装). I stumbled upon a shop which offered Qipaos in several colors like bright red, deep purple, light yellow, ocean blue, and matched golden lines. The shop owner recommended a red sleeveless, high-collar Qipao, ornamented with a phoenix pattern. In general, the length of a Qipao is over the knee. I found an interesting pink silk ensemble for babies aged 1 to 3, comprised of a frock and a pair of pants. It felt pretty soft and looked very cute. Prices for Qipaos were ranging from RMB 150 to RMB 400, and baby suits were selling for RMB 100 to RMB 300.
Go deeper in the 1st floor, and you will find men’s wear, especially business suits. I visited a shop with many suits on display. Since more and more foreign clients come to buy suits there, the shop offers large-size items. The main colors are deep grey, deep blue, black, and beige-mustard. I picked up a dark black wool suit. The fabrics felt thick, and the sleeves counted three black buttons. Its price tag was RMB 1500.
As the 2nd floor features fewer clothing shops, I went directly to the 3rd floor. On this floor, you feel immersed in a myriad of hues. The whole floor is Chinese fabrics. Near the elevator a shop attracted my eye for the variety of patterns and colors it had on display. As it turned out, the shop specializes in traditional Chinese scarves. The owner told me most of their products are machine-made, and some others hand-made. I favored an orange and blue scarf with a golden silk line peacock pattern. According to the owner, scarves designed with traditional patterns like phoenix, classical masks of the Peking opera, and peonies are very popular among Western customers. Their prices ranged from RMB 100 to RMB 400.
Down to the basement floor where numerous hand-made Chinese accessories are on display. I noticed an impressive series of red accessories: red wooden bracelets, a red thread necklace, and red pendants. One of the types of necklaces I saw was made of stones (玉石) which are given various shapes: Yuanbao (元宝 -- a kind of currency used in ancient China), Chinese zodiac signs, hearts, and Guanyin (a female Buddha). The woman working on shaping these stones before my eyes recommended a red wooden bracelet carved with flowers as a good luck charm. Prices for these handicrafts ranged from RMB 20 to RMB 300.
If you wish to rest a while, a Japanese-style noodle restaurant situated on the 1st floor serves delicious dishes and beverages. A few tea shops have also opened on the same floor.
Bargaining is recommended.
What I appreciated:
Chinese silk apparel, reasonable prices
What customers appreciate:
Reasonable prices, nice atmosphere
Pottery folk art
Muji, a way of life
Tailor-made Qipao at low prices
Don't miss sugar-coated haws while visiting Wangfujing