When I started to pack for China, I had a big question: What is it like to go shopping in China as an average American woman? I had so much trouble finding information on it, that I’ve done some experimental shopping trips on my own in China! So here I am, back with results.
Here’s my size range: I’m usually an American 10-12 (medium to large depending on the brand) in clothing and a 10/EUR 41 in shoes!
Different Stores, Different Options
I’m almost always looking for the biggest size they have, even at my old standby store, H&M. The size runs at stores I’m used to seem different than what’s available in Europe or America. However, I have had luck finding bigger sizes at Uniqlo!
Mom & Pop Stores
I haven’t found anything in my size, unless I start opening my mind up to men’s clothes 🙁
I haven’t had any luck with dresses, pants, or skirts, but I’ve found 2 boxier, oversized tops that I like. My strategy on entering these stores is to look at all the tops, picking up only the ones that look enormous compared to the others.
Top 3 Takeaways
- An American size medium is a size XL in China, and many stores don’t carry XL, so overall I’ve had trouble finding clothing I like.
- Even though the size runs in China are very limited, and I’d say the average Chinese person is smaller than the average American person, the size runs that I see of actual women in China are not as limited as the typical size runs would imply.
- I have 2 choices when it comes to shoes: men’s or Taobao.
Stores I’ve Had Success With
H&M (size L)
- This is where I’ve bought the bulk of my new summer clothing. If you’re looking for a trendier version of a basic, it’s a good option. Prices are equal to Western H&M.
Decathalon (size L)
- Great for leggings, shorts, basic t-shirts, and sweatshirts! It’s a sports-oriented store, and a massive one at that. Prices are very affordable (about $12 for a pair of leggings).
Wal-Mart (size L)
- Ew. I honestly despise Wal-Mart, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and somehow Wal-Mart has weaseled its way into the Chinese market.
I hope this gave you a bit of insight on what it’s like to go shopping in China as an average sized American woman! Happy shopping!
Thanks for reading 🙂 Talk to you soon,
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