change of scene

maoming road

i'm going to Shanghai for a year. the last time i was there, i spent a lot of time strolling around and exploring all the small boutiques near Maoming road, Tianzifang and the old French Concession neighborhood. i'm really excited about what i'll discover about the city and its ever-changing spaces this time. there is something unique about every city, and Shanghai can be very intense in the contrasts of its sensory ambience - the smells, the frenetic rhythm of everyday life, the particular din of the rush hour traffic...yet all of this can quickly fade away when you duck into a teahouse or a tiny shop in one of the quieter neighborhoods. in the past, i've often gone in the summer, so i'm also very much looking forward to scoping out the street styles of chic Shanghainese in the fall and winter months.

some more inspiring photos from the excellent blog shanghai style file:

 Shanghai designer Helen Lee outside her boutique
paper birds inside the Helen Lee boutique - they remind me of Charlie Harper's illustrations
a street style snap of Sonia Tay - i love her printed tunic!

have you ever been? do you have any suggestions for great spaces and places to check out?


  1. The last company I worked for was headquartered in Shanghai and Silicon Valley. One year I went 7 times - but we were in Pudong. Very pedestrian. I found Shanghai difficult, the pollution took its toll. But I think living in Puxi is very different. And to be young in Shanghai, with any desire for nightlife, would be fantastic. Besides, there are always the dumplings at Din Tai Fun.

  2. Oh, and congratulations! I hope you have a wonderful time.

  3. Woohoo! So excited for you!! I'd love to travel East. I've made it to eastern-ish Europe and that about it.

    Hope you have spectacular time and can indulge the rest of us with your adventures. :)

  4. That is awesome to hear! Urban Tribe on Fuxing Lu. Affordable food and great coffee at Jamaica Blue (my favorite branch is the Wulumuqi outpost). I'm excited for you!

  5. Hello Sophie!
    I discovered your blog last week and went through pretty much every page. You and Dead Fleurette have really inspired me to hone down my style and buy less with better quality.

    I can't believe you'll be in Shanghai for a year! I live in Hong Kong so if you do ever stop by, let me know. And here's a blog that I also read- she covers a lot of stores in Shanghai:


  6. Congratulations! I've only been to Shanghai for a couple of days, so I don't have much input to give. The weather in summer was a lot like Tokyo or Dalian (my hometown, but it's on the opposite side of China's east coast--up in Manchuria), which means lots of humidity and lots of time for clothing to dry (give it about 2-3 days when there's no sun out) as dryers are not the norm in day-to-day Chinese life. I don't know what your living conditions will be like, but there may be a chance that you will not have a washing machine either so that might be something you'd keep in mind when packing things that are difficult to hand wash (like jeans!). Also, you might want to consider whether you can hand wash something to your satisfaction like white clothing.

    Because Shanghai is in Southern China, there is some chance that there will not be any heat in the winter. I've only been to China once during the winter time and the winters were much colder than anything I've ever experienced (but, then again, I was a hop and skip away from Russia). It is my understanding that Shanghai is pretty cold in the winter as well--and, furthermore, it's kind of a 'wet cold,' which is far more miserable than the 'dry cold' we tend to experience in most American cities. I would suggest investing in a down jacket and a space heater!

  7. LPC: that's so cool that you've been so many times! i haven't been to pudong much, but i imagine it's gotten a massive makeover since the expo last year. the city is vibrant enough; it makes up a bit for some of the pollution and hopefully greener initiatives will reverse some of the smog in the near future. i don't think i've ever been to Din Tai Fun, will have to check it out! :)

    Eva: certainly! :) looking forward to style adventures and more inspiration!

    V: oooh i've been to Urban Tribe! that shop is seriously amazing. there are some great shops on fuxing rd. i wonder how many new ones have sprung up now. thanks for the rec on Jamaica Blue - i'll defnitely have to check it out. random, but i kind of love the way the locals say 'ulumuqi rd'. just rolls off the tongue.

    Sam: aww thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! :) it's great to share and mutually inspire one another in our style network. i'd love to hear about your style evolution.

    i've never been to HK save for a stopover...HK airport is awe-inducing enough. i'll let you know if i plan a little jaunt to HK this coming year!

    0000: thanks for the suggestions and tips! i've always wanted to go to Dalian, i've heard it is incredibly beautiful. thankfully my apartment will be a nicely furnished one with heat/AC and a washing machine and space to hang-dry clothing. otherwise i have no idea how i'd function wardrobe-wise!! ironically i think not having a dryer makes it easier to care for my jeans and other items that would be easy to accidentally shrink!

    and yep on the shanghai winters. i'll definitely be bringing my parka, and my RC boots will be put to good use. i'm glad there isn't snow and slush actually. even though the damp cold gets into your bones, it makes it a lot less hard on your shoes when you don't have to worry about salt stains and abrasive ice!

  8. I've never been to Shanghai but a friend of mine lives there and from what I can tell she loves it. Pretty cool that you can live in another city for a year I am envious!!

  9. Congrats Miss Sophie. Shanghai is an exciting city and I am sure you'll have a lot of fun there.

    BTW, I love you pick of shoes. Functional yet very chic! :-)

    Can't wait to read your posts from Shanghai!

  10. Wow, I would love to travel to Shanghai!! I'm also following a blogger who moved to Shanghai like a year ago. She's writing in German, but tells a lot about the places, especially restaurants she goes to and posts wonderful pictures, makes want to go abroad right away!!


    Have a nice journey and a great time there! and of course, tell us about your experiences!!

  11. so exciting! have you ever seen that wong kar-wai film "in the mood for love"? the qipaos in that movie are *stunning* and were apparently made by a tailor in shanghai. if i were you, i'd get a few qipaos made while you're over there!

  12. How exciting, congratulations! I've never been there, but I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

  13. That sounds amazing! I hope the internet block in China won't prevent you from blogging though!

  14. This sounds so exciting! I wish I could help, but alas I've never been to Shanghai. Hopefully you'll post photos of your adventures. Image overload will be more than welcome.

  15. I've been wondering where you were moving. Wow, that's going to be fantastic. I've never been, unfortunately, so i can't provide recommendations.

  16. So very exciting, I can't wait to hear about your experiences in Shanghai! I've only visited maybe twice for only a few days each time. I visited a friend of mine who was working there, and apparently, there's a rather large expat population. And a very lively nightlife!

  17. how exciting!! i have never been to shanghai. i look forward to your posts from there!


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