The Anxi Clothing Market (AKA ‘The Ironic Sweater Market’) is, for want of a better word, awesome. It’s like a smelly old cave of smelly old wonders, selling a mix of vintage, fake designer and second hand clothes. I can’t big it up enough but god help me, I’m going to give it a go.
"Picture the Fake Market, and then forget it totally because it's nothing like that."
It’s calm. It’s pleasant. It’s civilised. No one gets all up in your grill, no one pushes the hard sell, in fact… no one really seems to notice you at all which is pretty nice. You can barter on the prices, but half the time the stuff is so cheap you don’t feel like you’re being ripped off anyway.
Having been there for the first time last week, I returned with a couple of friends and a pocket full o’ cash at the weekend. Despite them living in Shanghai for years, the guys I went with had never heard of Anxi Clothing Market. By the end of our spree (and it really was a spree; we had to go and buy huge laundry bags because our backpacks were nowhere near big enough for all of our booty) they were so into the place that they vowed to never shop anywhere else again. Yeah. It’s that good.
So… The clothes. Oh the clothes! Each stall is pretty different. Some are really out there, stocking eccentric and old school jumpers (I guess that’s where the name of the market came from) and others are rammed with fur coats and leather jackets. There are dresses, shirts, trousers, hats, tops… I could go on but we’ve all got things to do and even thinking about it is getting my heart rate up. My mate bought six, yes SIX, scarves for 20RMB. I stocked up on woolly jumpers for the winter (5 for 230RMB) which I will be sporting from now until April. You couldn’t prize them off of me if you tried. So don’t try. Just get down there and buy your own, alright?!
Another great thing about the market is that it does a huge variety of men’s clothes which you can’t always find in Shanghai. Some are vintage, some aren’t. There’s hoodies, joggers, jeans and jumpers and, for the more daring amongst you, quite a large array of leather trousers. Tasty.
The market is big. In fact it’s so big that is spills into two markets facing each other. When you do go down there make sure you set aside a few hours and be prepared to get stuck in and have a rummage around. Trust me - you will never look back. Well, except maybe to the 80’s where loads of the clothes that you are definitely going to buy will probably be from.
Address: 1355 Kaixuan Road, Changning. (About a 5 minute walk from Hongqiao Metro station, exit 6.)