Second Thoughts: Hong Kong Grandma Shirts

05Jul10

Wandering around Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong’s mecca for textiles, I found rows of what I call “grandma shirts” – shirts local “mature” Hong Kong women wear during the day. I associate the look with shopkeepers, market sellers or women contemplating the bustling world from their doorstep. On closer inspection, some of the floral patterns and colors are quite attractive. Purple tones seem to dominate this season’s collection. The only downside I found was the synthetic feel of the fabric.

I surprised a saleswoman by asking to try out one of her long sleeved shirts. All the surrounding elderly women looked at me with curiosity. They asked if I wanted the matching pants. I declined. Matching head to toe never works. Maybe the reason why these outfits never make it beyond local fashion is this tendency to wear “le total look,” as we say in French.

Here is a snapshot of the long sleeve shirt. 35 HKD or the equivalent of 3.50 euros.

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2 Responses to “Second Thoughts: Hong Kong Grandma Shirts”

  1. It is amazing that they had your size, as you are a slim person. Why wouldn’t they do garments is cotton when it is so humid in HK?!? How can these ladies avoid perspiration in synthetic blouses?

  2. With my very limited Cantonese, it was hard for me to go beyond “do you have my size”! Like you, I don’t understand why they don’t opt for more breathable fabric. One guess is that synthetic material is more stain proof as these outfits tend to be worn for day to day chores (?). Will inquire on my next visit!


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