What to Wear in Shanghai

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General Style Tips

  • Shanghai people are more trendy that their counterparts in Beijing.
  • Do not wear sneakers or jogging pants in smart restaurants here.
  • Older people tend to dress more conservatively than younger people.
  • Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime as you will do a lot of walking.
  • Leave your swimsuit at home it's very unlikely that you will use it, unless your hotel has facilities.
  • It’s not easy to buy western sizes in clothes in Shanghai because the Chinese people of the south are smaller than their northern compatriots, so pack accordingly.
  • Also see What to Wear in China

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Shanghai is very fashionable and has adopted western styles, but leave shorts and revealing tops at home.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • As with elsewhere in China, remember no green hats!
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • Spring - March, April and May - is also the rainy season and you can expect rain everyday, so pack a lightweight raincoat.
  • Clever layering is the key to dressing for changeable weather.
  • The summer months of June, July, August and September are hot, and it’s a time when you can expect hurricanes too.
  • In winter (December, January and February) dress up warmly, with layers and take a warm smart coat and warm scarf, ear muffs and a hat. It will be cold and it will rain, although it rarely snows. Hotels and guest houses don’t have central heating here, and the cold, damp weather can make it really uncomfortable inside as well as out; make sure you have something warm to sleep in.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • Never, ever drink the tap water. Consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles and money.
  • Bathrooms are not a great experience anywhere in China and Shanghai is no exception, even in smart-looking malls. Carry toilet paper and hand sanitiser in your day bag.
  • Be sure to pack your dental floss and deodorant too, as they are not easy to buy.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (220V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized. You can use packing cubes to compress the volume too.
  • And a lightweight shoulder bag or day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.    
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance.

Last updated 20 March 2019.

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Pack Right

  • Less baggage to carry
  • Save money on baggage fees
  • Respect local cultures

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