While living in Taiwan, I decided the one thing I really needed before I returned home was a qipao (a traditional Chinese dress). You know how it is. I wanted to get one that was kind of modern and also not too expensive. So one Saturday my friend Emily and I headed off to Wufenpu (pronounced Woo Fen Poo), the largest outdoor market in all of Taipei. It is HUGE. Think of the largest shopping mall you know, and then picture it all on one floor with fabric instead of walls, bags of clothes instead of racks, crazy tiny mazes of paths, and so much clothing, shoes and handbags that you have no idea where to look. I hate to think how many tourists have gone missing in this labyrinth.
So obviously Emily and I didn't get lost. Hooray! And as a bonus, I also found this awesome qipao, which believe it or not is an XXL (yes, Taiwanese women are tiny!)
I've worn it a few times, mostly to fancy dress parties. Actually, come to think of it, it's what I changed into after our wedding reception when Luke and I were heading off, so if you like it was also my "Honeymoon outfit."
When I was at university studying Asian Studies, I actually wrote a paper on Chinese women's clothing and researched the qipao. I'd like to highlight how it really displays the female form, while being conservative with its high collar (and traditionally its length). What I didn't realise, though, was how bloody uncomfortable they are! I literally cannot bend in this dress, and after a while I feel like my arms are going to drop off just below the sleeves due to lack of circulation.
But do you know what? It's pretty. And I still love it, despite it being something of a torture device.
So here's me wearing the qipao before heading off to a "Dress as your ethnicity or whatever ethnicity you would like to be" party.
Qipao: Taiwanese market
Believe it or not, these little white kitten-heel sling backs are actually the shoes I wore to my high school debutante ball when I was 17. I fell in love with them at a shoe shop in Sorrento, Victoria, Australia.
Until next time :)