This dress cost me, no joke, $5 HKD, which at the time roughly translated into about $0.75 USD. And it wasn't even used. I'd heard stories of the fantastic shopping to be had in Hong Kong, but I don't think I was a believer until this. I was wandering around the stalls of the famous Ladies Market at Mong Kok, rifling through racks of cheap imitation handbags, sunglasses, etc. I don't really know what possessed me to go through the stalls to the physical storefronts that lined them on either side. There I found roast ducks hanging in the windows of greasy-spoon eateries, and electronic shops blaring loud Cantonese music, and a couple of nondescript stores with crude handwritten signs atop plastic clothing carousels.
I think I saw the sign for $5 HKD first and blinked, and looked harder. At first glance it seemed the stuff on the racks was as junky as the price. But when I looked closer, I saw quite a few pieces that were actually pretty cute, and when I reached out and touched them I realized they were made of some quality material. I grabbed one, then two, and before I knew it I had a dozen dresses in my arms, all different shapes and colors, none costing more than about $15 HKD. I tried each one of them on, which took forever.
The dresses were old-timey, very old-fashioned in their cut, but somehow charming in their little details, fabric, and style. I couldn't resist. As it turned out, the store gathered overstock from Japanese clothing manufacturers and sold it for dirt cheap on the streets of Hong Kong. And knowing the Japanese, that helped explain the attention to detail and quality of the clothing.
I walked away that day with about 6 dresses and 2 shirts for about $15 USD. Not bad for a day's work!
- Thrifted vintage-inspired dress
- Random grommet belt I got for $3 on Canal St. in NYC
- Tommy Hilfiger wedge sandals