To cheongsam with disappointments

Yes, I am sorely disappointed with the cheongsam designs this year when I checked out the boutiques like Hana (cheongsam specialist) and Shanghai Tang. I had expected something special considering that Chinese New Year is a couple of months away. But it seems like the designers have either ran out of ideas or got lazy. At least Miz Apparels has a few decent looking ones.

When I was at Hana, I couldn’t believe such blah-looking cheongsams were displayed at its shop window.


The prints are not outstanding; in fact they are bordering on looking oldish. These dresses are more suitable for the grand dame.


Shanghai Tang doesn’t fare any better either with the availability of the above cheongsams in their boutique, at least in the one at Raffles City mall in Singapore. It’s the same old boring print.

Miz Apparels boutique is offering more cheongsam selections this year, and they are rather quirky with a ‘Roman Holiday’ feel about them.

I like the design with the red fabric on one shoulder juxtaposed against the cutesy animal and plant print. Note that this is a stiff fabric and may not drape well. (Update on 6 Jan: the dress is made of cotton and it’s not clingy like silk.)

This is a modern cheongsam design that works. It exudes youthfulness, and the bright red color exemplifies Chinese New Year and yet it is versatile. Whether you’re wearing it to a reunion dinner, visits to the relations, wedding, or cocktail party, you will stand out as the belle of the day.


Note the whimsical print, and the flower belt that creates a narrow waist for the wearer.

This combination from Alteration Initiative is strictly for the outrageous.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anybody. The cheongsam dress or top embodies subtle sensuality; it’s not meant to show so much skin.

I will be checking out more boutiques for cheongsams. So stay tune.

(Update on 23 Dec


Hana Fashion has changed it’s window display, but the design is same old, lace layering on a multi-colored fabric.


Lady Xiang ‘s window display of cheongsams seriously leave much to be desired. These are modern evening-wear cheongsams, but boy, do they look dated. Not outstanding at all.


7 thoughts on “To cheongsam with disappointments

  1. Hi! Thanks for the updates on the cheongsams! I’m trying to work myself to wear cheongsam this coming CNY, and your posts are great guides! Can I ask you, if I intend to get cheongsam online (there’re so many blogshops selling them), would it be relatively easy to alter? I’d likely have to get a slightly bigger one (rather than to risk it being too small) so I can alter it smaller. Will likely get sleeveless ones, as they’d be easier to alter than those with cap sleeves, right? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Shirley,

      Thanks for checking out my blog. Glad that my cheongsam posts are useful to you. I strongly encourage you to get a cheongsam, something that you not only wear during CNY but also for semi-formal and formal occasions.

      Regardless of whether you’re getting the cheongsam online or off-the-rack, the alteration depends on the seamstress doing the job. Yes, I do think that a bigger size and a sleeveless cheongsam will be easier to alter, but again a bad alteration can still screw it up which was what I experienced with Blum alteration service. So getting a good alteration job is key. Also remember to tell the seamstress to sewn in at least an inch of materials in case you require the dress to be upsized in future.


      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I’m a fan of miz too! And I hope to don on a cheongsam for baby’s first CNY while still working on that slow-burning post partum body. Urgh.
    That modern cheongsam might just work the curves you reckon? ;p

    • Miz Apparels have more cheongsam choices this year after they received favorable feedback from customers last year. There’re only a couple of straight-cuts and more choices of cheongsams with pleated bottoms. I’ll be showing a couple of the pictures in my next post soon. Anyway I bought the one with the whimsical animal and plant motif.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Hi!

    I bought a cheongsam online recently but the shoulder measurement is smaller than what is stated online. It’s made from stretchable linen and other parts fitted nicely.

    Do you think if there’s any alteration can be done on the shoulder?


    • Hi Cindy, I’m afraid I’m not suitable to advise you as I’m not an expert in tailoring. But if the cheongsam has extra fabric sewn into the seams, the seamstress can alter it to a bigger size to accommodate your actual measurement. I strongly suggest you take the cheongsam to a good alternative service to see if that can be done. Again I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting a good alteration, because you don’t want to end up with an ill-fitting dress and multiple trips, and still have to turn to another seamstress to correct the mistakes.

      Good luck!


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