Buying children's clothes in Taiwan

My girl’s almost 4 and now growing like a beansprout.

We went to Chiayi over the weekend and had time to kill in Taichung, so my wife dragged us into Shinkong Mitsukushi to buy some kid’s pants. It was a real eye opener. There were a few cheap and tacky looking pairs for NT$1500 or so, but otherwise virtually every pair in the store was between NT$2000 and NT$2500. That’s US$60 or $70 for a pair of pants that she’ll outgrow in 6 months. And most of them looked like crap anyway.

Fortunately, my wife also recognized the insanity of the situation, so we walked out empty-handed. And god must be looking out for us, because the next day her sisters presented us with a huge bag of perfectly decent hand-me-downs from the 5 and 6 year old cousins. Sure, by age 16 no one wants to wear a bunch of hand-me-downs, but at age 4 they might as well be brand new. Our girl’s perfectly happy with them and so am I.

But if one doesn’t have a source of hand-me-downs in Taiwan, it would really suck buying kid’s clothes here. The local stuff is all polyester and emblazoned with too many giant counterfeit Minnie Mouse, Betty Boop, Hello Kittys, and the department store stuff is priced like gold.

So I finally understand why every time we go to the US my wife demands that we seriously stock up on children’s clothes. Taiwan apparently has nothing comparable, but in the US there are plenty of stores that sell good, decent looking, cotton, and even brand name, clothes very cheap – stores like JP Penney, Target, Marshalls, factory outlet stores, etc. Every time we go we’ll score lots of pieces of clothes for $5 - $10 each, or about 10-20% of the price in Taiwan.

Have others had the same experience?

Yep every time we go back to Ireland, we have to do a run to Penny’s, Marks & Spensers etc, not only for my 3 year old daughter but often for my wife’s sisters’s kid too. These clothes are all pretty good, made from cotton and in Spain, and pass all requirements per EU law

Here there are two types of clothing, expensive department stores which are usually brands that I have never heard and therefore cannot judge if expensive/cheap or of value; or cheap nasty night market clothes which can be very ke-ai for those who like to dress their kids up as binglong babies along with the bleached or permed hair. Who knows what chemicals make the hello kitty colors or what material is actually used as against what is stated on the label – if a label is present.

Hand me downs are great. They can look a little worn which to me is not a problem but is for my wife. The kid does not know the difference

Go to the market. My wife never spends more than a couple of 100nt per item buying kids clothes and there is a wide variety of choice.

I used to buy beautiful clothes for my daughter in Bangkok at a mere fraction of what they cost here. They were made by a local designer and of great quality. Now with the exception for a few odd items we buy a years supply of clothes when visiting Canada. Even when factoring the extra cost for taking an extra large suitcase, we pay much less than what we would pay for similar items here. No idea why quality clothing is so expensive in Taiwan.

I have several ways that I buy clothes. I buy lots when I’m home but I usually am there in the summer so there are no winter clothes available.

At the end of season sales I go to the department stores here and get some great deals, about 50-70% off.

I also shop online at places like Gymboree. Their clothes are beautiful but expensive. However if you wait about a month or two after a new collection comes out they go on sale up to 50% off.

My sister-in-law gets clothes at a store near where she lives in San Chong. All the clothes are Carters, Gymboree, Osh Kosh…for 199, 299…really cheap. Don’t know what the deal is, but she either sends by mail or with my parents back for my daughter when her daughter outgrows the clothes. I can give you more information if you want.


One of my friends works in a store here in Muzha that was opened to stock imported children’s clothes at reasonable prices, that is being bought in Canada and resold here. I bought quite a few things there that were fairly reasonable, for example nice 100% cotton long sleeved shirts not too bright for TWD290. Last night I was in the shop and my friend was lamenting their now tiny section of that kind of clothing. Why? Because customers don’t want that kind of 100% cotton not too bright clothing. They want shiny almost glow in the dark, at least five colors or it’s underwear polyester, and they will PAY for it, especially if the brand name is large. 1490 for an ELLE t-shirt is OK, 990 for a fleecelined denim jacket with a gymboree tag on the inside is not. So now one of my major sources of clothing for kids is not meeting my needs and I worry all the locals think my kids are out in their pajamas.

For little kids, our cityplaygroup rummage sale is a great place to pick up nice clothing. I personally have a HUGE box of clothing for boys and girls up to 3 years that I am offloading there, mostly brought in from New Zealand and like new. Once kids get bigger I guess you either give in and dress like the rest or insist on buying online and when you go overseas. (I for one am very sick of having to wait until I go home to get my own clothing, what I will I do when I get so old I can’t fly home anymore, will I have to wear those floral shirts with the golden buckles that are sold next to the dead chickens in the local market (which at 390 each don’t feel like a bargain to me) and those thick brown stockings that are just short enough to stick out from a polyester striped skirt?)

You can find Oshkosh B’Gosh clothes here at the Les Enphants stores. (light green elephant logo) There is also a Les Enphants outlet behind the old SOGO. Walking north on Fuxing from SOGO, in the direction of Breeze, I think you go two lanes and make a right. Now walk west down that lane until you see the Les Enphants store. That’s where they sell the previous season’s merchandise. I don’t care for the Les Enphants clothes will all those silly Pooh and Disney Baby characters but there are usually some Oshkosh clothes I like. There’s also an Oshkosh store at Asiaworld as you exit Ikea (if they haven’t moved).

Like asiababy, I’ve picked up some great bargains at our rummage sales, but those deals are easier to find for the kids 3 and under, I think.

I buy fewer clothes now because between DH, myself, and the inlaws, they have more than enough, and still only wear their favorites, which are sometimes the NT100 sidewalk finds :unamused:

We always bought my boy clothes at second-hand/thrift stores back in the States.

Can’t beat the prices there. And my boy grew out of those clothes quickly… no sense in buyin’ new stuff.

Sure, buying him thrift store clothes may be cheap. But one can’t put a price on the resulting lifetime of emotional trauma. :wink:

personally, I love hand-me downs, and thrift stores.
Vintage clothing on the cheap, and more often than not it’s well-made.
Soon to be the next fashion craze.

There is thrift store down by Guting Station, I think exit #7 (the exit by the fire station). I lucked out one day and found about 7 or 8 designer girls dresses gorgeous condition for NT80 apiece, along with a couple of dresses, a skirt and tshirt, brand new condition for as little as NT50.

I think the kids clothes must go very fast because I only saw nice kids clothes there once. They do have a stack of denims and racks of 80s prom dresses though. :laughing:

I don’t have kids, but most of my friends here (local and waiguoren) shop at Giordano and Net; good-quality, good-looking clothes and not overpriced like in the department stores (but definitely more than the market stuff…)

I went to Marks and Spencers here a couple of days ago, expecting to see a lot of expensive stuff. I was actually surprised, there were some items actually about the same price as NET, but definitely better quality. I got some good underwear and t-shirts for the kids, and the socks for me were even cheaper than what I would get in New Zealand. All the stuff we got was made in Italy.

Honestly, I really like the baby/children’s clothings here in Taipei but I don’t like to buy them. Because they’re just not worth buying… either they’re deformed and/or shrunk after a few washes & dries. Even if they’re brought from Les Enphants, Mothercare, etc. That really drives me nuts! So, my husband & I sort of given up on finding qulity clothings for our little one.
We’re better off stocking up on children’s clothings whenever we return to the states. You can actually buy good quality clothings (flame-resistant materials) for less than US$20.00/set.

We never buy baby clothes in Taiwan. It’s expensive and the quality is just not very good. We stock up on clothes for friends’ kids when we visit Taiwan and give them the clothes as gifts. People are always shocked when I tell them that my daughter’s entire outfit costs $1 or $2 (US currency). I buy her clothes at Old Navy. Twice a year, they have additional 50% off on clearance items. You can buy t-shirts, shorts and dresses for less than $2 each. We also buy clothes from Gymboree & Baby Gap outlet stores in the States.

You can go to the outlet stores in Tienmu around chung shan north rd. sec 6. My wife just came back with some nice dresses for the girls the other day and prices were around 200-300NT for 100% cotton stuff. Alot of it is export clothing and we have always found great deals up there.

We live in the USA now but still buy some stuff in Tienmu when we are here.

yeah, Tianmu sec 7 is good, as is Banana Jeans…

If it is cute cotton dresses you want, I make them! I sell handmade dresses for girls 3-8 years and I deliver for free to the American and European School in Taipei. Check for pictures and details

Just a heads up.
At least a couple of years ago there was a thing on the news about bright coloured clothes. Apparently some clever-heads had figured out that quite a lot of baby clothes from China and places were produced with a large quantity of nasty carcinogenic fluorescent additive in order to improve the luminous effect of the colour. According to reports of the time one of the worst was white. It is recommended to thoroughly wash all children’s garments before use, and to try and avoid bright colours when possible. I’m not sure how much of a simple scare factor that news was supposed to be or whether it was actually very true. You know how the news works these days.

Actually, that’s one of the reasons that some people buy clothes made of (or make clothes themselves, from) undyed fabric and yarn, or from those dyed with natural, safe substances. We recently imported some samples of undyed, naturally pigmented knit cotton fabrics which a local company is currently evaluating for use in their clothing production, for instance.