Cheongsams are figure-flattering Chinese dresses perfect for showcasing a woman’s features elegantly. It’s no wonder they are becoming more and more popular to wear, especially for special events like your wedding.
While there are almost too many options when shopping for a Western wedding dress, buying a Chinese wedding dress or cheongsam can be a frustrating experience. Where do you buy a cheongsam if you don’t live in Asia? Even if you purchase a cheongsam or qipao dress, where can you buy Chinese wedding accessories to complete your look? Luckily, we reviewed a comprehensive list of 6 places to buy a cheongsam or qipao dress and Chinese wedding accessories in our guide below.
East Meets Dress
As the first Asian-American brand for cheongsams, East Meets Dress is your best bet on modern designs that showcase quality craftsmanship. Their collection features a perfect blend of bespoke dresses that are customizable for special occasions and standard cheongsams for more casual events.
East Meets Dress makes your Chinese wedding planning easy with its extended collection of matching groom outfits, Chinese wedding hair accessories and Asian-inspired wedding favors. It’s your ultimate one-stop-shop for everything you need to plan a Chinese wedding.
The online shop also offers free shipping and easy returns within the US and their 5 star Google reviews attest to their focus on an amazing customer experience. You can reach out for customer support or styling advice via a variety of ways—email, phone, chat, or even text. You can also see their real-life brides and modern designs on their Instagram here.
Etsy is a popular marketplace for handmade or vintage items. If you're looking to find custom cheongsam or qipao dresses made by independent makers and dress designers, then we recommend checking out Etsy. Because each Etsy store has its own style, shipping and return policy, and overall quality, it will be up to you to search and filter for the right one. Nevertheless, some of the Etsy stores have an amazing collection of hand-crafted items that can be a great choice for Chinese weddings.
AliExpress is one of the most popular platforms if you’re looking to do some budget-friendly cheongsam dress shopping. You can expect the quality of their products to be much lower and custom sizing is typically out of their scope. However, you can still find some interesting accessories and favors that you might need for your Chinese wedding.
If you are considering shopping on AliExpress for your cheongsam dress, make sure you look at approved shops, since their product quality will be comparatively better than non-approved shops. Be prepared for the long shipping times and limited return policy, however. We recommend you choose a simple cheongsam dress style on the site to avoid quality issues, and expect to do some alterations when you receive the dress. If you have the right expectations going in, AliExpress can be a good budget-conscious option.
Cozyladywear is an online shop based in China that has a wide selection of cheongsam dress styles. Their prices are great for the budget conscious bride, though quality may vary depending on the style or design you purchase. Free shipping is available if you are able to wait 25-40 days for your dress delivery.
We recommend planning ahead when ordering from this site to make sure you have plenty of buffer time for any delivery or quality issues. Cozyladywear reviews are not easily found on Google or Trustpilot, but one-off reviews found on wedding boards feature mixed experiences from different brides. Communication is available, though it is limited to email when it comes to customer support. If you’re looking for a more stress-free shopping for your wedding dress, then you might want to consider going to a local shop or a more reliable online shop.
If you’re lucky to live in a big city, then consider taking a trip to your local Chinatown to see the cheongsam dresses in person. Nowadays, the number of local shops that carry traditional Chinese dresses like cheongsam and qipao dresses are declining, but you might still be able to find a few brick and mortar stores. If you live in the Bay Area, consider checking out the Chinatown in San Francisco, and if you’re in the New York City area, consider checking out NYC’s Chinatown or Flushing for your local qipao stores. For those in Los Angeles, you can always check out the bridal shops in Temple City to find a cheongsam.
These shops allow you to see and try on the dresses, to help you decide if a particular cheongsam style is right for you. However, their designs are often limited to more traditional sheath styles and sizing options can also be limited. If you’re looking for a modern design, then we recommend starting your search online instead. Communication (and haggling) is best done in Chinese in these Chinatown shops, so we recommend bringing someone who can help you negotiate for the best price. Consider taking a day trip to your nearest one, and you can even enjoy some lovely Chinese food as a bonus.
Shanghai and Hong Kong are international shopping hubs for cheongsam and qipao dresses. If you are willing to travel internationally to find your Chinese wedding dress, then consider a destination trip to one of these Asian cities. From luxury Chinese fashion brands like Shanghai Tang to several emerging brands, you'll be stunned by the collections available for Chinese wedding dresses and more casual cheongsam styles. If you’re looking to custom make a wedding cheongsam design or tailor to your size, make sure you plan to stay for at least two weeks, or plan for multiple visits back for the fitting sessions. Shopping internationally is a pricey affair, but if you have the time and money, you will not be disappointed.
When shopping for a cheongsam, there are many factors to consider—quality, budget, customer service, and convenience. We hope this guide helps you consider all your options of where to buy your wedding cheongsam so you can love the experience of getting a cheongsam as much as you love your cheongsam.