Our Shanghai

By 2019-12-11 13:23:00

As expats, we have all experienced the unnerving yet heady mixed feelings of moving to Shanghai. What will it be like? How will we survive? Do I need to get ten years’ worth of shopping done for the kids in my home country before moving? Will Shanghai have international brands I am familiar with?

And then we got here and realised that not only is Shanghai one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, it is also a thriving haven for both global and local labels that cater to a growing population of savvy shoppers.

This month, we caught up with the Hos, a Singaporean expat family who have called Shanghai home for the last seven years before they begin packing their bags to start a new adventure in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Kids Style


Emma Ho, seven, is a spirited little girl who is clearly animated in her passion for unicorns, ice-cream, and anything remotely related to sea creatures. Emma loves any attire that comes in varying shades of green, like teal or turquoise, or, when she’s in the mood, simply throwing on outfits that are mishmash pile of the entire rainbow. She’s a big fan of bright and pretty hairbands from Claire’s that her mum buys from Japan which she wears pretty much every day and even while somersaulting at her favourite gymnastic class. As she practically grew up in Shanghai, Emma will miss her friends and their one and only An Ayi who has worked for them since their arrival.

Thanks to Emma Ho for being our November model.

Girl's headband in carrot print, 28 RMB, 考味佳美达专卖店@Tmall

Girl's ballet pumps, 208 RMB, 鱼大宝前后院@Taobao



Nathanael Ho, or Nate as he is affectionately known, is a chatty and highly confident nine-year-old boy, evidenced by his nonchalant stance of donning a fancy bow tie while dribbling a basketball for this shoot. He sees it as doing his bid to support his friend “Aunty Jodi who reclaims kimono obi cloth from Japan into cute bow ties and cool bags that both my mom and little sister love too”. A dapper environmentalist no doubt, Nate gratefully attires in pre-loved clothes and, when the occasion calls for it, a stylish tuxedo, complete with carefully gelled hair and a suave grin. When asked what he will miss most once he leaves Shanghai, Nate briefly pondered before saying “I will really really miss my friends. And 小杨生煎 dumplings.”

Thanks to November model Nathanael Ho.

Boy's collared long sleeve tee, 69 RMB, @Tmall

Boy's handcrafted kimono obi bow tie, 250 RMB, www.etsy.com/shop/jodichome


Parent Style


Priscilla Phee, a certified Music Together teacher, is a bundle of excitement as she chats about her fashion style which is a marriage of thrift and whimsical items scored mostly from Taobao. Whilst she adores monochromatic shades, they won’t pass her test if they don’t come with uneven hemlines or a surprising detail that pops. Matte gold earrings from 莉莉饰品(lìlìshìpǐn)in Yuyuan market and handcrafted vintage kimono obi bags from JodiCHome are her current go-to accessories. Priscilla, who is sad to leave Shanghai, has these wise words for new expats, “Whichever country you relocate to, never compare with your home country. Keep an open mind and allow the country and its experiences to charm you.”

Thanks to Priscilla Phee, mother of two, who will miss Shanghai's convenience of shopping from her phone when she leaves.

Women's black skirt, 259 RMB, Urban Revivo

Women's hand crafted kimono obi bag, 900 RMB @etsy.com/shop/jodichome

Matte gold earrings, 45 RMB, KU KU 品质配饰 @ Taobao



Philip Ho, VP of Business Development APAC at Adidas, cuts a quiet figure next to his bubbly wife. When it comes to style, Philip absolutely loves blue on anything except polo shirts which he abhors. Adidas, Zara and Uniqlo are timeless brands that work for him. When asked to reflect his time in Shanghai, he said he will miss his weekly runs and date night walks with his wife along the safe and serene 滨江大道 (bīnjīangdàdào) where this photo shoot took place; it was unanimously picked by the family as their parting souvenir of the city. For working expats who are new to Shanghai, Philip advises learning and embracing Chinese culture and habits to help you appreciate life from a different perspective.

Thanks to Philip Ho, father of two who bids Shanghai farewell with renewed perspectives.

Men's shirt, 580 RMB, GAOSTUDIOS @Taobao

Trainers, 1199 RMB, Adidas

Men's watch, 2499 RMB, Zeppelin