I was never a big H&M fan until recently, when I found a nice jacket in Shanghai (of all places). Since then, I've found myself walking into the HK outlets again and again, coming out with a couple of nice sweaters and another cool jacket in anticipation for the much cooler weather this time of the year.
However, having gone back to Shanghai and visiting the famed fabric market at Lujiabang Lu, I've decided that I may never need to shop at H&M or Zara or any other clothes retailer again. I might go to the shops to look for ideas but almost anything, and I mean ANYTHING can be made at the fabric market for a fraction of any retail cost. My first trip there was to make a nice winter jacket (the ones you see in all the nice magazines (think GQ and not FHM) but never ever thought about while living in hot and humid Singapore) - However, I was so amazed by the variety and quality that I ended up with that jacket plus another business jacket and two dress shirts.
The 2-ply dress shirts cost me RMB70 (around SGD15) each - Slim fit with french cuffs (the way I like it) and are exactly the same quality shirts that I make in SG for SGD100 to SGD120.
Yes, it's that cheap. And I've done my homework in HK (SGD60 per shirt) and even Shenzhen (SGD30 per shirt). Here's a picture of the winter outer-jacket I made for RMB480 (Just below SGD100). You can bet I'll be back there soon on my next trip up.