So here’s a dilemma… finding affordable and age-appropriate clothing for teens and tweens in the +852. We all know Hong Kong loves a luxe label, and often leaves the high street shamefully lagging, but we also know that not everyone’s allowance stretches that far! But if you’re in the know, there are some pretty hot teen and tween shopping destinations right here in the ‘Kong! Mama’s credit card and shopping goggles at the ready; it’s time to have some fun and stretch that plastic… wherever you are in the city!
Top row: polka dot denim shorts and sleepwear, both Cotton On;
Middle row: crystal Alice hairbands, neon hair extensions and neon shopper, all ALAND;
Bottom row left: funky sportswear, Cotton On; Bottom right: rows and rows of skinny legging pants at Uniqlo.
Causeway Bay has to be one of my favourite shopping destinations for teens and tweens, with one of the best concentrations of youth-friendly shops in one area. And this is largely thanks to Lee Theatre Plaza, which should be your first stop! Here you’ll find UNIQLO – great for affordable separates with leggings in a good range of colours and prints at $199, plus denim shorts and minis also at $199. For when it cools down, they also have fab quilted gilets in a superb colour palette including popping pinks and purples, and the lads are well catered to here, with denim and funky printed tees galore.
Then it’s off upstairs to ALAND – somewhere I’ll also be visiting again (just for me!) with its quirky Korean designers showcasing (on the most part) affordable clothes, a good range of funky accessories and even fake fluoro hair extensions! If you’re familiar with Urban Outfitters in the UK and the US then you and your t(w)eens will love this store.
And if there’s still room on the credit card, keep heading up the escalator to Aussie fave Cotton On. We’re loving their fab gym gear, cute underwear and nightwear section, affordable denim, graphic tees, vests, shorts and great slouchy jersey pants. The boys can stock up on practical pants, accessories and some smart shirts, along with logo tees, undies and other basics. Phew!
After that little lot, the purse strings may be feeling the strain, but don’t forget that just over the road at Times Square there’s the ever-trusty ZARA – in particular look out for the more affordable TRF label, and the basics line.
From there, head over to youth-oriented super brand Forever 21 for more on-trend outfit solutions, including bodycon print dresses, short shorts, crop tops, playsuits, micro minis, more of those slouchy pants plus cut-out dresses, trinkets and treasures – all at prices that won’t bust your allowance (or mama’s credit card for that matter).
According to my teen specialist, another store not to miss for girls and boys alike is Hollister at Lee Gardens, and if you can’t be bothered to make the trek up the road it can also be bought online – rare in this e-commerce wasteland of Hong Kong! See below for more info on the brand.
And if you still have energy (mama may be lagging by this point, and so too might the credit card, so tread carefully and maybe offer to buy her a latte,) check out Island Beverly at 1 Great George Street, which is packed with quirky little stores for fab one-off pieces of clothing and accessories.
Top and middle row: all ZARA. Bottom row: all TOPSHOP.
Starting at the IFC, ZARA has to be your first port of call, and also check out the menswear section for some smart basics. After a whip round there, you can then pop over to Brit high street winner Accessorize to stock up on cool jewels and affordable bags for the girls.
With the IFC done and dusted (alas, more affordable shops are sorely lacking in the mall), head over the walkway to Pedder Street and follow the heavy scent to Abercrombie & Fitch, where mamas can appreciate the honed male physique on the door, while their sons and daughters soak up the nightclub vibe without being asked for ID! A&F is all about the preppy look, but unfortunately the price tags aren’t all that student-friendly, but – as with all these places – grab some inspiration and find it cheaper elsewhere!
From A&F pop over the road to Marks & Spencer… yes, a surprise appearance! My tween insiders assure me that M&S is great for affordable jewellery and heels for young fashionistas (and you can grab a bag of Percy Pigs to keep your energy up along the way!).
Just up the road is another branch of Cotton On – albeit a smaller version than the Causeway Bay flagship, and from here, head back down on to Queen’s Road Central and cross over the road to good old GAP, which is always worth checking out for staples such as denim, pants, shorts in great palettes and prints. They also have regular sales and their bright accessories add a pop of colour to any ensemble.
Next, make your way to The Lanes (Li Yuen Streets East and West), which are packed with fab accessory finds and some very affordable clothing options too, although be prepared to roll up your sleeves for a good rummage!
From the Lanes pop back onto Queen’s Road Central to hit up Seed for some of the coolest teen and tween wear in town… but proceed with caution as it ain’t cheap! You can easily blow your allowance here, or alternatively why not persuade mama to brace herself in the name of Holy Chic?!
If you’re still thirsty for fashion head down to hot newcomer TOPSHOP – this may not be not as wallet-friendly as Cotton On, but it will tantalise the teen purse strings, with plentiful pops of neon, dashes of tribal print, the oh-so important crop top, short shorts (naturally!) and even a jumpsuit or two! But more importantly splurge on playsuits, affordable polyester separates and of course – every teen’s staple… denim. No sign of TOPMAN yet, but watch this space…
Olympian City 2
Top row left to right: vinyl skirt, $159 Bershka; Zebra print shoes, $349 and gilet with faux fur collar, both Stradivarius; Bottom row left to right: faux leather jacket, $249 Pull & Bear; bodycon dress with faux leather panels, $359 Stradivarius; and tartan trousers, $399 Pull & Bear.
Even if you’re a Hong Kong-Islander through-and-through, Olympian City 2 is definitely worth an MTR trip, especially for the girls! Take the Tung Chung Line (the orange one) to Olympic and take Exit D to teen heaven, with fab labels all under one roof. Head for the ground floor of Olympian City 2 where you’ll find the likes of H&M and Accessorize, but also Bershka, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius… all within a stone’s throw from each other.
I have it on good authority that Bershka is rated for its heels, as well as its affordable on-trend clothing, including skinny jeans from just $159 in a good range of colours. There are plenty of quirky and very “in” prints, plus fashion-forward faux leather detailing on lots of designs, and cute minis. Pull & Bear offers more on the same theme for the girls, with the best bargain buys being fitted faux leather jackets at a mere $249, plus jeggings at only $149, along with some very affordable accessories. They also have a good section of togs for the guys, including print sweatshirts and tees, cool casual shoes and backpacks that are school-friendly and stylish.
Stradivarius is also a must, with youthful styling and skinny sizing! The spotted red coated skinny jeans for $199, a black bodycon dress with faux leather panels at $349, and a gilet puffa with faux fur collar at $359 were stand-out faves… oh, and leggings at $129 and some great accessories – bang on the (pocket) money!
If you’re hankering for more, there’s good ole M&S (for those aforementioned heels and jewels) and Quiksilver and Roxy for holiday essentials… bikinis from $240, little swim shorts in fab prints and colours from $239, a good selection of flip flops from $158, plus maxi and mini cover-ups for every beach emergency. Boys will get beachwear, boardshorts and tees that’ll have them channelling their inner Aussie surfer in no time!
Also check out Lids for funky headwear and CPU next door for metallic baseball boots at $359, before heading upstairs to check out Uniqlo, along with a fine selection of sporting shops, including New Balance, Reebok, Marathon Sports, Adidas, and teen favourites such as Converse and Sketchers.
One word of caution: check store opening times if planning to go in the morning as some don’t open until midday!
If you’re in Mong Kok, Monki at Langham Place, along with H&M next door and GAP a few doors down the road all offer a quick hit of tween-friendly fashion.
Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung are great for bagging sportswear bargains from the likes of Nike, Puma, New Balance, Adidas, and Quiksilver, to name but a few.
Back on the Island my tween expert suggested Wing On for girls’ party outfits, as you can usually find something worthy of a tween party for under $300. While you’re in this neck of the woods Sincere also gets a mention for its good shoe shopping options for younger adults.
And finally for Southsiders, Stanley Market is another great spot for junior shopportunities, with some great accessories to be bagged including RayBan-inspired shades.
And if you’d rather not traipse anywhere at all, then here are some great teen and tween shopping options – all from the comfort of your very own armchair… and it’s oh-so-easy to spend, spend, spend!
Above: From the “Youth” range at American Apparel.
If you sign up now to American Apparel’s mailing list you’ll get 15% off your first order, which may help with the shipping charge of $115 (shipping takes 8-10 working days). Check out their affordable Youth range (above) for tweens up to 12 years of age. Then it’s every teen for themselves on the rest of the site! I’m loving the Disco Collection but not the prices! Alternatively, shop in person at their LAB Concept store in Queensway Plaza.
Wonder retailer ASOS gets the teen seal of approval too – especially with its free worldwide shipping.
Above: SoCal stylist looks from Hollister.
Not many know that the aforementioned teen fave GAP has its own Hong Kong website, with cheap (although, alas not free) shipping, and fast delivery.
“Bettys” and “Dudes” get ready to load up at Hollister online as it’s free shipping on orders of $1500 and up. As the sister brand to Abercrombie & Fitch it’s a cross between laidback beach teen cool with a bit of preppy thrown in for good measure… so whether you’re warming up, cooling down or just chilling out, Hollister ticks the teen box!
Mango may be gone from our malls, but gets a mention here for its not-very-well-publicised Hong Kong website. Shipping is free on orders of $1500 and up, and although prices aren’t always terribly teen friendly, this is a great option when the sales come a-knocking.
Old Navy – GAP’s more affordable little sister – is a go-to fave of stateside youngsters, with the likes of its rockstar jeggings and other affordable cool looks up to the age of 13 for both boys and girls. But beware, as shipping is not free and can be costly… $292 shipping for a $125 pair of jeans… ouch!
If shipping is curtailing your shopping then you might prefer Next, where shipping is free and arrives in Hong Kong in just 3 working days. Next’s girls and boys range goes up to 16 years of age, which is pretty remarkable. Do note that prices on the Next website are in US$… otherwise you may be in for a shock when the credit card bill comes through!
And finally, over at UK high street fave River Island it smells like teen spirit, with the hottest styles from a size 6 up, edited from their women’s trend-setting pieces (check out their recent collaboration with Rihanna!). For the boys it’s all about print tees, denim and off-duty essentials… these pieces are a teenage dream! There’s a flat rate shipping fee of approx. $120 and it takes up to 10 days.
Above: All from River Island.
So, mamas, credit cards at the ready! Our fashionistas in the making are now armed with a plethora of shopping options (sorry about that!).
And an extra-special thank you to Jamie (15), Sarah (13) and Tilly (9) for your top shopping tips for teens and tweens in the ‘Kong.