Asian Fashion Adventures: AIR SPACE

I packed a carefully-curated wardrobe for a weeks-long trip to East Asia back in June with just enough lightweight dresses and rompers (with a requisite laundry stop around the midway point) to outfit me for the length of the trip. After some advanced geometric puzzling, I managed to fit everything in a carry-on.

Unfortunately, I ended up switching accommodations several times during the first half of the trip, and no hotel was able to accommodate a shorter turnaround for laundry service. Worse still, my worst-case-scenario–hand-washing and hang-drying–wasn’t possible as I wasn’t staying put in one place long enough for anything to dry in the humidity.

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So the day after I landed in Taiwan–my last stop before returning home and where I was planning to spend about two weeks–I realized I could no longer put off the inevitable; I was an outing away from having to wear pajamas as outside clothes. And in addition to sending off the contents of my carry-on to be cleaned, I also went shopping for new clothes.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of fashion retailers in Taipei: one of the first stores that attracted my attention was AIR SPACE, a Taiwanese brand founded in 2003 which now has two dozen brick-and-mortars on the island and also a website that ships internationally. Their well air-conditioned stores are bright (blindingly and sterilely so) and inviting; even on a sleepy weekday afternoon, the store in Xinyi District was bustling with women (that look to be) in their 20s and 30s.

SA106 Oversized Cat Eye Sunglasses • Forever 21 Layered Medallion Necklace (similar here) • AIR SPACE Casual Smart Cooling Bra Curvy Dress (size S) • Salvatore Ferragamo Ginny Shoulder Bag (reviewed here) • Ann Taylor Liv Leather Block Heel Sandals (past season; similar here)

AIR SPACE’s offering, which is often shown on (impressively) buxom women, is a mixture of “sensual” basics that (more often than not) highlight an overt cleavage, swimwear with exaggerated bust enhancer pads, and “feminine” pieces with some flourish, all in highly-wearable solid Morandi colors. The brand aesthetic reminds me of House of CB, just made casual (i.e., without corset boning) for sub-tropical and tropical weather. While styles in the brand’s warm-weather collection often border on skimpy and the built in “bras” for many styles are comically padded (and non-detachable), with daily highs nearing 100°F and oppressive humidity, the thought of getting to wear just one “cooling” layer was too awesome to deny.

Sizes run S-3XL (but the plus size collection appears to be primarily a web offering), with the smallest size translating to about an XS or XXS in American mass market sizing. While none of the material used (mostly rayon, modal, and polyester) are premium, the workmanship generally matches the quality of mass market brands like Uniqlo and Gap. The price points are also all extremely reasonable (e.g., dresses and rompers under $50, tops under $30, etc.).

Once I was back stateside, I placed another order with AIR SPACE, which took about 10 days to arrive (I am on the East Coast) by airmail with standard shipping ($9.99 per order, or free on orders over $159).

While shopping online with AIR SPACE from the U.S. feels frictionless, should you need to return any part of your order, you will have to mail the items to Taiwan and prepay the shipping, which can get expensive when sent with tracking. IMO it’s the main drawback when ordering from a non-US-based company (other than the different sizing system, especially for alpha sizing).

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Have you shopped with AIR SPACE?

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