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Where to shop in Singapore
If you’re a local don’t get mad but compared to many other cities, Singapore is kind of horrible for shopping, even in spite of it being crammed with malls. For those moving there for work or staying long-term, it’s a tough adjustment and shopping online alone seems to be the fall back for many (ouch, those import fees!). If this is you, it means you’re missing out on the rare but great retail experiences. The retail scene has made quite a headway in the last few years with multi-brand retail spaces, a focus on artisan shops, pop-ups and beautiful lifestyle stores. A few years since running around the city, scouting out new shops to add to Time Out’s listings, I’ve built up a personal arsenal of favourite boutiques and brands. So here’s my round up of my five of the best local brands in Singapore.
Eclecticism boutique is Singapore’s answer to Revolve, stocking similar brands like Free People, Lovers Friends LA and The Jetset Diaries. You can get your Cali girl vibes at the Orchard location that resembles a crazy maze, much more like someone’s disorganised walk-in wardrobe than a shop with some of the most coveted and Instagrammable threads around.
Wisma Atria #01-07
I won’t lie, I may be biased but it’s for a good reason. Monica my #girlboss friend runs this brand and although it’s an online business, she does the occasional pop-up event. Focused on the everyday girl next door who’s a trendsetter among her close knit circle of friends, its aesthetic is always on-trend yet minimalist, playful and extremely wearable. Not to mention, the price point is accessible for everyone and perfect for bridesmaid gifts.
When I first saw this shop, I was enthralled. Just like the name suggests, this shop has flexible prices based on how many items you purchase, similar to bargaining at an actual market – minus the awkwardness and flickering eye contact. Although not every piece is great quality or fit, it’s fun to browse and there’s always something for someone with its mix of vintage and everyday basics. It has expanded quickly and can be found at six different locations, from Tampines in the East to Westgate in the West. My favourite will always be the Cineleisure branch because the clientele really matches the wares (young, a little edgy and always on Instagram).
Here’s one that I reviewed back in the day! Since then, they’ve opened another branch in Tanjong Pagar. And aside from what was mentioned in that Time Out piece, what really stood out to me at this local multi-brand store was the adorable and quirky range of children’s clothing. Before you roll your eyes and this mummy-blogger comment, seeing is believing. Plus, aren’t we getting to that age where even if we’re not preggo, most of our friends will be soon? Bookmark for future baby showers and thank me later.
#02-20 Wheelock Place
Yes fast fashion teenage magnet in every shopping mall. I used to know a few of the girls that modelled for it when I was living in Singapore and that’s when my curiosity was piqued. And guess what? Each time, I managed to find a handful of super cute items and even now when I shop as a visitor I always pick up a great piece like this one. The best time to browse is during lunch breaks when you need a cheap thrill or three (the more you buy, the more money off just like The Editor’s Market!).
Photos by Chrystal, @chrystlm
Sheike and Co dress | Aldo shoes | Topshop hat