Going chinoiserie chic this CNY? Here’s your festive shopping guide to the most stylish cheongsams, qi paos and other ethnic dresses in Singapore.
With Chinese New Year coming up, it’s the perfect occasion to up your style game with a cheongsam – because when it comes to traditional wear, there’s nothing quite as alluring as this perennially chic Chinese costume. From classic qipaos and modern styles, to off-the-rack and bespoke pieces you can wear for CNY and all year round, we’ve sussed out the best stores to shop for cheongsams in Singapore.
Duchess & Co.
The Malaysian fashion label recently opened the doors to its 313@somerset boutique, allowing fashionistas and shopaholics alike to browse through racks of trendy but timeless dresses, skirts, blouses and trousers, as well as a dedicated collection of cheongsams — with a contemporary twist. The range of cheongsams harks back to the Chinoserie styles of oriental tassels, floral embellishments and gold detailing in modern silhouettes that will have you stealing the spotlight at the next family gathering!
Duchess & Co., #03-09/10, 313@somerset, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895, p. 6634 1577
Baju by Oniatta
One look and you can tell right away that Baju by Oniatta is driven by Oniatta Effendi’s mad love for batik. Embracing the intricate design of this Indonesian tradition, the batik label incorporates its signature vibrant prints into its exclusive CNY collection. Whether you’re wearing it as a standalone or paired with a pair of jeans, prepare to fall head over heels with its line of cheongsams, qipaos, happi coats and long jackets decked in birds (Phoenix included), butterflies and flower motifs to symbolise freedom, strength, beauty and new beginnings — just what we need this CNY!
Baju by Oniatta, available here for bespoke orders and at Quintessential, #03-15, Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238897
The Stage Walk
Besides keeping you up-to-date with the latest fashion trends and wardrobe staples, The Stage Walk also has a dedicated cheongsam collection in modern cuts such as jumpsuits, skater dresses, lace frocks and qipaos in the form of a dress. Serve sweet looks this CNY and slay these super chic and affordable feminine pieces. Keep checking back its online boutique every Sunday for new additions!
The Stage Walk, #03-18A, Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria St, Singapore 188021
The Missing Piece
This homegrown label packs a punch when it comes to offering contemporary cheongsams. Slay the cheongsam game with game-changers such as cut-out jumpsuits with mandarin collars as well as mandarin collared lace capes. Its collection of carefully tailored cheongsams are flattering and comfy, with matching options for families who prefer staying coordinated during the festive period.
The Missing Piece, available online, email firstname.lastname@example.org for bespoke orders.
It should come as no surprise that Ong Shunmugam tops our list. After all, the homegrown fashion label is best known for its refreshingly contemporary and wearable take on the traditional cheongsam – think jumpsuits with mandarin collars, matching crop tops and culotte ensembles, and cheongsams with a clever mix of prints like batik and chinoiserie that perfectly toe the line between old and new, modern and timeless. Prefer something a lil’ more unique? Ong Shunmungam also offers customisation.
Ong Shunmugam, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-76, Singapore 278115, p. 6252 2612, e. info@ongshunmugam. For customisation, by appointment only.
If you’ve got a taste for traditional Chinese wear with a modern twist, Shanghai Tang is your best bet. The Hong Kong-based label takes luxury to a whole new level with its runway-ready collection that runs the gamut: from classic cheongsams in graphic prints to qipao tops with leather accents and men’s Mandarin collar jackets for the ladies. Chinoiserie has never looked this chic.
Shanghai Tang, #B1-12 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972, p. 6688 7180.
Singapore fashion veteran Laichan (who held a showcase at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week) is no stranger to figure-flattering cheongsams and qipaos. While his more detailed and elaborate designs are practically couture and best suitable for the theatre, the label also has a ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter collection that is perfect for special occasions like CNY.
Laichan, #03-20, Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859, p. 6235 0049.
Make a statement this CNY with bold, luxe qipaos and cheongsams from Cloth.ier. Offering oriental styles for the modern woman, the label fuses Chinese art into the traditional dress. Its range of avant-garde cheongsams and qipaos are made from quality silk, organza and velvet. With such attention-grabbing designs influenced by art and culture from the far east, you’ll be making heads turn in no time.
Cloth.ier, #B1-07, Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247909
This carefully curated, multi-brand concept store offers a limited amount of ready-to-buy products, as well as items that are made-to-order. Though based in Singapore, Soon Lee has ties in other parts of Southeast Asia, which influences its collection of products. The brand’s fashion must-haves include a range of affordable mandarin-collared dresses and cheongsams that are not only great for the festive season but for everyday wear as well for a hint of Asian. Fall in love with its latest additions such as the bold, mixed fabric collared dress, and the dress version of a qi pao decorated in mini pineapples for something playful this CNY!
Soon Lee, available online
BLUM & Co.
Besides its range of versatile work wear and evening wear, this local label also has a dedicated section filled with stylish cheongsams, including wrap and flared dresses in traditional red. Leaning towards the pricier side, you can see why its collection of carefully sourced quality fabric and well-tailored ethnic threads are oh-so-worth the splurge for CNY.
BLUM & Co., #01-65, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956, p. 6358 2127
A contemporary spin on cheongsams, Joli Pretty offers the traditional dress in modern styles such hand-crafted jumpsuits, blouses in playful prints, wrap dresses, flared dresses and bold frocks with slits. The local online store has also released its Mini-Me collection which includes matching outfits for the whole fam. Yes, we’re talking dresses for mums and daughters, and shirts for dads and sons.
Joli Pretty, available online
Looking for a mother-daughter twinning moment? Miz Apparels will set you up with matching pairs of cheongsams for you and your ‘mini me’ (don’t worry, they do individuals too). Designed in-house with authentic Korean fabrics, the cheongsam label is known for its Korean take on the traditional Chinese dress — think hanbok meets cheongsam. No doubt, you and your little one will fall in love with its feminine styles and vibrant hues.
Miz Apparels, 8A Marina Boulevard, #B2-13, Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984
Mama and Misse
Get down to Mama and Misse for timeless classics, including cap-sleeved cheongsams, traditional mandarin collared dresses, and unique pieces made from lush batik and sari fabrics. Its well-tailored creations also come in a variety of sizes, ranging from XS to XXXXL. A work of art in itself, there’s no doubt you’ll be making heads turn at the next CNY family gathering!
Mama and Misse, available at #02-1088, People’s Park, 32 New Market Road, Singapore 050032, p. 6533 6250, and #02-10, International Plaza, 10 Anson Road, Singapore 079903, p. 6221 1865.
My Fine Collections
If you prefer the beauty of Peranakan style, then get the best of both worlds at My Fine Collections where Chinois meets batik. Browse through its extensive collection of gorgeous cheongsams, qipaos, blouses, as well as accessories like belts, brooches and shawls made with fabrics from all over the world, including batiks from Indonesia and brocade from China. Its Prada-clothed collection (batik prints that are embellished with gilded gold leaves) is definitely one to go for if you’re looking for something more elegant and grand.
My Fine Collections, available at #01-18, Kallang Leisure Park, 5 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397693, p. 6397 7303 (temporary space).
Founded in 2007, L’zzie has been our go-to spot for feminine work wear. But it is its collection of girly cheongsam dresses that has us raving non-stop — we’re talking ones you find on kids that’ll have you wonder if they come in your size. Browse through its dedicated CNY collection including floral-printed, frog-buttoned cheongsams or flared frocks embellished in Hello Kitty details for something playful and feminine.
L’zzie, available at multiple locations, including Bugis Junction (#02-37/38), Wisma Atria (#BA-35), and The Central (#01-39).
Shopping chic cheongsam dresses on a budget? Say no more. Intoxiquette (pronounced ‘intoxicate’) offers affordable festive pieces that are made from breathable materials for absolute comfort, especially when you’ll be spending hours on house visits. If you prefer designs that are less bold, refresh your CNY wardrobe with bubblegum sweet yet sophisticated pieces like the lace cheongsam in merlot and the drop-waist cheongsam with florals. We recommend visiting its brick-and-mortar store for an extensive browse.
Intoxiquette, available online, and #02-08/09, Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road, Singapore 238843.
Lark & Peony
If there’s anyone who can revive the nostalgia of cheongsams, it’s Lark & Peony. Designed for the modern woman, the online-only label sources quality fabrics from Japan, Korea, and Australia in vintage-style Chinoiserie patterns, graphic prints, and vibrant, punchy hues. The result? Beautiful, one-of-a-kind cheongsam pieces that you’ll want to wear not just during Chinese New Year, but throughout the year too.
Lark & Peony, available online.
Wear SISSAE, and you’ll be the talk of the town this CNY. Hailing from Jakarta, this ultra-chic Indonesian label was founded by three sisters who wanted to create traditional qipaos with a “modern soul”. Mission accomplished: every one of SISSAE’s handmade designs is totally swoon-worthy – think exquisite embroidery, intricate details, and sophisticated silhouettes. We especially love that SISSAE also caters to the little ones with an adorable girls’ collection of mini cheongsams.
SISSAE Qipao, available online.
Tong Tong Friendship Store
Who says cheongsams have to be boring and old-fashioned? Tong Tong Friendship Store puts that notion firmly to rest with quirky ’70s-inspired prints and playful patterns that add a fresh new take on cheongsams and qipaos. The icing on the cake? Tong Tong’s designs are pretty exclusive too – with a limited number of pieces, you won’t risk turning up to the reunion dinner in the same dress as Grandma.
Tong Tong Friendship Store, #01-04/05 Shaw Towers, 100 Beach Road, Singapore 189702, p. 6396 3887, e. email@example.com.
The Happy Cheongsam
The Happy Cheongsam is where you’ll find everything from casual cotton cheongsams to more elaborate cheongsams in brocade, batik, and ikat prints. Best of all, it also offers matching adult and kids’ designs – perfect for stylish mother-daughter duos this CNY.
The Happy Cheongsam, available online.
For something on the luxe side, this online boutique may just be the answer to your prayers. Its collection of cheongsams are works of art — we can’t keep our eyes off the three-quarter sleeved brocade cheongsam, the flowy ombre chiffon cheongsam and the lace cheongsam with scalloped mermaid hem (all pictured above). Leaning on the pricier side, these cheongsams and qipaos will have you looking like a million bucks!
Frockalicious, #02-05, OUE Link, 62 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049325
This petite boutique has a chock full of Stepford Wives-esque frocks and floral-printed dresses, ready-to-wear line of retro-inspired cheongsams, that is designed and uniquely tailored with organic cotton by founder and headseamstress Lilian and her team of experienced tailors. Dayglow has also jumped on the sustainable bandwagon by reducing the amount of raw materials used and practising made-to-orders to cut down excess stocks.
Dayglow Vintage, available here for bespoke orders and at 12 Loyang Place, Singapore 508876, p. 9770 4026
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