Newsflash: Orchard Road is not the be-all and end-all of shopping in Singapore. The coolest shopping haunts are found across the island, including Bugis and even Jurong
The face of Singapore’s shopping scene is changing, and we couldn’t be more excited. Gone are the days when shopping meant making trips down to Orchard, where our buys were primarily from malls. Today, the city boasts a healthy mix of shopping experiences, with more and more eclectic indie boutiques popping up in buzzy neighbourhoods and even CBD malls. What a time to be alive.
More than just a heritage ‘hood or hawker paradise, Chinatown is a hotspot for shopaholics. Check out Aesop Club Street’s resortesque boutique, or pop into cool tailors like Son of a Gan, Aston Blake and Dylan & Son for bespoke, corporate suits.
Haji Lane and Arab Street
One of our favourite districts in Singapore (for everything, including shopping), Haji Lane and Arab Street is the OG hipster neighbourhood in Singapore. The all-hours enclave is dotted with the most charming and eclectic boutiques. Design aficionados, check out Mondays Off and SaladShop – homewares include matt vase cylinders, tropical cushions and baskets. As for fashion junkies, shop one-of-a-kind vintage sundresses from Dark House Vintage, affordable on-trend pieces from ModParade, or gemstone jewellery from SSFW.
It comes to no surprise that the arts district is a great place to shop for design lovers. For starters, the National Design Centre is home to cult design and lifestyle boutique Kapok, which spotlights clothes and accessories by niche, avant-garde labels. It’s also where you’ll find Keepers, a collective of Singapore’s best designers and artisans with goods for everyone. In the mood for bargain hunting? Hop over to Bugis Street for pocket-friendly fashion finds.
They don’t call Jurong the ‘Orchard Road of the West for nothing. The formerly sleepy neighbourhood is now home to two of the best malls on the green line: JEM and Westgate. The former is chock-full of big high street brands like three-storey H&M, Topshop and Cotton On, while the latter houses a massive Sephora store, a Benefit Cosmetics Beauty Bar, as well as local favourites like The Editor’s Market and jewellery store Monica Vinader.
The CBD isn’t the first place you’d think of for shopping, but the city’s corporate hub is home to some of the best shopping locales. Take OUE Downtown Gallery. The new mall is home to cult womenswear label Beyond the Vines and multi-label boutique Threadbare & Squirrel, which offers a carefully curated selection of curios and local labels. Over in Raffles Place, you’ll find corporate favourites like Melissa Shoes, local brand MDS and luxury leather brand at One Raffles Place and Chevron House. And then of course there’s The Shoppes at Marina Bay: a behemoth of all the luxury labels you can think of, including Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Bring your plastics for this! Aside from being the gateway to Sentosa, Harbourfront is also home to Singapore’s largest mall: VivoCity. The sprawling mall has got everything you need under one roof, from cool department store Tangs, high street brands and fashion houses like Bimba y Lola, to sportswear brands like Premier Football and Onitsuka Tiger. Be warned: You’ll need hours and hours just to get from one end to the other.
City Hall has it all. Nearest to the train station is Raffles City, where you’ll find your favourite high street stores, Marks and Spencer, Nordic fave COS, and upscale cult brands like store Nine West and Kate Spade New York. Just a short walk away is Capitol Piazza, which houses local label Sabrina Goh, British-based luxury label Joseph and masters of print: Marimekko. In walking distance at National Gallery is Gallery & Co. (AKA the hippest museum store) and the Esplanade, which features jeweller Alexandra Maison and audiophile fave Analog Vault.
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