I’m pretty sure most girls have a love/hate relationship with Bugis Street. Every time we attempt to shop there, it feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. Well, it generally is, given that Bugis Street is jam packed with shops, has 2 levels and is a gigantic maze. On top of that, they recently renovated the 2nd level and added a 3rd, which makes navigating even more insane. Girls, may be frivolous and indecisive but we have a few conditions when shopping. We’re either brand conscious, make conscious, look conscious or price conscious, more often than not, two or more coincide.
Claris is a look and make conscious shopper, she knows exactly what works for her body and looks for good quality cuts and styles. I, on the other hand, am a look and price conscious shopper. Also, I have a tendency to ruin my clothes in the wash since I do my own laundry, and rely on the dryer heavily. Trying to convince Claris that Bugis Street is a diamond in the rough has not taken very well until this post. This time though, I took the chance to do a haul while she was having her eyelashes done at Milly’s. Here’s what I ended up with in 45 mins that had Claris in love with too.
We also included items we got from the largest mall in the world, The Dubai Mall and random articles we picked up along the way. Keep reading for tips on shopping in Bugis Street!
Super comfortable basics like plain tanks and tank dresses are a dime a dozen in Bugis Street and if you look around properly, you’d notice a good variety of poor ($5) to excellent quality (up to $15) basics in a crazy range of colours. Although I am a fan of singlets and tanks from Marks and Spencer and the likes, the color range and softness of the materials found in Bugis Street, wins me over.
Tip One: Avoid the first level shops.
These are the ones with generally cheaper and inferior quality goods. Also, the extraordinarily small alleys on the first level really reminds me of a maze for mice to hunt cheese. Except we’re the mice (mind you, it’s mice packed together like sardines), and there ain’t no cheese.
Floral Poncho Top with Tie-string – $8, White Billabong Shorts – $22
I love poncho tops, I think they’re great for fat days, casual days, shopping days, girly days. I think they’re great everyday. Switching up accessories and hairstyles is my go to options for different looks, not buying new pieces of clothes that will eat into my as it is, miniscule closet space. The white Billabong pants are really old stock that I got from an outlet sale at Harbour Front. They’re my most decent pair of shorts that aren’t 1) frayed, 2) short beyond believe and most importantly 3) not faded.
Tip Two: Know What You’re Looking For
If you’re going shopping specifically, know what you need and what you already have. This is the easy part since I know girls go through each day thinking, ‘I wish I had (insert item)’. We just need to remember to write them down. Next is the difficult part, know what works for you (something I learned from Claris). Most girls either go through their lives not knowing what works for them or knowing what’s safe for them and sticking to only that. Gather your most honest girlfriends and hit up Forever 21 at 313@Somerset (or any shop that stocks a large and varied style of clothes). Try on everything, and I mean everything that catches your eyes. Don’t be safe, go crazy. Now get your girlfriends to dish the dirt. Hell, try on what they picked for themselves too. That’s tough love, but it really works.
Another thing I love, is Maxi Dresses. They’re versatile, easy to wear and most importantly, comfortable. The thing is, I’m a size P. For those who have never had that pain, that reads petite, which constitute height deficiencies which makes for clothes that are generally ill fitting unless it reads P. Another thing that comes with being size P is, shorter legs. ‘Like’ for admitting one’s flaws! Shorter legs means most dresses end longer for us. Summer dresses ending at the calves, evening dresses dragging waaay past our feet. Shopping at Bugis Street however, caters to Asian sizes and that means most maxi dresses you get there are size P friendly =)
Tip Three: Buy In Bulk
After knowing where to go and what to get, the next trick is to get discounts. The problem with Bugis Street is that because most of the apparels are already so cheap you don’t normally get discounts for one or 2 pieces so what I do is to spot a shop with several pieces I like, and mass purchase. It’s ok to grab something for your girlfriends/mom/sisters/cousins/aunts too since having more items on your cart generally makes bargaining easier.
Another height friendly maxi dress, a tube maxi dress also means it can be adjusted for girls who don’t have that problem. Also, we love how the dress has soft frills that gives it that slight bohemian touch.
Yeap, I meant it when I said I love maxi dresses. This is my favourite of the lot (and of all my current maxi dresses) simply because it’s pretty enough to use on so many occasions. First dates, picnic dates, casual family dinners, tea with girlfriends etc. I also really like off shoulder tops plus the crotchet detailing is so romantic!
Tip Four: How to Behave
For some people, bartering is an innate gift. For others, well, it takes some practice. One of my sisters has a gift for getting her way with shop owners, here’s what I picked up from her. 1) Enchant them. Give them your brightest smile, makes some small talk. 2) Pick your items, be extremely polite. 3) Pick out any and all flaws in the items. Be it the last piece, a small stain or even threads that stick out that may cause the whole clothe to come loose if you cut it. 4) Tell them the flaws very nicely and sweetly. 5) Whine. Yes, she does that. And it works. Of course, keep it within limits. You want to coax them, not make them go ‘WTF’. If all else fails (and if you’re really unhappy with the price or item), don’t buy lor.
The same blouse that comes with the leather tie is so versatile I just had to get it, plus it’s so affordable too. The shop I got it from had them in a crazy myriad of colours too.
Something else I really like, is jersey material, since it’s so comfortable ( yes, I know I’ve said comfortable repetitively but it’s one of my main prerogatives when shopping) and having a party dress made of jersey is a plus. Also, the cut of the dress is simple yet figure hugging and the details on the shoulders add an instant glam.
Tip Five: What to Wear
Shopping in Bugis Street is very different from shopping in regular malls. Singapore is normally sweltering hot, add in the combination of human sardines, narrow alleys and the non air-conditioned state of the first level, nightmare. But we all know we’re going to the 2nd level. And here’s where how you dress makes a difference. It gets cold. Best combo? Shorts and a loose tank, singlet, baby doll, even a summer dress and a blazer or cardigan. You’re set. Also, bear in mind that most of the shops in Bugis Village doesn’t allow/have fitting rooms. So if you’re the type that NEEDS to try on your items before buying it, give Bugis a miss. Although I must confess that sizes there are pretty universal.
The best find of the day, has got to be this top, really intricate lace detailing, adjustable straps and highly versatile (since it’s pretty long). The shorts is a basic and beige is a colour we both love. It’s one of those items that comes with it’s own accessory and this one comes with a brown woven belt that’s all the rage right now.
Another simple party dress, I love how plain this one is as it allows for multiple was of usage. Dressing it up or down is extremely easy and the layered frills on the sleeves is very body flattering.
Tip Six: Know What You’re Paying For
There are some shops that, put nicely, overcharge. Don’t fall for how the clothes look, simply because Bugis Street is for fashion shopping, it’s about trends and that means if you’re going to pay SGD$89.90 for something you can find in Zara of the same or worst material, go to Zara instead. Also, bear in mind that because there are a lot of crappy clothes, any decent piece of clothing would stand out like a gem. Remember, it’s an illusion! Don’t fall for what the salesperson says and judge with your touch if it is worth the price you’re shelling out for it.
This one is my most overused item. I use it to the beach ( as you guys will see when we post about Epic Dubai), for casual lunch, for shopping trips, everywhere! It’s got an inner shift that keeps you warm (and keeps eyes out) but has loose over sized sleeves that keeps things breezy. It’s also another item that’s perfect for fat days or binge days.
The Dubai Mall + Random Pick Ups
Everything from here onwards are just items we picked up that we either love, or has great value for $$.
The leopard print singlet shrank so badly in the dryer I had to give it to my little sister who, as you can tell, is very tiny.
So, anyone up for working out/shopping in Bugis Street? If you girls decide to attempt the tips I’ve shared, let me know how it goes!
Disclaimer: We are not sponsored for this article. The content in these blog is not meant to offend or influence anyone.