Things To Do

The Best Shopping In Singapore To Treat Yourself To In 2023

By Natasha Dragun
25th Apr 2023

Woman standing dressed in a Lisa Von Tang black top, crop and wide legged pants.

There are two things Singaporeans love doing more than anything else in the world: eating and shopping, and not necessarily in that order. While every big-name brand under the sun has a presence here—many of them in the mega-malls along Orchard Road—the city-state really stands out for its homegrown talent, whether that’s in fashion or homewares, souvenirs or shoes. Read on for our favourite places to get a feel for Singaporean style… and read right to the end for a few additional incentives to splurge.

Lisa Von Tang

Adriana Lima, Cara Delevingne and Mick Jagger are all fans of LVT’s creations, which blend Asian textiles with street-luxe designs. Lisa also says she takes inspiration from the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang in her eye-catching clothing, like her luxurious ‘Geisha’ kimonos with gloriously vivid patterns, deep-plunge sari evening gown with patterned ribbing, and silky bomber jackets with cheongsam-style buttons. The lads won’t be disappointed either—there are options for him in-store as well. Bespoke designs are also available on request. 

Carrie K.

Accidentally discovering the art of silversmithing during a trip to Italy, Carolyn Kan returned to Singapore and decided to dedicate her life to the art—her bet paid off, and she’s now one of Asia’s most respected jewellery designers. Her collections today frequently take inspiration from her culture: the Heritage line features motifs that you might see on Peranakan tiles that adorn Singapore’s Chinatown and Joo Chiat / Katong neighbourhoods, while The Star line nods to the Malay songket, a traditional fabric handwoven in silk and intricately patterned with gold or silver threads. Her boutique also features a Pearl Bar, where Kan creates pieces that reinterpret traditional pearl necklaces. 

Ling Wu

Made with “care and detail” is the catch cry at this luxe boutique, where handbags are timeless in design and are cut from the finest materials. While the soft leathers may come from Italy, the bags’ forms and colours are distinctly Asian—think, saffron, chilli, cinnamon, turmeric and star anise. The python clutches will make a statement, while the totes and handbags are as functional as they are eye-catching. The fact they’re all extremely lightweight and come with plenty of internal pockets means that they’re ideal for travel. The apartment-style showroom in the Holland Village neighbourhood is a delight to shop in so good luck leaving empty-handed.

In Good Company

While you may need to save before you shop at Ling Wu or LVK, the ready-to-wear pieces at this store are extremely affordable. Which is not to say they’re not alluring. The brand’s fashion line is sleek, understated and comfy, with ranges for men and women as well as little ones. They’re the kind of pieces you can dress up with accessories, so it’s a good thing In Good Company has an eye for these as well—the necklaces are particularly swoon-worthy. There are other bits and pieces to peruse, from glossy design books to plant pots. And if you’re shopping at the Jewel Changi Airport outlet, you can contemplate your purchases at the on-site Birds of Paradise “gelato boutique”—if you’re a Jewel Privilege member and spend more than $100 in the store, your scoop here is free. Shopping never tasted so good.

Scene Shang

If you can resist the gorgeous homewares in this boutique, you’re a stronger shopper than we are. While the furniture and décor are decidedly contemporary, the Asian influence is prevalent throughout, from the hand-painted porcelain to the lacquered boxes and trays. While you won’t be able to fit some of the bigger items into your suitcase—the armchairs are particularly gram-worthy—you’ll find more versatile pieces on offer in the art, scents and cushions, the latter of which come emblazoned with distinctive Singapore landmarks. Next door in the Kampong Gelam neighbourhood is another homewares store we love: Supermama, known for its porcelain plates depicting cultural motifs and architectural icons across the city-state. 

Design Orchard

Many people come to this new retail and incubation space to ogle at the architecture, designed by award-winning Singaporean architects WOHA with a dramatic undulating green roof that doubles as a garden amphitheatre. Step inside and you’ll find products by local creatives only, with over 60 local brands stocked. On the fashion front, there are floaty dresses and skirts with hand-painted watercolour prints at Ying the Label; gorgeous cheongsams reinterpreted for modern-day wear at Dotted Line, and eye-popping colours and patterns at Reckless Erika—the ‘Durian Collection’ is our fave. There’s more… The emporium also stocks homegrown beauty products (The Lab Fragrances are divine, as are the bespoke skincare products at Alcheme) and all manner of accessories, home furnishings and souvenirs. You can even pick up artisan sauces and spreads to take home.     

Charles & Keith

Pushing the boundaries of contemporary footwear and coveted accessories, Charles & Keith is a must-stop serving up both statement and everyday pieces ripe for the glossy pages of high-end fashion magazines. Think classic and retro-style shades, fashion-forward heels and chic saddle bags. Plus, while you can score Charles & Keith in Australia, you can expect cheaper prices—which we’re always about—with sometimes 40% less than Australian price tags. Our advice? Pack light.

Ong Shunmugam

Batik is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when it comes to clothing. But designer Priscilla Shunmugam takes the traditional dyeing technique and weaves in contemporary materials and silhouettes to create womenswear that is magical, understated and eminently wearable. Expect minidresses with pompoms and ribbon neckties, suit jackets with kebaya-influenced lapels, and other pieces inspired by traditional Asian crafts. The designer has also turned her hand to homewares, putting her distinctive prints onto covetable plates, placemats and napkins. Be sure to call ahead if you want to visit the atelier—it’s open by appointment only.

Need more inspiration to shop? Did you know that tourists can shop tax free in Singapore? There are a few things to take note of: you need to spend more than S$100 to claim the 7% back on your purchases, and you need to be shopping at stores that are part of the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)—look for the “Tax Free” logo displayed in store. Carry your passport while shopping so that refunds can be processed at the time of purchase. There’s an electronic version of the scheme (eTRS) as well, where all eligible transactions are digitally tagged to your passport, so you don’t need paper forms, and can process claims electronically at the airport when you leave.

Plus, some of Singapore’s big malls give tourists even more incentives to indulge in a little retail therapy. At Paragon on Orchard Road for example, there are shopping vouchers and limo rides up for grabs if you spend over a certain amount. 

Boasting incredibly talented designers who are showcasing their passion for creating beautiful pieces, Singapore is the ultimate shopping destination. Head to Singapore Tourism for more info. 

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Singapore Tourism and endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Lisa Von Tang Instagram

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