5 Must-Haves (for the fashion conscious living in Singapore)
Hello my lovely readers! I was just watching a few “must-haves” videos on YouTube and I realised that a lot of them don’t exactly apply to me because of where I stay. In a lot of these videos, items like the “perfect leather jacket” or “leather boots” were considered as “must-have” items but obviously because Singapore is like a sauna, these items wouldn’t be practical for us at all. (Although, I do find every reason to buy myself some winter/autumn sometimes.)
These must-haves I’ve compiled are also what I think to be really versatile pieces that never really go out of style. The pieces, I think, are easy ways to look fashionable while still remaining Singapore-friendly. So without further ado, here is a blog post for you (the fashion conscious living in Singapore) on my opinion of what the must-haves are living in this country.
1. The Little Black Dress
Okay, so let us get the most obvious one out of the way. You all know you saw this coming, haha. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a “must-haves” video that didn’t include this. But there’s a reason why the LBD is so high up there on the list of must-have items in the fashion world and that’s because it’s known for its versatility and timeless style.
There are countless styles of black dresses that are available in almost every store in Singapore, so finding one that suits your body shape and style should be relatively painless. However, there are a few things you should take note of when looking for the perfect LBD.
Finding a material best suited to you is a great first step to finding the perfect dress. Depending on the material, dresses may be more suited for formal occasions while some others are comfortable enough for casual, daily wear.
For example, bodycon or cotton material are both very casual and laid back materials that are best suited for you if you spend most of the time walking along the streets or in shopping malls. Whereas fabrics like polyester/lycra (disco-pant material) and nylon are more suited for the party girl that spends most of the weekend dancing and moving about. Lace and chiffon are both fabrics that are more delicate and complementary to girls that spend their time doing more feminine, non-moving-around type stuff. So choosing the fabric of your dress plays a really important part in how much wear you’ll get out of it.
The cut and way the dress sits on your body is equally important. Keeping in mind the occasions you would wear the dress to and accessories you would pair it with, you can find a cut of LBD that really fits your style and body shape. Try to buy a dress that complements your best parts, be it backless, side cut-outs, halter or skater. It will help boost your confidence when wearing the dress and make it the one go-to piece in your wardrobe when you want to look fierce but have no clue what to wear.
The presence or absence of sleeves or straps can really make the largest difference in your LBD. Strapless dresses tend to look more dressy while short sleeves give off a more casual vibe. There are tons of other sleeve styles that you should try out before finding one that you like best such as bustiers, off-the-shoulders, long/short-sleeved or camis.
Where to find it:
F21 and H&M: They sell cheaper, more casual dresses (often bodycon or cotton materials). Sometimes carry party/formal dresses for affordable prices too.
Zara: Slightly more dressy or work-like styles, and heavier materials.
And well, anywhere really…
2. The Denim Jacket
I must admit, outerwear is kiiinda tricky in Singapore and so many times, even if you take the effort to add an outerwear, you end up taking it off as you’re walking along the streets. However, I feel that if there was ever a time to invest in something other than your trusty old cardigan, the denim jacket would be the way to go.
I also think that denim jackets are also highly personalisable (that isn’t even a word hahaha). Aside from finding different cuts (tapered, cropped etc), you can always deviate from the regular denim jacket to fit your own style.
For example, there are different washes of denim such as acid wash, ombre dyed, or even just dark or black denim.
There are also plenty of denim jackets with all sorts of sewn/ironed on embellishments such as contrast sleeves, patches or contrast collars.
And also, my personal favourite: studs (to act as protection against those idiots who try to jostle you on the MRT hahaha)
Where to find them:
Zara: I have a lot of luck finding more chic, elegant designs here. Great place to look if you want a cropped, fitted cut instead of the boxier, grunge kind.
Pull&Bear: They’re a little on the pricier side, but so long-lasting and easy to maintain. Not to mention, super trendy.
F21: They do occasionally sell denim jackets and for much more affordable prices, but they’re often less special in terms of design.
Scape/Fleas: Good place to go hunting for denim wear if you have the time and patience. Usually find really cheap denim jackets here but they don’t always have your size, and they’re not available all year round.
3. The Graphic Tee
Everyone has got to have one. I don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl or a housefly. These shirts are literally the laziest way to look cool and keep cool in Singapore. There’s no limit to the number of patterns and colours that you can get. Go ahead and play around with:
Ultra-cool scenic-type prints? (I clearly have a great command of the English language, lol.)
Your favourite band/supehero logo?
Yup, you can pretty much get as lazy and as creative as you want. Most of the time, I roll out of bed in my graphic tee and slip on a pair of pants and I’m out of the house. I only have 2 tips for you while shopping for graphic tees.
#1 – go a little oversized.
The more comfortable, the better. Looser fits are great at creating the disheveled, effortless look. Roll up your sleeves to add a little more structure to the shirt.
#2 – try the men’s section.
Or just raid your boyfriend/brother’s closet.
Where to find them:
F21 and H&M: They have a lot of nice graphic tees for quite affordable prices, although I see everyone wearing them everywhere.
Zara and Topshop: Really unique prints and patterns here, but on the more expensive end.
Fleas: The best place to get cheap shirts that you can afford to style and to sleep in. :)
4. The Skater Skirt
I can honestly say that the skater skirt is the most flattering, easy-to-wear style of skirts there is. It’s Singapore-weather-friendly and can go a hundred different ways in different outfits. The skater cut is flattering because it synchs in the waist, while skimming over the hips. And the best part is that you can have multiple skater skirts in your wardrobe to create multiple different looks.
Of course, I couldn’t leave out my favourite: the velvet skater skirt. I love the luxurious, dark romantic vibe they add to the outfit. Plus, they feel so cozy :)
More lively, brighter printed skirts go really well with plain cropped shirts for a casual but girly look, especially if the skirts are made of lighter fabrics like cotton or chiffon.
Heavier, more structured fabrics can completely turn an outfit from a casual one, to a more formal one. Skirts that have more defined pleats also appear more dressy instead of casual, but can still be dressed down with the right accessories or outerwear.
I also love creating school-girl or 90’s grunge looks with skater skirts using tartan or denim instead.
Where to find them:
F21: has lovely, casual floral printed ones. But sizes S and M sell out super quick!
Topshop: You can definitely find some skaters here, but they’re more for dressy occasions. Unless you tend to always overdress, like me haha.
H&M: Budget friendly and trendy skirts are really easy to find here!
5. The Sports Shorts
And I saved the best for last. No, I’m not talking about your Nikes or FBTs (how Singaporean hahaha but no). These style of shorts often come with elastic or drawstring waistbands, not necessarily of sweatpants material. I think these kind of shorts have the potential to be waaaaay more fashionable and also more comfortable than regular denim shorts. Though I highly recommend that you don’t actually jog in these.
There is definitely more than one type of sports or “jogger” shorts that can be easily woven into your daily wardrobe and not just worn on the inside of gymnasium walls. Trying different fabrics and patterns will give you a different look each time.
For example, why not try faux leather/leather sports shorts?
This is one of my favourites: I love sports shorts with chic tropical/floral prints on them. Pair them with a simple cotton tee or tank with some sandals and you can look casual chic with barely any effort.
And sometimes, a little lace or vintage pattern goes a long way in making the sports shorts a more feminine, fashion-friendly piece.
Where to find them:
Zara: has plenty; if you’re willing to spend the money.
Cotton On: They do sell them here, but strangely, the prices aren’t that cheap.
Bershka: They have more formal looking sports shorts here!
Factorie: Originally from Australia, but they just opened up a couple branches in Singapore I think :) I saw one at Suntec and one at Ion.
So there we go, my 5 Must-Have items (for the fashion conscious living in Singapore). Let me know if you enjoyed this post/want me to write more of these in the future! All the collages were created on Polyvore. Do request/suggest some post ideas if you have any :)