Want an alternative to Topshop, Zara and the endless malls in Singapore? Head to Haji Lane – a hive of independent shops with unique pieces that make it well worth a visit. It’s a vibrant area to explore and you can update your wardrobe.
Go in the afternoon and finish with a cocktail at Bar Stories (no menu, just describe what you want!) or Maison Ikkoku (it’s on Kandahar St but just around the corner) at the bar upstairs overlooking the mosque. A good incentive to placate your other half!
Tip – where you see coloured arrow signs imitating a signpost telling you to go upstairs for perfumes, pets wear, fashion i.e. everything – this is the more touristy type of place packed full of novelties and nick nacks. Great fun to browse but not really to add to your closet. Those worth the venture up the stairs are however, Buttons Up (No 24) and Chic Fever (56A).
Start your adventure at Salad (No 25), a smart looking shop with two floors full of clothes and homewares. You are guaranteed interesting pieces and better than that, stock changes frequently so there’s always something to tempt you! Particular highlights include a great range of wear-anywhere jewellery.
On the opposite side of the lane you will see Fluffy Feline (No 28) – do not be put off by the name. A cute shop with some great jewellery and bags. There is a real care and attention to detail here in not only the pieces, but how the product is presented. Don’t forget to peak into the pretty jewellery cabinet on the left for further on-trend pieces!
Cross back over to Shop Wonderland (No 35) – a quaint café and lifestyle shop perfect for a coffee pit stop. As you walk in, you are greeted by a ceiling full of coloured glass “flower” lampshades. Make your way upstairs and there are some lovely home wares such as Voluspa candles, chic candlesticks, crockery and cushions. Plus a Flower Bar if you need an urgent bouquet.
Just a couple of doors down is SSFW (No 37) – check out this tiny shop for a great range of accessories and in particular fun, colourful jewellery.
Then continue down to DulcetFig (no 41). If you like the vintage vibe and quirky accessories, this is for you. (Word of warning, you will fall in love with the resident tawny cat who greets you on your way in.) The store is packed with accessories and jewellery plus a small vintage section at the back of the shop. It also has contemporary ranges like Vamastyle and Melissa shoes.
Next try Tangers (No 51) which is a modern, clean contrast to Dulcetfig. It is a fresh pretty store that specialises in Korean designers. Lots of lovely, wearable stylish pieces but just a word of warning, cutting does run small as it is Korean.
Chillal (No 49) is the one for you if you are adding to your home rather than the wardrobe. Check out the handmade furniture and curios from India that have a retro feel.
Cross back over to Soon Lee (No 73) on the corner; an elegant store inside and out. The atmosphere is sophisticated and feminine which reflects the clothes. Fashion magazines and books on style are on sale next to the latest nail varnish colours and accessories and the clothes here are all nicely made and good for work or play. The highlights are definitely the dressier, grown-up pieces; upstairs is more “formal” with designs from Carl Poem.
From here, hang a left towards Bali Lane to Threadbare and Squirrel on the corner (No 660 North Bridge Road). This store has an urban chic, minimalist vibe. It specialises in local and Asian designers such as Max Tan and Mandy Wu. Nicely made pieces and a great range of jewellery with an edgy look.
And if all that shopping has worked up an appetite, stop off at I am (No 674 North Bridge Road off Haji Lane) and opposite Soon Lee. One of the busiest restaurants for miles, it serves a mean burger and some seriously thirst-quenchingly good fruit cocktails.