Travel Guide


Shopping @ Bugis Village

Get a glimpse of how Singaporean streetwear is like by heading down to Bugis Street. Located at Bugis Village, this open-air street market is the Singaporean version of Chatuchak market in Bangkok and it sells a wide range of items, from clothes (for both girls and guys up to about 20 plus years of age) to shoes and accessories.

The open-air street market is open till 11pm every day. It encompasses 3 floors (two of which are blessedly air-conditioned) Try to go during a weekday so that the narrow aisles aren't even more crowded with people. If it's unavoidable, remember to be patient and keep ducking into different stores in the hopes that the traffic will ease.

The prices here are fairly reasonable, with prices starting from as low as S$5 or less if you're buying accessories. It's fairly common to see stalls with 3 for S$10, where you pick 3 items (usually accessories) and pay S$10. It's a budget fashionista's dream come true. Make sure to have enough cash on you since most of the shops don't accept debit or credit cards. 

Streetwear in Singapore has its influences from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong as well as trends from America. What's hot right now are dresses, whether bodycon (body-conforming - ie. dresses that hug your curves) flowery vintage or maxi dresses with frills, rompers and jumpers. Here at Bugis Street, you get to see all the street fashions that every day Singaporeans wear as well as see all the little shops with small business owners just trying to make a living. 

Generally you can find a solid boat-necked batwing top for about S$10, while dresses cost about S$30 or more. Skinny jeans should cost about S$30 while leggings go for about S$10. The quality of the stuff here isn't fantastic, so check over the garments and make sure there aren't any holes and that the zipper doesn't get stuck. If you're looking for a steal, always remember to check the sales section of the store and rifle through it for what you want.

For guys, clothes here in Singapore would generally cost more than ladies' clothes, but it is possible to get graphic tees for the price of S$5. Bugis Street also has a great range of shorts and accessories for guys at reasonable prices (about S$30)

Check out the pushcarts in the middle of the first floor for great metallic frame wallets, which come in different prints and finishes. If you buy one it costs about S$5 and the price per wallet decreases significantly as you buy more. You could get 4 for S$10, a great souvenir for the ladies in your life. While on the topic of souvenirs, Bugis Street has a wide range of touristy souvenirs you could buy back home as a memoir of your trip here,

If the humidity is getting to you, simply follow the escalator to the second floor, where there are refreshments and you can shop in air-conditioned comfort. Great finds here could be boots, which cost around S$30 per pair. It is possible to bargain to get a discount of a few dollars off the actual price. Just ask the shopkeeper if that's her best price. If you're nice enough to her, she might just throw in an extra item for free.

Makeup wise, the general trend follows the Japanese, where the trend now is to have long upper and lower eyelashes (bottom eyelashes should be thicker at the sides) with false eyelashes to compensate for short Asian ones, as well as enlarging contact lenses. While the latter will not be found in Bugis Street, false eyelashes abound. Some stores can be rather pushy and they'll try to sell you pretty much everything under the sun that's related to false eyelashes, whether it's the gizmo that helps you stick the eyelashes quickly, or the best eyelash glue that dries dark or clear.

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