Access to the latest fashion in a modern city like Singapore is all too easy, but sometimes the new gets old quickly. One of the simplest ways to get fresh sartorial inspiration? Look backwards. The challenge of vintage hunting in a country that's younger than most of our grandparents is a tough one, but the results are incredibly rewarding.
REFASHPhoto: City Nomads
With an online base and 6000 square feet of combined physical retail space across five locations islandwide, REFASH is probably the most accessible store on this list. There's no definitive vintages for items here, but with as many as 5,000 pieces going for as low as S$15 each, that's great news for you budget thrifters. Their vast selection features basics aplenty and a particularly impressive supply of menswear.
REFASH at Orchard Gateway. 277 Orchard Road #02-08/09, Singapore 238858. Daily noon-9pm.
RETRO GATEPhoto: City Nomads
Run by three friends who met in university, Retro Gate is all about immersing customers in the world of vintage streetwear and youth culture. Their new home in Golden Mile Complex sees over 1,200 products ranging from military wear and hockey jerseys to vibrant Hawaiian shirts and vintage suit vests at very attractive prices. On a smaller budget? The S$10, S$15, and S$20 thrift racks are what you're looking for, and they're not all boring stuff.
Retro Gate. 5001 Beach Road, #04-16, Singapore 199588. +65 8321 4065. Thu-Tue 1pm-8pm.
TRIPPIESPhoto: City Nomads
It's hardly surprisingly that Kampong Glam, home to the famed hipster shopping street Haji Lane, used to be a treasure trove for vintage hunters. While most stores have already moved out of the neighbourhood, you'll find one that stood the test of time. Trippies is a quiet but steady presence on Bussorah Street, offering a whole cornucopia of affordable trinkets and baubles that include affordable vintage clothing and curiosities.
Trippies. 42 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199460. +65 6298 2713. Daily 10.30am-10pm.
A VINTAGE TALEPhoto: City Nomads
The east side district of Joo Chiat boasts some great shopping gems, and one of them is A Vintage Tale. Borne out of a love for timeless fashion and retro styles, their collection is one that encapsulates the essence of vintage nostalgia. Owners Azzura and Jasmine keep their eyes peeled for the unique and rare, boasting pieces from the US, Scandinavia, and Spain, and names like Gucci and Moschino. Most items ring in above S$100, but for the quality you're getting, they're still a massive bargain.
A Vintage Tale. 277 Joo Chiat Road #02-01, Singapore 427531. +65 9187 0410. Wed-Sun 11.30am-6.30pm.
DEJA VU VINTAGEPhoto: City Nomads
Need a slinky evening dress for that big cocktail party? Situated near Singapore's Central Business District, Deja Vu Vintage prides itself in finding special one-of-a-kind pieces, whether it's gowns decorated with intricate detailing, vintage bomber jackets, or Mad Men-style puffed-sleeved tops. Most dresses come up under S$100 too. Their rare finds are available both online and offline, so be sure to check both platforms out for your next treasure.
Deja Vu Vintage. 9 Raffles Blvd #01-70, Singapore 039596. +65 6338 8013. Daily 11am-9pm.
DUSTBUNNY VINTAGEPhoto: City Nomads
If you're scouring Singapore for that bright red chevron Chanel lambskin bag, your search ends here. Newly relocated to Keong Saik Road, Dustbunny Vintage keeps a steady supply of vintage luxury bags and clothes, and their collection grows daily. Expect to shell out between S$100 to S$200 on clothes, and anywhere from S$55 to S$2,000 for vintage handbags. Inspired by the fashion trends of the 60s, this shop also designs in-house label shift dresses, pencil sheath dresses, and gorgeous accessories.
Dustbunny Vintage. 2A Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089110. +65 6222 0116. Mon-Fri 12.30pm-8.30pm Sat 1pm-7pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.