SINGAPORE - While I was heading for Bugis street to do my shopping, but the sweet air-con at Bugis Junction was calling my name.
Given the heat, I just had to answer.
Yes, Bugis Junction had many big names, but I was looking for the smaller - cheaper - names. I'm happy to report that I was successful in finding quite a gem.
With a store called Femmex, I expected raw and edgy style. And this was apparent from the get-go.
I absolutely loved the festival-ready outfits like long, cotton maxi dresses with prints of the peace sign. A slit in the centre up till the knees added extra spunk.
The jersey pencil skirts caught my eye too. One was a grey skirt that had a subtle Aztec print - great for the office while still having a little fun.
I loved how simple and (dare I say) over-used styles were updated easily with colours and prints.
An example is the bright orange peplum dress. Yes, although seen almost everywhere, I'm still a fan of the style (It hides my tummy!). The colour really brought it to life.
The striped pencil skirts were nice to look at, but I steered clear of them as I did not need any help to look bigger.
There were a multitude of cropped tops, which everyone seems to be sporting these days. They came in a variety of prints and while I wouldn't dare expose my midriff, I would wear them over a simple dress for a different look.
The store also had great clutches and bags in vibrant colours.
I kept giggling with glee when I realised almost all the pieces were cheap.
The dresses hardly cost more than $30. Most of them cost between $22 and $28. The tops were usually $20 and below.
As I draped a couple of dresses and skirts on my arms, I headed into the spacious fitting room excitedly.
To my disappointment, a lot of the dresses didn't fit - even a seemingly loose-fitting $28 maxi dress.
The black dress clung awkwardly to my curves, causing me to shudder (and skip lunch).
Not wanting to give up just yet, I tried another dress - a fitted sleeveless $22 tank dress with a print of a lovely sunset landscape.
That, too, highlighted the unflattering parts of my bottom-heavy body. I have worn bodycon dresses that complemented my curves, so it might have been the thin material that was the problem.
Most of these pieces came in only one size, so I didn't have alternatives.
I did manage to fit into the blouses though - like the fabulous cropped tops that featured prints of colourful geometric shapes.
On sale was a wonderful leopard print blouse with a plain black collar that cost $19.
And if all else fails, you can always turn to the clutches.
An oversized pink clutch with black piping cost just $22. Another smart, sophisticated bag that is big enough to fit a 13-inch laptop cost $45. While it's plain, the faux-leather bag came in exciting colours like orange, mustard yellow and electric blue.
The store was small, but the space was well-utilised. Dresses and skirts were at one side of the store. Tops and blouses were on the other.
That makes it easier to browse, based on what you are looking for.
There is also a sales rack, so head straight for it if you are short on cash.
I was a little peeved with the service here.
First, the saleswoman did not greet me when I entered the store. Hmmm.
Second, as soon as I finished browsing through one rack, she would immediately jump in to make sure the clothes that I had just touched were put back in place properly.
While I know she was simply doing her job, it made me a feel a little self-conscious and I was less motivated to browse after that.
Third, before even hearing what I was going to ask her, she jumped in just after I said "Excuse me..." and told me a bag was $45 before I finished asking my question.
I told her I actually wanted to ask her what other colours the bag came in.
With cheap prices and great designs, it's a store worth visiting - only if you're ultra skinny. If you're not, you may find your choices a little limited.
Check it out
Where: #03-22 Bugis Junction
When: Monday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm
History: Femmex started out as a blogshop a few years ago. Besides its outlet at Bugis, it also has two other outlets at VivoCity and Cathay Cineleisure Orchard.
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