Alternative Shops for Christmas Shopping in Singapore


1st Storey

The latest indie pop-up boutique to open in Tiong Bahru, this is chock-full of clothes, accessories, ceramics and artwork, from at least 16 homegrown brands including Coupé-Cousu ($39 upwards) and MILS ($49 upwards), as well as new label Steel ($79). Highlights for the festive season include funky pop artworks by local artist Andre Tan ($880 upwards), one-off shades by Mystic Vintage ($220 upwards) and customized bowls, plates and ceramics by IEX Asian Heritage ($99 upwards).


The hundreds of styles and pieces here will set your pulse racing. For accessories, the Love Nail Tree necklaces ($39 upwards)with quirky detailing are top draw, while the all-over-print Dr. Denim Kissy Highwater three-quarter denim leggings ($89) make great gifts. Shoe lovers will swoon over the standout Veja heels ($95), while those looking for classic bags will love the massive Fjallraven Kanken bags ($79 upwards), not to mention there’re lots of cool graphic tees ($55 upwards) here, so no one goes home empty-handed.


Open since 2004, this inviting, minimalist-chic boutique is home to a smorgasbord of hard-to-find apparel, trinkets and accessories from Australian, Asian and homegrown labels like Rodeo Show, Alice McCall, Woon Hung, mrkt, Lesli Berggren Design, Icing and The Par Avion Store (prices range from $9.90 to $488). Home décor and lifestyle items, such as reed diffusers from BsaB ($15.90 upwards), will also make great gifts if you’re not looking for something fashion-related.


Although the famous indie store’s stylish collection is made up of local and emerging Asian labels like Sundays ($49 upwards) and Yuki Mitsuyasu ($85 upwards), it is the other unexpected knick-knacks here that rock. Local street artist Mark Ong’s light boxes ($950)come highly recommended for those into home decor, while the trendy Uppercut men’s hair gels ($35) are perfect for no-brainer gift ideas too.

nana & bird

This regular haunt for trendy, clued-in shoppers started out as a pop-up concept store before it settled permanently in the hip Tiong Bahru neighborhood last year. To keep things fresh, owners Georgina Koh and Chiew Ling Tan introduce new brands every month. The latest items available till December include Clare Vivier’s stylish leather fold over clutches ($160 upwards), Jennifer Loiselle’s colorful woven necklaces ($160 upwards), and Fabitoria’s statement print skirts ($229 upwards).


Grab a Sapporo draft beer at this three-in-one space while shopping for Americana-inspired attire at the K.I.N corner, which features brands like C. Chauchat (preppy ties, $209 upwards), Deck Towel (linen beach towels, $239 upwards) and Kiel James Patrick (bandanas and accessories, $69 upwards), all sure-fire festive hits. There is also a limited selection of New Balance kicks ($249) for the fashion-forward.

The Society of Black Sheep

Amid the stuffy high-end labels at Marina Bay Sands, this indie boutique stands out for its unpredictable and quirky mix of clothes, shoes and accessories from underground labels like Thierry Lasry, Clotilde, Lila Conti, Sacaporter and Injury ($88 upwards). Arriving in time for Christmas are digital print dresses from Antoni & Alison ($868 upwards) and bold animal print tunics by Leopard ($328 upwards)—all make great outfits for the upcoming parties.

Willow & Huxley

This cozy-chic boutique houses obscure labels like By Marlene Birger, Finders Keepers, Sam & Lavi and Cameo, with only a small number of pieces brought in for each style ($100 upwards). Personally handpicked by the owners, the oh-so-wearable pieces are versatile enough to take you from office to party. Its vintage and handmade jewelry ($40 upwards) makes pretty gifts, too.

Front Row

With budding local and Asian brands such as iamwhoiam, Ling Wu, Carrie K. and Seventy Eight Percent, this multi-label concept store has a carefree, effortlessly sophisticated vibe and it’s still one of the best indie boutiques in town. Although the ready-to-wear collection is top draw, designer home accessories like the A.P.C. candles, Ling Wu iPad covers and Karen Walker sunnies are hard to resist.

Inhabit – The Other Store

One of our favorite indie boutiques, it’s popular among trendy socialites who come for their weekly fix of hard-to-find high fashion labels like Dion Lee, MM6 by Margiela, Sharon Wauchob and Les Aperizes. For guys, the comfortable basics from Australia’s Bassike should do the trick. Especially for the festive season, the store will be bringing in a selection of bling from new accessories labels wear&tear and Jenny Sheriff.

Parco Next NEXT

Check out this local designers’ specialist zone which boasts a veritable load of finds. Upcoming fashion heroes Samuel Wong and Sunny Lim’s edgy menswear creations for labels Evenodd and MILS respectively can be found here, as well as new arrivals from upstarts 20:TWOTHREE and WSDM, the former for its oversized jackets and drop-crotch pants, and the latter for its layered silhouettes for jackets and tops.


Hip menswear boutique Surrender gets better by the day. There’re choice accessories like preppy Thom Browne ties, leather card cases and short tie bars that are perfect for the Christmas season, as well as limited edition white long-sleeved shirts produced in collaboration with the store. Elsewhere, feast on other gift ideas from coveted labels like Mark McNairy, Band of Outsiders and Maison Martin Margiela while you’re here.

Threadbare & Squirrel

Get your hands on gifts and clothes for the year-end parties at this indie multi-label store, which stocks an offbeat collection of apparel, accessories and curios. Local labels like A.K.A Wayward, Lion Earl, Depression, max.tan, By Airmail and PRiMARY predominate here, but there’re also a few international brands such as New York’s Nooka, UK’s O’clock, Bangkok’s mosstories and Italy’s Swank.


With over 19 designers and labels under one roof, there are definitely lots to love. Casual tailored shirts by WanderWonder and trendy tees by Coupé-cousu are great for men looking for ready-to-wear that is actually wearable. For the ladies, don’t miss out on the limited edition collection by veteran Tan Woon Choor. Other brands here include MU by Alfie Leong, Elohim, Ling Wu, Womb, Eve and Sceneplicity—you won’t be short of shopping ideas here.


Books Actually

You won’t run out of gift ideas here. From paperbacks to first editions to rare books ($10 upwards), there is something for every book lover. But if you’re looking for something a little quirkier, owner Kenny Leck and his team also carry some vintage knick-knacks like old notebooks, ashtrays and cups that are also ideal for the festive season.

Flea & Trees

Interior designer-lecturer Terence Yeung and fashion consultant Bella Koh are the husband-and-wife team behind this eclectic vintage shop. With their backgrounds and good taste, expect a carefully curated range of furniture, clothes, accessories, books, ceramics, homeware and magazines from past decades—perfect presents for vintage lovers. Prices range from $10 for a magazine to $2,500 for a floor light.

Goods of Desire

This lifestyle specialist is perfect for bulk shopping for Christmas. OK so it’s a little commercial, but the purveyor of trendy, mid-priced interior goods and fashion apparel stocks an amazing range of small goods, including its signature dining set that is emblazoned with Chinese characters “double happiness” (prices range from $6 for a soup spoon to $130 for a pair of solid brass chopsticks with 24k gold). A must if you’re running out of ideas (and time).

Straits Records

One of the coolest and most unexpected places for a festive gift, but it might just work out if you have some music-loving friends into left-field music. Apart from hard-core Asian rock sounds, they also carry a small, curated range of dance, reggae, indie and jazz music for the initiated. There is also a respectable selection of music and counterculture books and DVDs that you won’t find at the other major bookstores here. Prices start from $6 to $120.


Home to an interesting collection of paper goods, accessories and other novelties created by local and Japanese designers ($5 upwards), the rustic, minimalist store takes the stress out of Christmas shopping with its serene vibe. If something catches your eye, don’t just grab and go: talk to the nice shop assistant and ask the story behind the item, then tell it to your recipient to make him/her feel extra special.

The Little Dröm Store

This quaint store has a charming, nostalgic vibe, mostly due to the quirky indie merchandise it carries, like Mimipong’s plushes, pouches
and bags ($3 upwards), Vice and Vanity’s accessories ($85 upwards), Gemma Correll’s badges and postcards ($3 upwards), as well as tin toys and other retro items. Helmed by ad- and design-industry veterans Stanley Tan and Antoinette Wong, the shop also carries an eclectic range of illustration and photography books that the owners designed and published ($11 upwards).

World Savage

Previously known as Stevie General Store, this collectibles store and fashion boutique remains one of the city’s best places for art, antiques, books, lamps, tin toys, watches, silverware and every other item imaginable. Recent arrivals include vintage copper lamps from the ’50s and ’60s ($320), a poster of The Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious ($350) and vintage cowboy shirts for men ($80 upwards).


You’ll find preloved books, furniture and fresh flowers in this hideout. Not just a place for people to chill, sip drinks, browse books and daydream, it’s also a dynamic arts space run by Rayner Lim and Ave Chan to promote Singaporean NGOs, music, film, art and performances. Shop for the latest arrivals or rare secondhand books like Simon Lovat’s Attrition while you hang out with the cool crowd.

Home Decor

Fred Lives Here

If you’re thinking of sprucing up your home this festive season, this furniture store may just be your answer. It stocks high-quality reproductions of iconic modern classics like Ray and Charles Eames chairs ($210 upwards) and Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair ($1,330 upwards). Fred, the imaginative chap dreamed up by owner Angie Pasley, also collaborates with local and international artists for a number of one-off designer pieces including Ibride’s Mobilier de compagnie animal-inspired furnishings ($285 upwards).

Like That One

Belle Waring and Cheu Koh don’t just sell vintage furniture; they rescue unwanted items mostly from local secondhand furniture stores, garage sales and even the dumpster, then restore them. Get lost in this 1,400 sq. ft. space filled with cool Art Deco furnishings, chic ’50s and ’60s goods and other unique, funky accessories. Prices range from $50 for a home decor piece to $3,000 for furniture.


Tired of mass-produced home décor items that everyone seems to have? This design boutique will provide that breath of fresh air. Established in 2008, Strangelets is still one of the best spots in town for wild and wow furnishings and accessories sourced from all over the world, like the cool lamp that resembles a hawthorn hedge ($2,000 upwards). If you’re looking to refresh your space for the festivities, you know where to go.