Shopping online can get a little intimidating if you don’t know where to start. After all, blog shops continue to infiltrate the World Wide Web with affordable but substandard finds. Still, there are some sites that fall under the radar offering unexpected gems and previously unavailable labels. Here are our top picks for the season.
Who says affordable men’s shirts are usually poorly made? Founder Sherrey Chng-Bahuguna uses only premium fabrics with high thread counts and custom shirts, creating a value-for-money selection spanning over 40 handcrafted designs. “The only thing not extravagant about the shirts is the price, starting from just $80,” she says. Even the buttons here are carefully chosen to reflect the brand’s artisanal aesthetic. “Each shirt comes with laser-engraved BNS buttons, and is born with a unique female name like Miyuki, Ming and Ayako.” All shirts are also double-stitched for durability, with highlights such as the Sora featuring subtle white and-blue checks ($99) and formal working shirts like the Kishi ($109) which sports a classic collar and signature logo embroidery on its sleeve plackets. To further seal the deal: there’s an easy-to-use sizing chart and free shipping island-wide.
The collections from this quirky shopping site—from accessories to postcards and even candles, perfumes and cushions—are as vibrant as its name, inspired mby the phrase “joie de vivre” (joy of living). Founder Angelina Seow’s penchant for precious, pretty objects are apparent in their selections here—cushions from Picasso ($190 upwards) bearing illustrations inspired by, you guessed it, Picasso’s cubic artworks, the site’s in-house jewelry brand notiz by Jooix with adorable animal motifs embellished with precious stones ($335 upwards), and chunky accessories from Gwen Stefani’s sought-after L.A.M.B. fashion brand, such as a statement bracelet engulfed in solid brass and plated in 18K gold ($230). “Unlike other online stores, Jooix is somewhere between luxury and indie,” says Seow. “It bridges the gap between the intangible online and brick-and-mortar experiences by creating an online shopping interaction akin to strolling down the small streets of Paris and New York—the kind lined with niche boutiques full of delectable gems.”
Channeling looks that are hot off the fashion pages, this womenswear site is a must for hard-to-find American designer labels like Parker, Boulee, Wildfox, CCSkye and Joomi Lim. Coveted by Hollywood celebrities, these brands were previously unavailable here. “While studying and interning in LA, a friend and I fell in love with the vibrant yet laid-back spirit of SoCal (short for Southern California) lifestyle and fashion,” says founder Katheleen Painan. “So on our return to Singapore after graduation, we decided to bring the SoCal style we love so much to locals and shoppers across Asia.” The result: pictorials), plus quick style references on each product and info on which celebrity has been seen wearing them. Highlights include the long pleated maxi dress from Parker ($395) and spiked bracelets from Joomi Lim ($155 upwards).
For home décor pieces with an edge, look no further. Designer Linda Lim handcrafts some seriously collectible ornaments that personalized, decorative skulls; we have since evolved into being a retailer of taxidermy-inspired and rare vintage ornaments,” says Lim. “Pieces are specially handpicked from all over the world with each item being the only one in stock.” There are some one-offs that are truly desirable, like the unique Garden of Eden mixed media artwork which consists of an antler and a series of dried moss and beetles placed in a birdcage ($660), plus Lim’s own creations of handcrafted florescent skulls ($220) which are also standouts, alongside a series of photo frames and bookends ($39 upwards). The eclectic range here is nothing short of inspiring.