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Baju by Oniatta
Photo: Baju by Oniatta

The best boutiques and shops in Singapore for modern cheongsams and batik

Traditional clothes and fabrics step up in style - and into modern times

By Delfina Utomo

Trends come and go but style is forever. And where better to turn for inspiration than traditional garb that are timeless, thoughtful and classy? They shouldn’t be saved just for special occasions either – here are the brands making heritage pieces tastefully modern and wearable.

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Studio HHFZ
Photo: Studio HHFZ

Studio HHFZ

Shopping Fashion Rochor

If you want a piece that is truly yours, get one made at the hip Studio HHFZ at Katong's creative hub, MOX. You start with a consultation with the dressmaker and the magic begins to happen. From their portfolio, you'll see traditional designs made fresh and elegant again – sometimes with a modern twist. Details like the mother-of-pearl buttons to tweed fabric make the creations stand out from other modern cheongsam. Need a cheongsam jumpsuit? They make one too. 

BUY The key to a good cheongsam lies in the fit so getting a bespoke piece is a must. No two pieces at Studio HHFZ are the same – you can bring your own fabric or shop for the perfect piece in-store with the dressmaker. From that base, customise it with buttons, pockets or fluttery sleeves. Dresses
not your thing? Make a jumpsuit instead if you prefer the comfort of pants.

Baju by Oniatta
Photo: Baju by Oniatta

Baju by Oniatta

Shopping Boutiques Marine Parade

Behind every batik fabric is a story. Batik refers to the technique of making intricate patterns onto a piece of fabric. A delicate, time-consuming art form, a lot of skill is put into designing each sheet. Look closely and each motif also carries symbolic meanings – and this is what owner Oniatta Effendi showcases with every collection. Whether it’s the Merdeka jacket with parang prints, which symbolise victory and power, or the men’s shirt adorned with the Garuda (a mythical bird), which represents masculinity, the garments you’re wearing all tell a story.

BUY Get a kebaya set from the Nostalgia series. Each set is inspired by strong women in Oniatta’s life and come with a
white kebaya in several styles, a piece of batik tulis and an optional obi belt.


The Missing Piece

Shopping Boutiques Newton

You won't have to worry about the missing piece in your wardrobe at this homegrown label. Give yourself a fashion update this CNY with modern cheongsams complete with flattering silhouettes and soft, breathable fabrics that are perfect for our balmy climate. Make heads turn with designs that include cape-sleeved frocks, off-shoulder jacquard dresses, laced jumpsuits and more in drop-dead gorgeous prints. Dress the entire fam with matching prints for men, boys and girls while you're at it.  

BUY Set trends with the Mirabella Cheongsam from The Missing Piece’s 2020 collection. It features a luxurious and unique multi-coloured floral lace fabric that is reminiscent of Peranakan batik.

A Missing Piece
Photo: A Missing Piece


Shopping Boutiques Hougang

If you're one to be bold at family gatherings, ba-tick clothes shopping off your list at this mother-daughter boutique. With an eye for gorgeous batik, browse through racks and racks of women's pieces in modern silhouettes specially designed in-house and made with handcrafted batik sourced from various parts of Indonesia. Update your wardrobe with fresh threads like flared slit culottes, wide-sleeved wrap tops, bodycon dresses as well as bareback cheongsams just in time for Chinese New Year. 

BUY A batik jumpsuit – for you and your mother. From fitted halterneck styles to comfortable roomy jumpsuits in batik print, these pieces fit any style and make you feel and look good. 

Photo: ANEARDstore


Shopping Boutiques City Hall

Ethical, sustainable and fashionable, ANERDstore is more than just a fashion label. It works with craftsmen from Indonesia to produce one-of-a-kind batik or tenun (cloth made from a traditional art of weaving) pieces. Shop blouses, kimono tops, skirts and even batik notebooks. ANERDstore also holds batik-making workshops for the public to drive more awareness to the art of batik.

BUY Keep it casual with batik culottes that you can pair with a t-shirt for everyday wear. On days where you need to impress, wear it with a matching batik tunic to make a statement.

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