Swap and shop vintage
With the sustainable movement growing in Singapore, it's nice to see that clothes swapping is becoming a thing in Singapore. Opened in July 2018, The Fashion Pulpit is a physical store where you can swap preloved clothes and accessories, and even buy them. Their collection is vast – you can find both high street and designer pieces in the mix and prices are kept affordable. But if you sign up to be a 'swapper' there's also many benefits to reap like racking up those swap points for an incredible item and joining in on fun events.
Authentic designer vintage fashion
If you think vintage shopping is about second-hand duds and 80s clothes, A Vintage Tale will prove you wrong. This little gem in Joo Chiat stocks genuine vintage threads, some from way back in the '50s. Dig up brands like Gucci, Valentino, Moschino, pick from accessories and clothes and also bring home your collection of treasures at the end of it all.
Rare luxury bags and vintage dresses
Since 2003, Dustbunny Vintage has been selling vintage clothing and accessories alongside retro-inspired dresses designed under its own label. Favouring fresh floral patterns and feminine designs, the brand carries clothing from the ’50s to ’90s that include vintage kimonos, ’60s scooter dresses and ’80s batik shifts. Those with more expensive tastes will adore Dustbunny’s collection of rare designer handbags by Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. Clothes and accessories start from $45, while luxury bags costs between $950 and $9,000.
Dresses for casual and formal occasions
Comb the racks of this boutique for pre-loved clothes, bags and accessories that are imported from the US and Europe – they include coveted couture pieces from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta and other luxury fashion houses. Prices range from $35 for a pair of earrings to under $500 for a formal ball gown, while designer pieces go for up to 80% off their original retail prices. Besides clothes, Deja Vu Vintage stocks a modest collection of quirky tchotchkes for the dresser, such as earring and ring holders.
Fully serviced antique typewriters
Listen up, all you hipsters and Hemingway devotees. Vintage Empire is the only brick-and-mortar store in Singapore that specialises in pre-loved typewriters. Owned and managed by Jason Chong, the shop offers fully serviced vintage typewriters ($150-$450) sourced from the US and Germany. Chong also provides repair and servicing, ensuring all the ‘clicks’ and ‘clacks’ on your unit are up to scratch.
Pre-owned high-end timepieces
Equipped with technical training from Switzerland, Henry Lim founded Chuan Watch in 1995 selling pre-owned luxury watches. The company grew to become a family business as Lim’s sons, Nicholas and Shaun, joined forces with their father to groom the store to one of the city’s foremost when it comes to vintage timepieces. Chuan Watch carries brands such as Rolex, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe, with price tags of $1,000 and above. Each watch undergoes scrupulous checks by the trio to ensure their authenticity. The watches all carry a one-year in-house warranty as well as a buyback scheme at depreciated prices.
Furniture from the mid-century and earlier
The folks behind Journey East have been collecting vintage furniture throughout their travels. Dating between the ’20s and ’60s, the pieces on offer all bear European design flair, from art deco to mid-century modern to Dutch colonial. Besides its vintage offerings, the brand carries eco-friendly reclaimed teak, industrialstyled furnishings made from iron and wood, and modern furniture pieces. Journey East also stocks a range of new collections, including its very own PLAYplay, as well as international brands such as d-Bodhi, District Eight, Drugeot Labo and Qeeboo.
Homeware from a bygone era
Second Charm will take you down memory lane with its vintage furniture and homeware that range from mid-century modern, art deco, Scandinavian and decorative French styles. Most of its vintage chairs, ottomans, coffee tables and chests (from about $150) have been refurbished – some have even been re-upholstered – as have its home accessories such as lamps, doors, windows and other salvages. Second Charm takes custom orders, too, perfect for if you want a reproduction done.
SOSN, which has five locations island-wide, is abundant with pre-owned clothes, bags, shoes, household items, and other bric-a-brac. Prices begin at $1, and you’ll be doing good, too – supported by the Singapore Anglican Community Services, SOSN employs and trains those recovering from psychiatric conditions.
New2U is stocked with clothing, accessories, household items and books, among other items, that have been lovingly donated and now go for as low as $1. Pro tip: visit on the last two working days of every month – all items will be sold for a 50% discount.
As the biggest thrift store in Singapore, Praisehaven is stocked to the brim with second-hand furniture, clothes, books, household accessories and more. Prices vary, and are not as dirt-cheap as the other two on this list – a scooter, for example, costs $80 while a furniture set sells for $1,000.