The Shopping Rants

Chronicling the good, bad and the budget-bursting shopping trails of Singapore

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Have bag, will Summer

Little Miss Shopaholic is bored.

Ever since the Great Singapore Sale has started, her haul has been less than impressive. The most expensive outing she had recently was at bookstore Kinokuniya, where she utilized the 20% discount coupons to great satisfaction, causing her to be $50 poorer. Yes, LMS is an intellectual reader/bargain hunter and she bought four books on discount!

Unfortunately, shops in Singapore bore her periodically. Which is when online shopping comes in handy but then again, shipping can be such a bitch.

Tsk tsk, no more negative thoughts.

LMS recently underwent a Coach phase, where she would surf to the Coach website and look longingly at the pictures of the gorgeous Coach wallets and bags. There was one summer bag that caught LMS’ discerning attention – a cutesy straw bag with butterflies and flowers appliqué. The straps were in white, brown or black leather and they were little boxy handheld totes that were just the perfect accessories for the summer. LMS imagined holding on to this teeny babies, wearing her new strappy straw wedges and a brightly-coloured babydoll smocked dress.

But alas, LMS could only look and swoon because the cost of that cute tote was prohibitive. Imagine then, to her immense surprise, she found look-alikes in the bland shop of *gasps* Charles and Keith!

Now, we all know that Charles and Keith is a homegrown shoe boutique that has made good here and elsewhere. Applause please! But sadly, LMS has lost interest in the brand, for the designs were never kitschy or attractive enough for her to be willing to plonk S$30 for them. She would rather pay a wee bit more at shops like Substance, Tangs or Hue.

Back to the story of the Coach look-alikes. Yes, there they were! Little boxy totes in different sizes, with black, white or brown leather straps! The resemblance was just uncanny. The prices were competitive too, about S$35. When LMS was at the suburban Sengkang outlet, she saw likeminded women snapping up those bagseys.

LMS says: Go grab them for what's left of summer!

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PS LMS was a thrifty diva and hence, did not buy the bag. Watching bank accounts grow can be fun. And these are not the real thang, but other doppleganger.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Go forth and experiment!

There are times when the feathers of Little Miss Shopaholic get so terribly ruffled.

See, LMS does not believe in wearing "safe" outfits all the time. While she enjoys going back to the basics on occasion, she does not think that basics equates to everyday. Sure, that pair of legs-lengthening Levis topped with a cute little camisole looks grrrreat but dahhling, you cannot wear that sort of combi everyday, you know. So boring.

So LMS tries to mix and match, and put together contrasting looks. A tube dress doubling as a tunic worn over a pair of chocolate-brown tight jeans. A business shirt in white and blue stripes made casual by pulling one side over the other to form an asymmetric neckline, instead of the normal straight buttoning. A glittery, baby blue and white paisley top with this season's favourite city shorts, ending with a pair of ballet pumps. White, resort-y gauchos and a brilliant blue snug polo tee, paired with blue suede wedge heels. Black pleated babydoll chiffon top over a tube top, topped with a cropped khaki shrug, a la SJP in Sex and the City.

But alas! For all her imagination and creativity, LMS is often the recipient of comments like "You look strange". Or "these don't go". No wonder Singapore has such a disastrous lack of artists!

LMS is still on the right end of the trailblazing 20s' and she refuses to be apologetic for being daring. As a local fashion scribe says, it's alright for a lamb to look like a lamb or a mutton, but totally gross for a mutton to masquerade as lamb.

So LMS says, If there's any time for fashionable lasses to experiment and try, it's now!"

Don't be afraid of snide comments, of cynical second looks, of discouraging shakes of heads. LMS gives you her blessings to go ahead and be a daring trendsetter instead of looking just like any other girl on the street!

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Who says bermudas cannot be sexy?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The elixir of youth

Now, LMS will have you know that she is a very youthful lady girl, with an amazingly petite body. She does not exercise, nor does she watch her diet. She eats, sleeps and vegetates in front of the television/computer like everyone does, maybe more. But (un)fortunately, she remains remarkably slender, having been blessed with metabolism the speed of light.

But that is not the point of this posting. The point is: it is great to be slender sometimes!

You see, sometimes it is a pain to be so slender. LMS would always go shopping, ooh and ahh over some gorgeous piece of clothing, only to find that it is too big! Imagine the disappointment, the crushing defeat. Oh she hates them sizists!

But LMS has come to discover that being small has its advantages. For one, she can buy kids clothes at the fraction of the cost of a similar piece for adults! No kidding!

Recently, on one of her jaunts to Great World City, LMS decided to pop into Esprit (no choice, GWC is a rather boring place). She seldom buys Esprit things because she finds them overpriced ($89.90 for a silly pair of casual cargo pants? Puh-leeeeaze!). Being a maternal person (uhhmm), she went over to the kids department to see if there were any bargains to be bought for her darling little nephew.

Her hands moved swiftly through the racks....wait! What's this? A pair of white jeans. Hmm....LMS bit her lip and thought hard. She had been seeking out a pair of white pants for a while...but this is the kids department, could she actually wear anything? What the heck, trying is free.

To her amazement, the jeans fit perfectly! From the low-rise, to the snug way it encased her tiny bottom, to the length which ended slightly below her feet, everything was perfect. In addition, the price was perfect too - $28.30, after a 50% discount!

One word - buy.

Go ahead and laugh at LMS for her non-existant boobs and butt. See who's having the last laugh now, ho ho ho!

Even LMS also cannot fit into this sweet outfit
Originally uploaded by ashleyactually.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Shopping in Las Vegas

Well well well, who would have known! Little Miss Shopaholic has become an international shoplogger! It's not enough that she tries to bring you shopping hysterics around Singapore, now she has gone on to Las Vegas to sniff out the bestest and the mostest.

As most trips to the USA go, one would be a snuffing idiot if one does not go to any factory outlet. No, darling, it's not a factory, it's an outlet where there are hundreds of shops selling out-of-season pieces for the fraction of their original prices. Imagine that! All the American brands that you can imagine - Guess, Levis, Coach, Fossil, Banana Republic - at cheap, cheap prices under one gigantic roof!

But ewww, out-of-season stuff, you say, doesn't that make me unfashionable?

Honey, if you were to try being fashionable all the time, you would go maaaad, wouldn't you? LMS' motto has always been to buy classic pieces that will last through the years, and not buy silly frothy things that will look distasteful the season after. Thriftiness is a virtue, no?

Anyway, Sin City itself houses two factory outlets, both under the umbrella of Chelsea Premium. One is located near the airport, which is at the southern-most end of the Strip. Now, the Strip here is different from the local Strip. No waxing is involved, only tens of hotels, all with their own identities and awesome architecture. The other outlet is at Downtown, which is up north from the Strip.

So, what do you get when you go to either outlet?
Many, many shops, that's what.

LMS spotted many bargains while charging her way through both outlets. Fossil watches were going for as low as USD19.99. Them funky doddle Philippe Starck watches were going at USD29.99!

Not convinced? Okay, how about classy Coach signature print wristlets at merely USD39? Speaking of Coach, LMS adores the range of wallets with the elegant signature delectable and yet so unattainable....happy 25th birthday to LMS, anyone?

The one to benefit most from her shopping exertions is Mr LMS. Being a man of huge heart and a huger frame, he often has problems buying clothes that fit him and are still affordable. LMS was kind enough to pick out the following items, lovingly, for him - a short-sleeved Banana Republic crisp striped/white shirt for a steal at USD13, a pair of Dockers dress pants for USD24.99 and a pair of Levis cargo pants (which are surprisingly too big for him *gasp *) at USD29.99. What a wonderful girlfriend LMS is!

LMS mama had it good too, as she had received a Nine West leather bag for a puny sum of USD19.99. LMS didn't stinge on herself either and got a bag for herself at USD29.99. The best thing was, there was an outrageous discount of 30% for all bags! You do the math and see how much smug LMS got her bags for.

Purple is the colour of royalty and as such, is the only colour that befits someone of LMS' stature. Hence, it is of no surprise that she was wowed over by two perfectly sweet lilac tops from Guess. Her damage over there? USD40. But wait! That's not all. At a little shop in the Strip outlet, LMS bought two cardigans for merely USD5 each! One is pink and has a sexy lace panel for a back. The other one is totally obnoxious - it's baby blue and has a removable fur collar! Outrageous! So Ambercrombie and Fitch but oh so delightfully cheap!

Sigh....LMS is suffering from withdrawal syndrome just thinking about the shopping there. *sniffs *

Inside Wynn Las Vegas 1
LMS slept on this very (huge) bed

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The UN of shoes

LMS. Needs. To. Get. Rid. Of. Old. Shoes.

Okay, so Little Miss Shopaholic has just bought another pair of shoes.
Big deal right?
Why is it such a big deal?
Because LMS has been eyeing said shoes for the longest time (two months)! Hurrah for sales and discounts!
And because LMS is such a sweetling, she will share with you her find - local diva x:odus!

Hurry down to x:odus now as shoes go as low as $9. There are funky floral wedges, which LMS's dear friend Popartgirl is in possession of, cutesy round-toe tweed heels that are oh-so-retro (stupid sizists, smallest size is only 5??!), slinky metallic thongs in ravishing silver, bronze and gold, pretty ballet flats with sequins (ditto sizists), pastoral slippers with dragonfly motifs (yes, shoes can be....pastoral)....oh the list goes on! LMS could die of hyperventilation before she finishes the list!

LMS procured a pair of purple wedge heels (wedge heels are all over the rage now, dahhhhling) which she had been stalking like mad since February. It used to retail for $42.90 (those bloodsuckers, tsk tsk) and now it's an amazing $29!

But now, she is frantically deciding between leaving the shoes in her cosy little cubicle at work or bringing them back home immediately. You see, LMS-Mama thinks that LMS has too many pairs of shoes. So if LMS leaves the shoes in office, she can then bring them back on Friday night and pretend that it was a gift from the boyfriend! Brilliant, right? The only problem is that LMS is not a hoarder, unlike Popartgirl. She loves the luxury of unwrapping a new find, parading in it in her room and then carefully placing it in its rightful position in the closet. She loves coming up with outfits to match the new member of the family. She cannot bear the thought of her new item still holed up in its box, unworn and unloved for more than a week. No no no!

Lest you think that LMS is incorrigible and has a closet full of shoes, she assures you that she is not and is the owner of only....okay, she dares not count the number of pairs of shoes that she has. It's not quantity that matters, my dear, it's the quality. She will, however, let on that she has the shoes equivalent of the United Nations in her shoe closet. Why, it could even be a rainbow!

Black, pink, blue, purple, white, red, beige, brown, silver, grey.....see, it ain't that many, right?

Monday, April 04, 2005

KL one night stand

Little Miss Shopaholic is back!
She's been swamped under work but have no fear, she is back with a vengence.

Alright, now that the festive season is so over, there really aren't that many sales around. What, can't LMS buy stuff when there is no sale? That's not the point. The point is, the thrill of buying something that's sooooo on sale is sooooo addictive.

Anyway, LMS went to Kuala Lumpur for business a couple of weeks back and boy, was she a happy queen after that. She braved the heavy downpour to throng the Jalan Bukit Bintang area and was rewarded with Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Aeropostale goodies! In addition, she even bought something for LMS-Mama, who was very pleased with her grey, embroidered top. So, where did LMS stumble onto these goodies?

Why, at Factory Outlet Store (F.O.S), of course!
Everybody who is a fashion slave knows about the wonders of F.O.S. It stocks up choice clothings from A&F, Gap, Old Navy, Hollister, Aeropostale etc. No need to fly thousands of miles to lay your hands on the cutesy mini-skirts of Hollister! No need to pay through your nose for a pair of Gap denims. Just drive up four hours (or in LMS's case, fly up in 50 minutes) and tah dah!

The best part about shopping at F.O.S is, of course, the currency rate. LMS bought an indecent A&F denim mini-skirt, a Aeropostale sheer military shirt, a cheery Hollister top, Mama's top and a foldable umbrella (didn't she tell you that there was a downpour for merely S$60! Everybody say "WOW!"

KL is not only good for F.O.S (which, frankly, you can get in JB while on a seafood binge), it is also home to Vincci, Seed, Eclipse, Nose and Tangs. Vincci's local incarnation is VNC, which is actually pathetic when you compare it to KL. Ditto Seed. As for Eclipse and Nose, well they are not available in Singapore, which sucks. Eclipse actually has pretty nice stuff but unfortunately, its foray into Singapore failed miserably some years back.

You may wonder, Tangs in KL?? "But...but we can get it in Singapore!"
Yes, of course you can, this is a local brand, duh. But there, LMS can indulge in her favourite Studio ballet pumps for merely RM25! Tell me, can you find such lobangs in Singapore? NO.

So if you are cash-strapped but want to have a break somewhere in the middle of civilisation, head down to KL and explore the uncharted terrains of Bukit Bintang.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Box Ensemble

Little Miss Shopaholic is determined to bring to all of you the newest and coolest (read: cheapest) shopping greats despite the fact that she is on shopping-diet. What to do, need to save money for holiday.

Today, she has discovered a brand new, err, brand located right within Isetan at Shaw House!
It's called The Box Ensemble and the moment she caught sight of it from the escalator, she decided that it was a "must see". And boy, was she right!

The Box Ensemble features clothes that are uniquely different from what the rest of the Isetan brands are selling. The clothes are designed in such a way that unexpected items pop out everywhere. A pretty, feminine top could be made edgy with unfinished seams and deconstructed items are not rare on the rack.

Some items that made LMS' heart palpitate include:
1) Wife beaters in various colours embellished with flowers and lace - a mix of boyish casual and vintage
2) Cutesy short-sleeved boleros in noxious green and yellow
3) Shrugs in various colours such as green, red and yellow

Spring/Summer has hit us and LMS says, "Bright colours is the way to go!

The best thing about The Box Ensemble is that prices are not terribly expensive!
As LMS is a poorly-paid writer, cost-cutting is thus of utmost importance to her. For example, the above-mentioned wife beater costs only $25.90 and the shrugs, $33.90.
If only LMS is not so poorly-paid, she would have hauled the entire rack to the changing room and tried on each and every single item.

Plus: Cheap, funky items at affordable prices
Minus: You get what you pay for - materials are alright but not rapturously great