Spot the cheongsam (updated on 3 October)

Over the past few months I’ve been keeping an eye for new designs but unfortunately there’re hardly any since Chinese New Year is long over. But I’ve managed to spot some which I like to share here.

This is the typical lace overlay floral print from Hana boutique.

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I’m not sure if I would recommend these dresses from Hana. The prints look rather ‘auntie-like’ (frumpy).

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Recently Hana revamped their window display at The Arcade store, and now it looks more atelier-like. You would expect the dress on display to be stunning to attract shoppers. But it turns out to be a disappointment with this boring pale pink cheongsam with lace appliqué. Seriously, for S$1600, I expect a lot more.

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Now, this dress is much better with a modern floral print.

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In mid May, all the boutiques at One Raffles Place were having big sale as the building was slated for refurbishment starting end June and they had to move out by then. This was a modern cheongsam by Miz Apparel.

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Vougeois had a massive sale of 70% off all dresses including cheongsams. So I grabbed the chance to get this simple modern look, which I had featured in an earlier post. The dress was originally priced at S$349 and after discount it was a low S$104.70 which was a very good deal. The boutique offered alteration service for $30, and I ignored my own advice and took it. I’ve mentioned a couple of times before if the alteration measurements are taken by a staff and not a seamstress, don’t go for it, and yet I did. As I should have expected the dress required a second alteration and still not totally satisfactory to me. It just doesn’t fit well. After wearing it once, I’ve decided to send it to my regular alteration shop, Alter Pro, to fix it.

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Blum, also located at the same building, offered cheongsams from past seasons at half price. I got this simple black dress with embroidered design and side zip at S$148. Blum doesn’t offer alteration service for clothes on sale. So instead of taking the dress to Alter Pro, I decided to try out this alteration service at Arcade, which I had used to change the elastic band of Alex’s little PJ pants. It turns out that not anyone can fix a cheongsam, and I should have realized from past experience that it’s best to stick to the tried and tested. Again, I’m not happy with the end result, especially since the right seam seems to have nipped in a little too much, and the bodice doesn’t fit well. Unfortunately it means I have to spend extra for Alter Pro to fix it. Moral of the story: if you want to fix a cheongsam, go to someone you trust.

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I want to show here one of my favourite cheongsams which I bought some years ago from Blum. I love the Impressionist-like floral print and the color combination.

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After a reader alerted me to an online cheongsam retailer, The Girl’s Kaksh, I checked out the designs. The founder and designer, Audrey, also sells the dresses at retail fairs at Vivocity and Red Dot museum. I linked up with her and visited the one at Vivo to try out the below two dresses. The thing is because the fair is a makeshift one, so the trying out of clothes have to be done in the toilets, so it is not as convenient as a retail store. Anyway my husband took one look at both dresses, rolled his eyes and exclaimed, “so auntie!”

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This is a sexy cheongsam from Shanghai Tang, which is good for a regular day. But it demands the wearer to have fab physique to pull it off.

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(Update)
I was alerted that Zalora, a big online retailer in Singapore, offers cheongsams as well, both dresses and tops. One of the brands available is Clothier, a cheongsam specialist. For those looking for cheap cheongsams, you can get them for less than S$50.

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