After featuring cheap cheongsams in an earlier post from both online and actual stores dated 13 January, I will now showcase those in the mid-range pricing. So what do I mean by this? I see mid-range as anything from around S$90 to S$200.
Within this category, there are the online boutiques dedicated to the cheongsams like The Happy Cheongsam, Our Bitsy Prints, Joli Pretty, Lark & Peony, and The Lady General etc. For actual stores, other than Clothier, which currently is available via pop-up stores or the boutique of Ji Xiang Ju, I can’t think of any other dedicated brands that offer dresses within this range. However this being Chinese New Year season, there are a number of boutiques taking the opportunity to offer cheongsams to shoppers, and so, we now have a wider selections to choose from.
Most cheongsam within the mid range are of cotton material, with some in polyester. The Happy Cheongsam and Joli Pretty have offered silk cheongsams at the higher end of this range, and I guess they can do it because of lower operating cost for being an online retailer.
Joli Pretty (JP) launched their second CNY collection last week, and the designs are nothing new, like these below.
Though it looks like the customers don’t mind, because all except one dress are sold out. The only new design is this cheongsam dress with front pockets, and I must say I like the functional office wear look.
While thinking over the online cheongsam designers, I recalled The Girl’s Kaksh (TGK), which I had only mentioned once or twice in my blog. I contacted the designer, Audrey, to request to feature her clothes but she replied that she was not ready. (I guess my opinions can be a little too intimidating.) Anyway I found out that she has a studio where she provides private shopping (in her words) to interested ladies.
It so happens that there is a series of shopping sessions this weekend. So I went over during lunch time today to check out the clothes. By the way, there is no pictures because I couldn’t take any and I didn’t get any permission. However you can check out the dresses in TGK’s Facebook page.
Anyway my first impression of the collection is that it reminds me of those from Tong Tong Friendship Store (and I was at the shop to check out the latest launch yesterday), a little whimsy, a little quirky. TT’s designs are inspired by Chinese folk arts and I see similar themes in many of TGK’s dresses as well. Though for the latter, Audrey didn’t just have dresses or tops, but also rompers. Other than the tops, they are priced at above S$160, but below S$200 except for one dress which is only slightly more. For comparison, here’s a dress from TT.
I guess, for those who like TT’s designs, they can go for cheaper options at TGK, which is half the price. (At TT, even cotton cheongsams are going for more than S$300.) By the way, I will feature TT dresses in my post on the expensive cheongsams, which will be up soon.
At TGK, all dresses are unique in that they are all one-off. I guess for the price you pay, that is pretty good since you are getting a dress which no one else has it. But it also means there isn’t really any sizing, and it may or may not fit you. In fact, more than likely, it doesn’t, and TGK will alter at a cost. I enquired about one dress (just to get a gauge of the pricing), and was told the collar doesn’t fit me well and would require customized tailoring. The cost for that starts from S$220. Though I wonder if that means there will be a duplicate of the same dress.
If you are the sort who prefer to shop as and when you like and try on a dress before buying, you can check out the actual boutiques instead. But almost all of them offer the usual traditional/classic straight fit cheongsams. Like Fraiche at Raffles City (3rd level), with the typical floral print dresses.
Another is Flourish at One Raffles Place (4th level), which has both silk (~S $250) and non-silk cheongsams (~S $150). I have to say I have reservations about such short, body-hugging dresses, which seem more appropriate for KTV hostess.
Then, of course, there is Miz Apparels.
The only boutique which has a different albeit interesting design is Seven (at Chevron House ground level). Strangely, the store doesn’t offer much cheongsam selections, unlike previous year. Maybe they didn’t sell so well.
For dedicated cheongsam store, Cloth.ier has polyester dresses with in-house prints. These are slightly more than S$100, but at least you can be sure that you won’t see the prints anywhere else unless the fabric manufacturer offers to other buyers.
Clothier also has stretch cotton cheongsams at slightly higher prices. I visited the shop at the invite of the owner, Ping, and she kindly explained to me her collections and the work that went into making them. I will review the dresses in a separate post.
I just spotted a really whimsical dress on Miz Apparels’ FB page and it’s tempting me!
This year being the year of the sheep, the print is really fitting! The dress is S$159. You can also get a cute sheep brooch to go with it.