Ladies, you are seriously spoilt for choice! There are so many different cheongsam designs and price range available this year!
For those who just want to get a qipao for the Chinese New Year, and is very price-conscious, you can actually get a dress for less than S$50. The boutique, The Showcase, at Raffles X-change is offering varying designs at very decent prices. Of course, you should also bear in mind that you get what you pay for.
Over at the temporary sales hall, right in the middle of the retail space, there are racks and racks of dresses including cheongsams. I must say for this low price, the prints are not too shabby, but workmanship is another question.
You can also get a cheongsam at Missy Style boutique at The Arcade for S$62.
For the range which is slightly more expensive, that is a little more than S$100, there are cheongsams from Nana@Arcade as seen below. I am not sure what fabric the top dress is made of but the bottom dress is of cotton material. Most of them are not lined. The shop owner told me that he only offers one size for each dress and so the customers are spared the embarrassment of wearing identical pieces. Still, despite the uniqueness, I don’t find the prints appealing. In fact they look a little like curtain prints to me. However, the readers may have a different opinion, and so if you are interested, the shop is offering 20% discount during this Chinese New Year period.
Here is a cheongsam spotted at another boutique at The Arcade.
Going further up the price range, we have selections at Seven which has a store at Chevron House and another at Parkway Parade (as far as I know). You can get qipaos as well as jackets, and the dresses are priced at between S$149 to S$199. There is a mix of presentable lace cheongsams and gaudy showy ones.
Another boutique to check out is Xi at Raffles City mall. The cotton cheongsam is only S$99, although I only noticed one cotton piece among the silk dresses on the rack, which are priced at S$239 each. Now, the reason why I spotted the cotton dress is because I recognize the print, which is the same one used by another boutique I featured recently.
The below dress on the window display is a silk cheongsam at Xi. I notice that the chinoiserie theme seems to be a big favorite among the various boutiques this year. There are so many dresses with the Chinese floral or porcelain motif. Maybe it has something to do with CNY.
About a month ago, I was contacted by Golden Scissor Cheongsam to check out its products. I had a brief look at the online pictures and had wanted to feature some of the dresses in the previous post “Cheongsams in Abundance” dated 11 January. But I forgot all about it until a reader informed me she bought her CNY qipaos from the store.
GSC has a shop at Chinatown, and here are some of designs showcased by the boutique.
The price of the ready to wear dresses start from S$68 and goes up to S$198 for a knee-length silk cheongsam, and more for a longer piece. They are also available in a wide range of sizes.
According to GSC owner, the boutique prides itself on focusing attention on the details found in a traditional cheongsam such as the double piping, fabric buttons and fitted chest darts etc. As the tailoring is done in house locally, the shop has the flexibility to adapt to customers’ requests.
GSC also offers cheongsam tailoring service starting from S$250 for a knee length dress. And for S$500, you can have three simple dresses made.
I have not seen the cheongsams myself, so I cannot comment on the workmanship and quality. However I don’t find the designs special. I see similar styles from Mama and Misse and Dayglow Vintage. According to the reader who bought the dresses, she feels that the fabric quality is acceptable, though the fit is good as there is alteration service provided.
Then there are the online cheongsams, which are in the price range of between S$150 and S$320. Many designs get sold out pretty fast and so it’s best to be on the subscriber list to receive the launch updates. Like over the past couple of days, there were new collections from Lark and Peony and The Happy Cheongsam. THC launched part 2 of its CNY collection last evening with four dresses and two tops, and already a couple of designs have sold out. My favorite of the THC dresses is the below cheongsam in a beautiful royal purple hue, which also comes in a pink version. I thought the combination of the modern and traditional is very well executed.
As for LP, only two lace cheongsams are launched, but they are both lovely. I particularly find this blue lace dress a standout. It looks like most customers agree too because it was sold out within an hour.
You will notice that I only feature Singapore-based boutiques so far. If I have time, I will check out the cheongsams available overseas like Malaysia, Indonesia and China. A reader just told me she bought 2 dresses from Taobao, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. Naturally those are from Chinese boutiques. I don’t know why but their designers have a penchant for gaudy and weird styles. Sophistication doesn’t seem to exist in their dictionaries. Sure, there are some pretty acceptable modern cheongsams but they are few and far between.
Anyway, for my next posts, I will feature the high end cheongsams.