Want to quit fast-fashion? Shopping sustainably doesn’t just mean buying vegan or organic clothing. There are so many alternatives, including choosing second hand where you’re making the most of what’s already out there! Vintage shopping is one of our favourite ways to get a sartorial fix while being kinder to the planet. And with trends from the 70s, 80s and 90s continually returning to the runway, retro looks are gaining momentum for all the right reasons. What’s more, unlike cheap trendy items with thousands of copies in circulation, vintage finds are unique and timeless.
But beyond the incredible offerings of Paris, London and Tokyo, if you’re looking for vintage fashion in Singapore, where should you head to? From old school collector’s items to preloved designer haunts, here’s a guide to local shops and brands with the best retro clothing and accessories.
Discover vintage designer threads from the 60s in Joo Chiat.
If you love all things 60s, colourful and glamorous, add this vintage treasure trove to your list. You’ll feel right at home at A Vintage Tale, a cute technicolour boutique nestled between the colourful shophouses on Joo Chiat Road. This well-loved store is home to an array of unique designs picked up by the founders on their travels, sourced from flea markets and vintage shops all over the world.
Their racks are filled with colourful retro pieces dating back to the 50s. If you’re lucky, you could strike gold – vintage Gucci, Valentino, Moschino and more! Why not spend an afternoon with a pal trying on retro sunglasses and shimmying in shift dresses (and then take home something special at the end of it all!)
An online destination for restored vintage dresses inspired by Asia’s heritage styles.
Vintage glamour meets contemporary finishes, Baju Mama Vintage is home to dresses, accessories, and bags all the way back from the 60s. Each piece is carefully restored with the idea that vintage can be fashion-forward, and are fit to wear for today.
Whether you are buying a vintage brooch to add a pop of colour and texture or undergoing a head-to-toe transformation, this online shop does it all. And by the time you’ve found your favourite vintage, you’ll have learnt about all the history and culture of the clothes worn before you.
An exclusive vintage e-shop for classic retro gems unlike any other
Dip your toe into the world of fabulous vintage at the most accessible vintage store – online. Whether your taste is more quirky and floral, or laidback classic, Dark Horse Vintage does it all. DHV’s particular style is reflected in how they curate the pieces they sell and even offers personal styling appointments to find your #vintageootd.
At DHV, shopping vintage is more than just style, it’s the quality of clothing made 40 or 50 years ago. Since most clothing was hand-sewn, made at home or tailored to get the perfect fit. Vintage fashion pieces pass the test of time because of how carefully it was made and taken care of to preserve them. So when you’re buying vintage, you’re buying a piece of history. By taking it with you on your life’s journey, you make sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill. If you still fancy a physical store, you can find some vintage accessories available at Ling Wu Le Salon at Chip Bee Garden.
For one of a kind, original vintage clothing at Millenia Walk
With an unparalleled collection of rare pristine pieces from the 40s to 80s, Déjà Vu Vintage redefines ‘old and nostalgic’. Déjà Vu Vintage highlights the best of fashion of the yesteryears. They have an online presence and a retail store in one of the major shopping districts in Singapore. Especially since shoppers in Singapore are always looking to buy the newest trends and gadgets, or those with a preconceived notion about preloved clothing, DVV educates and informs their customers about the wonders of vintage.
The store even stocks handmade accessories from indie designers from around the world. Déjà Vu Vintage has established a reputation for selling premium quality vintage. Next time you’re looking for a Gatsby-themed party outfit or pretty fit-and-flare dresses, take a chance on styles from the past online or in-store.
Live your vintage designer dreams at this boutique in Outram!
From fit-and-flare dresses of the 50s to vintage kimonos, discover all things cute and retro at this vintage shop. Since 2003, Dustbunny Vintage has been selling luxury vintage clothing and accessories alongside retro-inspired dresses designed under its own label.
With a collection of rare handbags from Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta, you’ll find something unique and 100% authentic. Adding to some high-quality picks, they also provide tailoring services to give you that perfect fit. Don’t forget to snap some pics with the store’s cute retro decor!
Another stylish spot for great vintage and contemporary designs in Joo Chiat
What started as an e-vintage store turned into a hip independent lifestyle concept boutique in the shophouses of Joo Chiat. Spend hours browsing through their collection of apparel, accessories, vintage home decor including in-house produced candles and incense sticks. You can buy (almost) everything here. This lounge space’s snazzy atmosphere makes you feel like you’re visiting an old friend with great taste in interior furnishings.
You’ll find the most exciting jewellery pieces to complement your existing outfits. If you’re the experimental kind, end up leaving with a fresh “new” look with the funkiest prints and vintage designs. This retail experience is more than just full skirts or the typical ‘vintage’ look. Play around with cool logo and band tees, chunky bracelets, leather messenger bags and the list continues. What’s more, if there’s something particular you’re looking for, say a Ferragamo bag, drop them a note and they’ll try to hunt it for you. Now if that’s not dedication to vintage then I don’t know what is!
Singapore’s first physical space to swap your heart out!
Think of The Fashion Pulpit as an extended closet – combine giving away your previously loved clothes with buying used. Previously located at Liang Court, the swapping platform has now moved to Marina One next to The Social Space cafe. Not only do clothes swapping free up your wardrobe, but your clothes make excellent additions to someone else’s. This vibrant space is carefully curated with all sorts of preloved items, from casual tees to wedding gowns! You can definitely score some beautiful printed top and skirt sets from the 70s or 80s, or the perfect retro blazer and even find the right accessories to match.
There’s a small fee to swap, tailored for whether you are a seasonal swapper or a first-timer. From then on, TFP follows a points system. Think of it as a barter system, where you earn points from bringing in clothes and then you shop! The longer membership works if you have extra points and want to come back with more swapping to do. When you bring your own clothes to swap, make sure they match The Fashion Pulpit’s high standards of quality, hygiene and condition. This means the clothes you will find at the space won’t be worn, torn or stained.
For Japanese-inspired vintage streetwear and apparel store in Rochor.
If you prefer something more contemporary over vintage pencil skirts and flowy dresses, you’re about to be pleasantly surprised. Loop Garms started as vintage memorabilia from Japan but now curates collections of streetwear, casual and workwear apparel and fun knick-knacks from the 80s and 90s.
From graphic tees and sports jackets from the likes of Nike, Adidas & Champion, expect to find some rare editions you can’t find anywhere else. The youthful energy around this store in Rochor transports you to a different time and place, as this store mimics the vintage ones in Japan.
Also, for those wondering – is there a difference between thrift, second-hand, swapping and vintage clothes? Technically yes, because all pre-owned items fall under the secondhand category. Vintage clothes are anything older than 20 years, thrift is cheap finds at charity shops, and the Chanel purse from the 80s qualifies for vintage and preloved luxury. While swapping is a whole different ball game, it is the perfect combination for those with too many clothes (that are in good condition) to give away, and those still itching to add some classic pieces to their collection.
With a background in fashion and textiles, Durva is an ardent photographer and advocate of social justice. She enjoys writing about fashion, sustainability, socio-political issues and partakes in the occasional 'who wore it better' banter on Diet Prada.