Shopping for clothes in Singapore can be a challenge simply because most high street retailers tend to cater to customers who have relatively small frames. Inventory of larger sizes is usually limited and so if you’re not one of the lucky few then chances are you’re going to be disappointed. In fact, one of the most common remarks I hear from some of my clients is that oftentimes clothes and especially shoes are not available in their size, which can become frustrating if not downright depressing over time. I’ll talk about shoes separately, but if you find yourself running out of options because you can’t find your size then don’t worry, the solution is well-made custom clothing.

The trick to good custom-made clothing is of course the quality of the Tailor, which I will write about after I’ve done some additional recon work! In the meantime I want to share with you my findings from a recent trip to Arab Street, the fabric heaven of Singapore. Here it is possible to learn about different silks and other materials, but you also have to know what you’re looking for and so it really makes sense to go with an experienced shopper.

Did you know for example that raw silk usually has a much stiffer feel than normal silk, which is usually a blend of silk and polyester and often comes from Korea? My favorite however is Italian silk, which is incredibly soft and luxurious and is available in the world supply of amazing colors and patterns. And to my surprise, good quality silks in the Arab Street area are not that expensive. I calculated that it would cost between US$70-100 to make a long dress out of a good quality silk, which is very good value for money.

Here is something for you to consider when you shop for fabrics:

1. Make sure your know “your” colors. Which ones make you look younger, fresher, and healthier vs. those colors that work against you, making you appear older or less vibrant.
2. Same for patterns. Which patterns work well for your body style, and for the clothes you have in mind – short dress, long dress, blouse, skirt etc.?
3. How much fabric will you need for the piece you have in mind?
4. Do you know which styles will flatter your body type before you head down to your local Tailor and ask him to copy something from Pinterest?
5. Never buy fabric just because it’s pretty or feels amazing. Always have a good sense of what you intend to make from it.

If you’re not sure about any of the above then please remember to consult me before you head out. It’s easy to get tempted by so many beautiful materials and start buying without a plan, but we all know that’s not necessarily the wisest thing to do!!!

how to choose fabrics

choosing fabrics