Hello everyone! With National Day in a few days’ time, I felt it would be appropriate to round up 21 of my favourite local brands to support.
As such, below is a list of 21 of my favourite local brands, each offering great products that will come in handy as we all venture outdoors again.
One of my favourite perfume brands, Scent by SIX creates perfumes inspired by locations.
Why support: Scent by SIX is helmed by perfumer Jason Lee, who previously worked at renowned fragrance house Givaudan. Just like how the sixth sense is often an emotional experience, Scent by SIX wants to create that same magical, almost inexplicable experience for those that try on their perfumes. It seems they are on the right track, as they have steadily cultivated a loyal following locally – personalities such as Hossan Leong swears by them. Amongst its current offerings, the Ujong 2065 – described by the brand as its interpretation of Singapore in 2065 – is perhaps the most appropriate for this National Day.
Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase from the online store here. As Scent by SIX is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Singapore Memories offers a wide selection of perfumes and room fragrances, inspired by the Singapore orchid.
Why support: As its name suggests, Singapore Memories is a local perfumery that seeks to harness the fragrance of local orchids to offer unique perfumes. One of its most interesting products has to be the Singapore Girl, which is a recreation of the popular Singapore Girl perfume that was immensely popular in the 1970s. It also won the “Best Fragrance for Her” award by Beauty Insider, which speaks to the quality of the fragrance. That being said, perfumes are fairly gender-neutral products, and I did find myself applying the Singapore Girl as a night scent on certain occasions.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its online store here. As Singapore Memories is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Maison 21G specialises in “tailor-made perfumes”, allowing customers to create their own unique scent at an affordable price.
Why support: I love Maison 21G – they are undoubtedly one of my personal favourites on this list. Firstly, their Duxton road boutique is welcoming and beautifully designed. Secondly, I love their concept of “tailoring” a scent for yourself. As you guys know, I’m quite big on tailoring and was immensely intrigued by the concept of bringing the same notion over to fragrances. How Maison 21G works is simple – they have over 30 different solo scents, which customers can combine to make their own unique scent. According to the brand, there are over a hundred different combinations for customers to explore! My favourite has to be combining Tea Time with Terrific Tonka, as well as Cannabis Cloud with Ginger Game. Maison 21G also offers a perfume workshop, where participants can learn about the history and art of perfume making, as well as get the opportunity to bespeak their own scent. Oh yes – Maison 21G also offers free engraving on each of their perfume bottles, so they make for great gifts as well. Perfume roll-ons are also available for those that prefer non-alcoholic products.
Reviews: For those interested, I chronicled my experience of attending a workshop at Maison 21G’s Duxton outlet here, at their ION outlet here, and at their new MBS outlet here. I also reviewed their home scents here and their new Dual Crayon creation here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their online store here. As Maison 21G is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” upon checkout to enjoy 15% off all products and perfume workshop bookings online!
Gnome & Bow offers storytelling bags and wallets – perfect for the discerning customer.
Why support: Gnome & Bow is one of my favourite local brands – I love how they seamlessly weave literary elements of iconic fables into the design of their products. The brand’s latest offering is the Hitchhiker Space Capsule backpack, which is Gnome & Bow’s interpretation of the ultimate travel backpack, inspired by the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Hitchhiker backpack features tons of nifty compartments, is terrifically priced (it’s actually the brand’s most affordable backpack to date), and is a great backpack to travel around with, especially as pandemic restrictions are being gradually lifted.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. As Gnome & Bow is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Faire Leather offers products packed with functionality.
Why support: Faire Leather Co. was founded by the pair of Joseph Lor and Ryan Choy in 2017. The is perhaps best known for their initial Kickstarter campaign, which blew past funding goals to become the most funded Singaporean project on Kickstarter at that point in time. Faire Leather’s initial offering, the Bond Travel Briefcase, received critical acclaim by many established media outlets, with inventory selling out almost instantly. Since then, the brand has iterated its iconic briefcase, with its latest offering being the Neo Soft briefcase, which was launched to commemorate its 2020 anniversary. With many of us slowly returning to the office, why not purchase a sleek and functional briefcase as well?
Where to buy: Interested readers can order from its web-store here. As Faire Leather is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all online orders.
Obbi Good Label is a Singaporean company that specialises in offering rugged, durable leather products.
Why support: Founded in 2008, all of Obbi Good Label’s leather products are made in-house in their Geylang workshop by their team of artisans, all of whom possess at least 10 years of experience. I’ve personally visited the Obbi Good Label workshop, and I must say that I’m blown away at the brand’s dedication to making leather products that will stand the test of time. It’s important to note that its products are produced locally in Obbi Good Label’s workshop by local artisans, and not outsourced to some developing country for cheap.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. As Obbi Good Label is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide!
If you’re a fan of slim and minimalist wallets, you must check out the Ed Charly Classic.
Why support: Ed Charly excels at offering minimalist wallets that packs both style and substance. Though the brand currently has a few offerings, my favourite is definitely the Ed Classic in crazy horse leather. It’s affordable, crafted from full-grain crazy horse leather that will patina over time, has storage compartments for cards, coins and cash, and comes in a sleek, minimalist package. I’m actually seriously considering changing to the Ed Classic as my wallet of choice.
Reviews: For more information, I reviewed Ed Charly’s wallets here.
For those on a tight budget, I recommend checking out Oxhide Leather.
Why support: If I have to sum Oxhide up in a word, it would be terrific value. Oxhide’s range of wallets is affordable but mostly made out of full-grain leather. As compared to those cheap wallets you see being sold in Pasar Malams, their wallets are clearly a tier higher in quality. For those uninitiated in leather, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality. More information about leather quality can be found in this terrific article here. Honestly, I think Oxhide makes some of the cheapest full-grain leather wallets in the market currently, and they are even backed by a 6 months guarantee. Granted, Oxhide’s wallets aren’t the most visually striking, but if you’re simply looking for an affordable wallet that won’t break after a few months, Oxhide fits the bill perfectly.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. As Oxhide Leather is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK-SHIOK“ to enjoy 10% off all online orders. A curation of my favourite Oxhide products can also be purchased on The Shiok Shop.
If you need an affordable, no-frills suit, Mohan’s is one of your best bets.
Why support: The Mohan brand and Max Mohan has become so recognised here in Singapore that the government (more specifically, Gov.sg) actually did an entire episode on Max Mohan and his work as part of their feature series on the Merdeka generation. Like most of the older generation tailors – and unlike most affordable tailors – production for their garments are done in-house locally, overseen by master tailor Mr Koh (who also appears in the aforementioned video). Overall, I think that Mohan’s Custom Tailors is a great value proposition. For just $350, you get a mixed wool suit, as well as a shirt (after the promo code below), which is pretty good bang-for-buck.
Where to buy: 14 Scotts Road, #02-73 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213. Just for my readers, Mohan’s is offering a free shirt with every suit purchase from $350 and up! Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst making your appointment or flash this post while at the store to enjoy the complimentary shirt. Curated package deals from Mohan’s can be found on The Shiok Shop. In particular, I recommend the $900 Full Canvassed Reda Suit package, and the $750 Back to Office package.
Based in Orchard Plaza, Ehkay Corner has been offering great affordable suiting options since the 1980s.
Why support: Despite their affordable price point, Ehkay Corner ticks a lot of boxes. Unlike the majority of the other affordable tailors popping up on Facebook currently, Dinesh and his wife Hina have been managing Ehkay Corner since the 1980s – that’s almost 40 years! In fact, Dinesh picked up the trade from his father and elder brother, who ran the business before him. In terms of experience, Dinesh and his wife definitely have it in spades. In addition, Ehkay Corner boasts a local, in house production – all garments are produced in their workshop locally. Their Google ratings are also great – a near-perfect 4.9/5 rating from over 400 satisfied customers. Furthermore, their shirts are rather affordable. Lastly, Ehkay Corner offers affordable rental services, so if you only have a temporary need for a suit (e.g groomsmen, prom, etc) that could be an option as well. Their rental prices are for 72 hours, so that’s a relatively better value than other tailor rental services that mostly only rent for a day. Overall, I would say that Ehkay Corner is one of the best affordable tailors in Orchard.
Where to buy: #01-57 & #01-01 Orchard Plaza, 150 Orchard Road Singapore 238841. Readers can enjoy an exclusive 10% discount on all products at Ehkay Corner. After the discount, a mixed wool suit at Ehkay Corner starts from $342. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” or flash this post to enjoy the discount. Readers can also get 5% off rental services. Curated package deals from Ehkay Corner can be found on The Shiok Shop. In particular, I recommend the $580 Three-piece Suit + Shirt package, as well as the $980 Tuxedo Suit package.
Located in the heart of the CBD, Perfect Attire offers a wide variety of premium fabrics (VBC, Drago, Holland & Sherry, Piacenza, etc) at very affordable prices.
Why support: Personally, I believe that Perfect Attire provides the best craftsmanship for the money. Even on their entry-level $600 house fabric suit, the suit comes half-canvassed, the buttons are shanked, buttonholes are hand-sewn, pic stitching is available and jacket cuffs are functional. Furthermore, all of Perfect Attire’s garments are made in-house, with the canvassing done by hand – consistency and quality control are top-notch. Fit is great as well, with at least one fitting process implemented to perfect the fit. Finally, the quality of fabric available is unparalleled for the price – currently, Perfect Attire is offering fully canvassed Drago suits for just $950. Overall, if you’re looking for a great fitting, well-crafted suit constructed with premium fabrics at an affordable price, Perfect Attire is a terrific choice. One of the best bang-for-buck tailors I’ve personally experienced!
Where to buy: Oxley Tower Unit 03-38, 138 Robinson Road, Singapore 068906. Interested customers are recommended to book an appointment online prior to dropping by.
Just for readers, Perfect Attire is offering a free shirt with any suit purchase. Readers can get a free house fabric shirt with a purchase of a 2-piece suit. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst booking the appointment or flash this post when at the showroom to enjoy the discount. Perfect Attire has also kindly extended a 10% discount on any shirt, trousers and waistcoat purchase from its Elite collection. The Elite collection comprises cotton, linen, as well as wool blends, so there’s a great variety of fabrics available. After the discount, tailored shirts, trousers and vests would start at just $162 each.
A pioneer in the local bespoke tailoring scene, Leslie of Pimabs has been offering sartorial advice to gentlemen for almost two decades.
Why support: I first met Leslie at Closeknip, which was positioned as a more affordable, mass-market complement to Pimabs. For those in the sartorial scene, Leslie is a familiar name, having dressed luminaries such as Dick Lee and Ken Loon over the years. Unfortunately, Closeknip couldn’t survive the financial woes brought by the pandemic, and the brand has since ceased operations. However, its spirit continues to live on at Pimabs under a new line/sub-brand named P+ by Pimabs. The process is fundamentally identical to Closeknip (same fabrics, same fitting process) except that at Pimabs, Leslie now personally oversees every aspect of the customer experience. The advice and experience of Leslie make P+ by Pimabs even better than Closeknip was, especially considering that the price point remains the same – suits start at just $899. That’s a steal, considering that a typical suit from Pimabs usually starts from $2000. The catch is that it remains a template fitting system (as opposed to a baste fitting) but in my multiple experiences, the fit has been more than good enough – in fact, sometimes better than other tailors that used baste fittings. Once again, that speaks to the experience of Leslie, who prioritises a clean drape. Whether you consider yourself more fashion-forward, or simply have no idea what your style is, you will be in very safe hands with Leslie.
Reviews: I reviewed my experience with Leslie at Closeknip here, and the resulting fit/workmanship of the suit here. I also reviewed a safari jacket ensemble designed by Leslie here. Lastly, I reviewed an outfit styled by Leslie at Pimabs here.
Where to buy: 20A Cavan Rd, Singapore 209851. Curated package deals from Pimabs can be found on The Shiok Shop. P+ by Pimabs is currently available exclusively on The Shiok Shop – unless you were a past customer of Closeknip – so the aforementioned package deals can only be bought online.
Located within the luxurious premises of Pan Pacific hotel, Meiko Tailor pays homage to the art of tailoring.
Why support: Run by Head Tailor Uncle Chung – who has over 50 years of experience in tailoring – Meiko Tailor is perhaps the personification of the maxim ‘old is gold’. It’s a true bespoke tailor, where everything is custom-made from scratch, based upon an individual’s specific measurements. Part of the pioneer generation, the experience of Uncle Chung (who has been doing tailoring longer than even my parents have been alive) shone through during my experience at Meiko Tailor. In addition, Meiko Tailor boasts a local in-house production, which translates to higher quality control and a shorter lead time. Furthermore, Uncle Chung has recently been joined by his daughter Adele in the business. Adele, being a trained image consultant, brings modern styling advice to an established lao jiao tailor, ensuring that customers get the best of both youth and experience. If you’re looking for an affordable bespoke tailor with an emphasis on craftsmanship, or simply need a well-crafted suit in a jiffy, I highly recommend paying Meiko Tailor a visit.
Where to buy: 7 Raffles Blvd, #02-01 The Pan Pacific, Singapore 039595. Curated package deals from Meiko Tailor can be found on The Shiok Shop. In particular, I recommend the $649 Back to Office Wardrobe package, as well as the $2380 Groom & Bride Wedding Package.
For those searching for bang-for-buck dress shoes, Arden Teal is a great option.
Why support: If you’re searching for well-made dress shoes that won’t break the bank, I’ll highly recommend Arden Teal. The brand offers a wide variety of designs starting at a little over $100, while blake-stiched options (such as the Carlota Blake Stitched Oxford pictured above) are one of the cheapest in the market at $179 (after promo code below). The walking experience in them is surprisingly comfortable as well, with rubber swathes applied to key areas of the outsole to aid traction. In addition, Arden Teal includes accessories such as a dust cover and a shoehorn with every purchase too – something uncommon at this price point. What better way to return to the office than with a new pair of shoes on your feet?
Where to buy: Arden Teal shoes can be bought online here. As Arden Teal is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all shoes store-wide!
If you’re on a tight budget, Aries Gold provides great value at the $200+ price point.
Why support: Founded in 1970, Aries Gold is probably Singapore’s oldest watch brand.Today, Aries Gold is an international brand sold in 28 countries, which is no mean feat for a homegrown watch label. Despite its global expansion, Aries Gold continues to stay true to its Singaporean roots by having its production in Singapore, instead of outsourcing manufacturing to China as the vast majority of local watch brands do today. The brand currently offers a wide variety of interesting designs, including the eminently striking Black Sea with its corroded dial.
Reviews: I reviewed the above-pictured Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Jolter here, the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, and the Aries Gold Diplomat here, and the Aries Gold Great White here. I also did an article on why I believe that they are one of the best watch brands under S$200 here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. Aries Gold is also a partner of Wah So Shiok – readers can enjoy 20% off all products on their web-store. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy the discount! A curated selection of Aries Gold watches can also be found on The Shiok Shop.
Reverie is a Singaporean watch brand that makes guilloche a mainstay in their designs.
Why support: If you like guilloche, you will love Reverie’s watches. A guilloche dial is key to its design language, and all of the brand’s watches will utilise guilloche in some form or another. The brand’s latest offering is the Reverie Diver, of which the red-dial variant pictured above is my favourite, and the most apt given the National Day context. Affordable dive watches are a dime a dozen, but the Reverie Diver manages to stand out with its luscious burgundy red dial.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Reverie’s web-store. Reverie is also a partner of Wahsoshiok – readers enjoy $40 USD off products on their web-store! Just quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy the discount. A curated selection of Reverie watches can also be found on The Shiok Shop.
Perhaps the best value proposition I’ve reviewed, Kent Hall & Co’s Revival series offer a lot for very little.
Why support: The integrated sports watch is in vogue stylistically, and with Kent Hall & Co you don’t have to fork out an arm and a leg (or endure an eternal waiting list) to scratch the itch. For less than S$250, the Revival features a sapphire crystal and an automatic movement. It’s also eminently captivating due to its skeletonised dial and integrated bracelet. It’s possibly the most affordable of its kind on the market, making it a great entry point into the world of horology.
Review: I reviewed the Kent Hall & Co Revival here.
Where to buy: Kent Hall and Co’s web-store. Kent Hall and Co is also a partner of Wah So Shiok – readers enjoy 10% off products on their web-store. Just quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy the discount. A curated selection of Kent Hall & Co watches can also be found on The Shiok Shop.
Advisor watches is an interesting Singaporean watch brand, which offers vintage-inspired watch designs for modern desk divers.
Why support: If you’re a fan of vintage-inspired dive watch design, and are on the hunt for an affordable daily beater, then Advisor has got you covered. Their watches, despite being priced affordably, are solidly built – expect sapphire crystal, Seiko NH35 movement, top-grain leather strap, and even lume. The finishing is one of the best I’ve seen at this price point too. In particular, I like the enduring design of the Advisor Ascent (pictured above) – it is probably the best supercompressor that you can find for under S$500.
Where to buy: Advisor’s web-store. Advisor is also a partner of Wah So Shiok – readers enjoy $40 USD off all purchases. Just quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy the discount. A curated selection of Advisor watches can also be found on The Shiok Shop.
The most recent local watch brand that I reviewed, Gane reminds me of why I fell in love with local microbrands in the first place.
Why support: Gane represents the manifestation of its founder’s artistic vision, thus encapsulating the ethos of what a microbrand watch should be. The Type C (pictured above) has decent specifications and a well-conceived aesthetic that displays a maturity rarely seen in debut collections. It’s well put together, and remains fairly affordable. It’s one of the most impressive microbrand watches that I’ve reviewed in recent years. Singapore may not be short of watch microbrands, but GANE is a notable addition.
Review: I reviewed the Gane Type C here.
Last but certainly not least, it’s no overstatement to describe Humism watches as art on the wrist.
Why support: Humism is easily one of my favourite microbrands for a simple reason – its offerings are eminently unique. Its originality is a breath of fresh air, with its watches functioning as art on the wrist. The watches are well-built too, featuring sapphire crystal and a robust Seiko automatic movement. For less than S$500, Humism watches are affordable conversation starters. There’s nothing quite like Humism’s watches, which is high praise in itself.
Review: I reviewed Humism here.
Why support: I had a great experience at Otago Optical. I had a blast picking a new pair of spectacles, and found the transparent pricing refreshing for the infamously opaque optical industry (puns intended). Despite being part of the premium range, the Omata that I got (with lenses and eye test) only costs $120, making it eminently affordable for a titanium frame. However, what I appreciated most was the education that Tim imparted. I left feeling educated about all things eyewear, which is something I can’t say about other eyewear stores I’ve been in. I sense the genuine passion Tim possesses for optometry, as well as his authenticity – he has pride in his work, and it shows.
Review: For those interested, I did a full review of Otago Optical here.
Where to buy: 264 South Bridge Road, #03-01, Singapore 058813 (look for Kele’s golden pineapple as a landmark). Those interested in purchasing eyewear from Otago Optical can quote SHIOK10 or shout “WAHSOSHIOK” in-store to enjoy $10 off glasses packages (frame+lenses). Promotion is valid until the end of 2022.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.