5 places to get modern cheongsams for Chinese New Year 2023
Whether you’re a stickler for tradition or prefer a more modern visiting outfit, the cheongsam is a great choice.
The cheongsam, also known as the qipao, is a traditional Chinese dress. While mostly worn during Chinese New Year now, it was once the standard daily outfit for Chinese women.
During the 1930s to 1960s, instead of the nonya kebaya, it was the outfit of choice for some Peranakan women in family portraits and other important occasions.
Even after its decline in popularity, prominent women in Singapore such as war heroine Elizabeth Choy and wife of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Kwa Geok Choo, continued to wear the cheongsam for formal occasions.
Today, aside from Chinese New Year, the cheongsam is also worn at weddings. These include modern versions of the cheongsam, such as modified tops and those that use French lace and Italian silk.
Here are five places you can buy modern cheongsams this Chinese New Year:
1. The Missing Piece
Singaporean label The Missing Piece offers cheongsams in a variety of floral patterns and lengths. It also sells jumpsuits that incorporate parts of the cheongsam.
Another unique option is its signature cut-out cheongsams. The cheongsams have panels that are held closed using a set of buttons. These can be unbuttoned to create tasteful cutouts in the cheongsam.
The Missing Piece sells its cheongsams online as well as in its studio at 501 Bukit Timah Road, #03-05. Prices range from $200 to $500.
2. Little Qipao
Though Little Qipao is better known for their children’s cheongsams, it also offers an adult selection. Its specialisation in children’s designs means that its cheongsams generally have more colourful but simple prints.
Its cheongsams have a retro feel due to the prints used and their tendency to follow the traditional silhouette of the dress, being less form-fitting and closer to a straight column silhouette. However, the length of the cheongsam and designs used are very different from the traditional embroidery of past cheongsams.
Orders can be placed through Little Qipao’s website. Prices range from $188 to $239.
3. The Cheongsam Shoppe
If you are looking to have a customised piece, then The Cheongsam Shoppe is an option. The brand provides both ready-made and custom-made cheongsams.
Its ready-to-wear pieces include cheongsams in the form of gowns for formal events and parties as well as shorter dresses for casual wear. Besides cheongsams, it also sells cheongsam-style blouses.
Customers can also select the materials and designs when opting for custom-made cheongsams. Customisation details will have to be discussed with the store at its boutique or through email.
The Cheongsam Shoppe sells its cheongsams online as well as in store at NEX Serangoon Central, #02-35. Prices range from $170 to $529.90.
Just across the Causeway is Malaysian brand Dreamscaped. It sells cheongsams that follow the modern form-fitting shape while featuring key points of the traditional dress, such as the frog button.
Many of its cheongsams also have oriental themed prints such as cranes and gingko leaves.
Those interested should consider placing their orders with enough lead time due to possible overseas shipping wait time.
You can purchase Dreamscaped’s cheongsams via its website. Prices range from RM102 (S$31) to RM192 (S$59), with a flat delivery rate of RM30 (S$9) to Singapore.
Also based in Malaysia, Poppyland offers the widest variety of cheongsams on this list. Its cheongsams deviate much more from the traditional shape, being form-fitting with higher mid-thigh slits.
They also come in different colours, textures and designs. Many of its cheongsams feature cutouts or a side slit or two, and range from ankle length to above the knee.
However, it only sells cheongsams in three sizes – S, M and L. Customers are advised to check the size chart before purchasing their cheongsam.
Orders can be placed through Poppyland’s website. Prices range from RM69 (S$21) to RM159 (S$49) without shipping.