destination styleWednesday, April 19, 2017

Packing for your Singapore holiday: the essential guide


From the moment the cosmopolitan Sarkies Brothers opened the doors of the celebrated Raffles hotel in 1887, Singapore has been a firm fixture on the itinerary of every intrepid traveller. Packing for your Singapore Holidays is, of course, one of the most important parts of your trip.

The city can't be properly summarised in a few adjectives: it is at a very unique juncture of Southeast Asian glamour, low-key leisure and old-world culture. From the back streets of Little India to the salubrious towers of Marina Bay, Singapore is a thriving metropolis of fashion, cuisine and culture, beating to the pulse of its own unique style. Because the city channels an interesting marriage of relaxation and glamour, your Singapore Holiday style best be diverse: a mingling of breezy daywear, sultry evening styles and sparser creations for the beach. So what better way to deliberate what to wear on your Singapore holiday than to look to the city’s most alluring neighbourhoods?

The Colonial District 

Ringed by the city’s imposing skyscrapers, the colonial district is a secluded, if slightly incongruous slice of quiet, British life in the heart of Singapore. Laid out by Stamford Raffles, after whom the Sarkies’ famous hotel was named, Singapore’s old city was intended to replicate the genteel rhythms of a British village. From The Pandang, a large village green for sports, to St Andrew’s Cathedral and the country’s national museum the Colonial District is replete with unmissable sites from Singapore’s colonial period. Of course, there’s one stop that should be at the top of every serious traveller’s itinerary and that is the Raffles Hotel. 


For over a century, Raffles has been Singapore's catwalk – the ultimate place to be seen. For the perfect Singapore Holiday style at Raffles, channel the spirit of Ava Gardner, who stayed at the hotel in the 1950s. She was photographed in the famous long bar wearing a finely tailored white dress – epitomising the elegance of 1950s travel. Replicate the look in modern holiday style with a crisp white 3.1. Phillip Lim dress and evoke the  glamour of old Singapore by introducing a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps.

Marina Bay

Like an audacious cross between Venice Beach and downtown Manhattan, Marina Bay is Singapore’s rambunctious start-up neighbourhood. At the centre, the Marina Bay Sands casino entices reckless travellers from all over Asia to gamble at its high-stakes tables. 
Typical of a party neighbourhood, Marina Bay is all about the 24-hour look. Here, the best summer holiday outfit ideas are about transitioning from daywear through to evening wear. The city’s climate is notoriously humid, so it’s worth remembering that evening wear needn’t be overly heavy or cumbersome. Observe, for example Dakota Johnson's effortless elegance at a New York event in 2016. Cutting a sleek and urbane silhouette in a Rosetta Getty off-the-shoulder top paired with loose Roberto Cavalli trousers, she embodied the sophisticated and fashion-forward style seen in downtown Singapore. 

Marina Bay isn't just about the clubs. It is also home to one of Asia's most incredible artificial parks, Gardens by the Bay, featuring an enormous cluster of sculptures modelled on baobab trees at its centre. Their vast artificial trunks reach towards the sky, opening up into enormous platforms of fake fauna, patterned in psychedelic colours. Threaded through the trunks is a winding sky platform, which, like New York's High Line has become a veritable catwalk of the city's style. On visiting, there's only one way to dress: mirroring the rich vibrance in printed pieces by Marni.

Little India 

Perhaps the most exciting neighbourhood of Singapore, Little India is, much like it sounds, an enclave of Indian culture in Singapore. With garlands of flowers draped over doorways and the piquant perfume of curry percolating through the streets, Little India is a glimpse into the exciting and cosmopolitan world of 19th century Singapore. Take a wander down the old Serangoon Road, one of Singapore’s oldest thoroughfares for the best curry in the city.  For a day out perusing the curry houses and market stalls of little India, why not channel the colour of this eclectic neighbourhood? Paired with a Société Anonyme tote for your market haul, a breezy Carven shawl dress is the epitome of Singapore Holiday style.

At the heart of Asia and the crossroads of the world, Singapore has over the centuries been a place of refuge, exuberance and even sin. For today’s intrepid travellers and global jet-setters, Singapore’s charms are endless — deciding what to wear is just the beginning.


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