Tuesday 20 December 2011

Vintage shopping: The Good Old Days in Bugis Village

In order to tell you about my recent find, I have to make a confession: When I’m feeling down or got nothing to do I love going to Bugis Village. I mean what else can cheer me up other than getting lost in a maze of street stalls, playing loud music (from hip-hop to K-pop) and selling cheap knick knacks and fashions from Asia? You certainly can’t beat that! Although I rarely come out with a purchase (except for those 3 for S$10 earrings), the street atmosphere there with everybody bargain-hunting lightens up my mood and reminds me of bargain-shopping with my mom back home in Beirut.

Getting to know what to expect in there, I never thought I would find something more than the usual which for me translates as visual inspiration but nothing interesting. But there I was, yesterday, stuck in the rain and browsing when I saw the coolest little vintage shop floating alone in the sea of overcrowded stalls selling lookalike Chinese and Thai goods.

The handmade sign of The Good Old Days tells it all

The Good Old Days is like nothing else in Bugis Village. In fact, I would expect such a place to be somewhere like Haji Lane or Tiong Bharu where the cool crowds are but I guess the inflated rents has left no option for its co-owner Lee Zhi Yun but to put it somewhere less expensive and probably more busy – not so fashionable though.

As Zhi Yun tells me, this shop was born out of their passion for vintage and most of the beautiful things on sale there are sourced from local ‘old uncles’ and some other Asian cities.

I seriously didn't know what to look at... the cups on top or the dresses

Due to the location, the price range is also on the budget-friendly side but depends on the piece itself. For example one-of-a-kind day dresses in beautiful vintage fabric range from S$35 to S$69. A real bargain!

Accessories like belts and earrings sell for less than that (some pieces less than S$10!) and while the majority of them are vintage, there are also some original in-house made earrings from Mahjong (a popular Chinese board game) tiles.

Cute vintage belts start at S$15...

...And earrings at S$8

These looked like mini soap bars at first but closer inspection
revealed they were Mahjong tiles made to be earrings

But the real treasures in The Good Old Days are the vintage clutches and business suitcases. Ranging from stunning mesh bags (I have tons of those from my mom so can’t justify a new one!) to rare designer pieces from the likes of Gianni Versace and Gucci, the prices are surprisingly great for those as well, starting at the S$150+ mark only.

As for the suitcases, I know my hubby is going to love them! Being a regular and avid traveler he’s always hunting out real leather suitcases from a bygone era practically everywhere we go. These beautifully-made leather cases are in mint condition and their distinctive designs made me think how true it is that nobody makes them like this anymore.

I just love this bag!!!! so beautiful and in perfect condition inside
out! Had to leave it as I've already got a dozen of vintage mesh bags!

This stunning clutch is vintage Gianni Versace for S$199!

Beautiful leather business/suitcases start at S$100+

And that’s the beauty of The Good Old Days. It doesn’t only sell goods but it takes you back to those great times with kitsch displays from retro glass cups to old cameras and phones and best of all, local favourite lollipops and sweets which are hard to find these days.

I walked out of the shop with a purchase this time: a cardboard dress-up game to remind me of the innocent days of my childhood before Barbie and Bratz came on the scene. I used to love sewing dresses for my doll, who looked appropriately as innocent as I and my generation were then. It is certainly one of my best recent purchases and it cost me S$6 – even cheaper than any made-in-Korea dress but certainly much more valuable and sentimental.

The Good Old Day is located at 3, New Bugis Street, CSL/D4 Level 2, Singapore 188867

P.S. it’s really not easy to find the shop as you have to walk in the maze of stalls in Bugis Village to find the escalator to level 2, and then look for it shop by shop. But definitely worth the hassle (and kinda fun if you ask me!)

Anyone seen this cardboard cutout doll before? buying it made my day and
brought back my beautiful childhood memories. All for S$6!

More vintage treasures at The Good Old Days...

The sweets are yummy too!!!