Reviews written by TheEvaluator
Boho X Street Chic
Stepping into Stradivarius, you get the feeling that it is associated to Pull & Bear (which it is!) except that is more towards bohemian trends and that its party wear are more tame, ditching sequins and glitter for soft leather, blazers and tres chic black dresses. Also, Stradivarius only caters to females (I'm sorry, dudes.)
The prints selection at Stradivarius is also very pleasing to the eyes of fashionista with coveted tribal prints and delectable floral prints. The clothes are also well-structured and tailored. Their skirts and dresses fit like a dream while their tops rests comfortably above. Prices wise, they are pretty similar to Pull & Bear's or just slightly cheaper. You could also find affordable bohemian jewellery amidst wallets and handbags.
My favourite item at Stradivarius is their leather apparel which triumphs over other fashion stores in terms of wear-ability, quantity and design. Their leather apparels are made of soft and thin leather giving you comfort with the right amount of structure to complement your frame. Next off, would be their blazers which are comfy and well-tailored.
Nah no thanks
Its slogans reads: Trends you can afford. First off, there is no trend at Mini Toons. Year after year, they sell almost the same things - cutesy soft toys, accessories (most of the times, tacky) display items and gummy sweets. To the credit of Mini Toons, the only trend it has is that it now sells Iphone covers and on special events like Mothers' Day, they would sell something special like a rose... (no prizes for guessing) soft toy.
Mini Toons' gummy treats is a delight which a sweet tooth can grab and pay by weight - definitely popular with children and due to the fact that it is not common to find another candy store nearby. Its accessories include quirky stationery as well as shoe laces, keychains, keytags and phone jewellery.
Never in my right mind will I step into Mini Toons but I guess the reason why Mini Toons still remains relevant in today’s industry is their soft toys, the main selling point there, where you could find your favourite characters of sizes ranging to embarrassingly big ones which some might want to gift to their dates to impress them. (Oh dear, I hope they grow out of it soon.)
Home-grown brand Charles & Keith may be loved by locals and foreigners but my verdict is that it is a store selling products which are simply boring. Some say they are knock-offs from shoes and bags of the latest seasons and hence cheap. But I think even if they are knock-offs, they could do better with the price they are charging their products for.
Why products at Charles & Keith are boring is that they are, in general, too safe - with simple cuts and designs which are commonplace. Charles & Keith however, have evolved from being solely a shoe store to selling handbags, belts and sunglasses. The handbags are rather structured and of quality. However after using a faux leather bag of Charles & Keith for a year, I found the leather to be flaking and peeling off pretty bad from the bag. I cannot comment on the shoes, however, as I really cannot bring myself to fall in love with a pair there.
The sunglasses at Charles & Keith look rather stylish and exquisite. I thought of buying a pair for my mum but they are really too costly, priced at $50 - $80 for a nice pair, which I felt was really not worth the money, considering it being only... Charles & Keith.
Flash and Splash is a galore of surfing apparel and accessories to complement or highlight the cool-factor and sun-kissed charms of surfer dudes and chicks with discerning brands like Volcom, Reef, Globe and Quiksilver as well as sunny, fun-loving and vibrant labels such as Ripcurl and Roxy.
Here at Flash and Splash, you would find swimwear and bikini, beach casual wear and beach footwear – sandals and flipflops. For flipflops, I would recommend Reef and Globe for their sturdy quality and stylish designs. Globe also seems rather popular with the male populace there.
Accessories wise, they sell shades and bags in the form of beach basket bags, backpacks, handbags – suitable on and even off the beach. Volcom, Quiksilver, Ripcurl and Roxy are the more preferred brands when it comes to that. My personal favourite would be Volcom for their more monochrome colour palette and street edge look.
Customer service is commendable and Flash and Splash with vibrant personalities working there to serve you. It encapsulates the bubbly, warm and fun-loving personalities of surfers.
Beauty needs covered!
Watsons is your one-stop shop for your beauty and personal care needs. Trusted and dependable, you would find makeup labels such as Silkygirl, Revlon, Maybelline, L'oreal and Majolica Majorca, just to list a few. Also, there are skincare products from Garnier, Clean&Clear, L'oreal, Estee Lauder, for instance. There are plenty of hair dyes available as well for men and women from Liesse, Revlon, Gatsby, etc.
Others include, sun block lotions, waxing strips, sanitary products and many more. Additionally, Watsons also sells nicely-packaged chocolates and soft toys suitable for a last-minute gift for concerts or for your date. During christmas seasons, Watsons also provide free wrapping paper for their customers.
The best part about Watsons is their private sales for members. Discounts are great with rock-bottom prices and there are tons of freebies to claim based on the amount purchased there. The drawback to such private sales is that the crowd can be overwhelming and unbearing. But I guess no pain, no gain right?
Be in the know before you go!
Spotlight is a spacious store dedicated to sating your lust for craft or sewing materials, or anything in the spirit of DIY. At Spotlight, you would almost find any material you would need or even stage props that you would need. Think white clay masks and pink feathered boas!
Spotlight is my trusted and reliable friend during the years doing home economics where I could design my product beforehand and scout for materials and designs closely similar to what I had envisioned. Going to Spotlight the first time might be quite a blur. This is compounded by the fact that there are no other retail assistants stationed around to assist you, except to cut your cloth by yards.
Hence, be sure to do enough research on the type of materials, size of equipment, length of fabric, etc. that you need beforehand.
MUJI is well-loved for their premium quality Japanese products made with good craftsmanship and TLC MUJI sells clothes, bags, office stationery, craft and toys, kitchen and dining tools, home accessories, health and beauty products and electronics. Personally, I adore MUJI for their clothes, water bottles and stationery.
Clothes are MUJI are made of slow-spun thread such that apparels are soft and breathable but structured and well-tailored at the same time. They are simplistic but classic statement pieces in earthy tones. I could see myself donning MUJI clothes for a quiet day at the library, museum or cafe for instance.
Come christmas, the gifts are MUJI are simply adorable with toys, decorative ornaments and cute stationery to choose from for that thoughtful but non-over-the-top gift for your loved ones. I'd be sure to check the christmas section at MUJI every year!
Educational and stunning
The Omni-theatre proffers a brilliant movie experience like no other - a splendourous meld of both education and entertainment. The movie is screened (get this straight) not on a screen, but on the dome structure of the theatre, enabling you to feel deeply immersed in the movie as you are shrouded by the stunning visuals.
The seats are comfortably titled back a little so you would not feel your neck aching. The downside to the seats however is that there might be little leg space. Another downside to the omni-theatre experience is that the content of the movie is mostly educational. So if you are looking more towards enjoying a movie purely for entertainment sake, you are definitely there for the wrong reason. That said, the visuals are compelling enough to make your money worth, just that after 20min, you might get bored.
Fun with a hefty price
Timezone is THE arcade in Singapore with many branches strategically placed in shopping malls oft-visited by youths. There, you would find what you were expecting for like Daytona, Para-para and DDR dance machines, prize-catching machines, shooting, bowling, basketball, whack-a-mole games and the likes. Recently added are also the neoprint machines to complete the experience. However, neoprint machines at Timezone are often found to be very dismal on the inside with litter and dirt marks over.
The last time I've been there, all I can think of is how much Timezone has morphed into a profit-guzzling company aimed at exploiting pocket-money. The games are ridiculously priced now even with inflation. With $5, it'll equate to probably 2-3 games played within a span of 10 minutes tops.
In addition, customer service is drab. When enquiring the retail store person about the rules or how-to to the game, she simply gave us a brief 2-lined reply, looking rather "sian" with me. In a nutshell, the money I paid for that game was wasted - $2 lost within less than a minute. I'm just thankful that the allure of arcades does not entice me at this age anymore.
Could do better with its customer service
Toys"R"Us is a wonderland for every child. Not only is it a huge toy store stocking toys of every beloved brand such as Hasbro and Lego, the store is spacious, enabling children to run past aisles and aisles of toys, while supervision is loose (not that it is always bad). That means children get to "sample" the toys before getting their parents to purchase them, provided if they are not secured in a box. A trip to Toys"R"Us is hence very children-friendly. But what about for the adults who simply just want to grab a toy as a present and leave?
As the above party, I find that it is rather hard to get hold of a retail assistant to direct me to my desired toy. Most of the times, they will just tell me, "Oh it's over there!" pointing towards a general direction and I have to wander through many aisles in order to get to it. Also, it would have helped if the aisles were indicated with categories overhead. Customers who are rushing for time would find it a tad frustrating getting their toys.
That said, Toys"R"Us has really got to be the most reliable and best toy store Singapore has with all the toys you would need to get.