An Ode To Humble Beginnings: A Guide To Heritage-inspired Dressing In This Century

From batik pouches to watercolour printed blouses, feast your eyes on the best of heritage-inspired fashion.

Courtesy of Ying The Label

Dubbed as a melting pot, Singapore has plenty to offer as a multicultural island brimming with rich cultures, which are seamlessly intertwined to create an identity that is intrinsically Singaporean. Our heritage spans years and years of hard work built upon the backs of our ancestors who have made this country what it is today.

And to honour them in the best way we possibly can, some of us — myself especially — keep passed-down traditions alive as a homage to their legacy. For some, this could be through recipes or heirlooms. As a fashion lover, I particularly enjoy the age-old art form of batik painting. Wearable artworks like batik have always drawn me in since my prepubescent years when my late grandparent introduced me to the resist-dyeing technique as a way of connecting with me through our culture.

My curiosity and affinity for Singaporean heritage have since increased tenfold now that I’ve entered my 20s. With age, I’ve found that I constantly seek out distinctive cultural pieces to incorporate into my everyday wear as I’m proud of my roots and would love to keep them as an integral part of my identity. Whether or not you share my sentiments or simply appreciate a well-designed piece, one thing’s for sure: you wouldn’t want to miss out on this definitive list of culturally rich stores helmed by innovative designers.

Courtesy of Corak by.Myz (@by.myz)

Corak by.Myz

Derived from the Malay word for patterns, Corak by Hermiza Yazid is a presentation of masterfully handcrafted batik and macrame accessories that are fashioned to perfection. These made-to-order bags sporting intricate weave working are a staple for any monochromatic wardrobe, providing a touch of visual interest to your outfits. Don’t be fooled by the brand’s affordable prices, as they promise luxe and quality workmanship with every piece.

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Fans of batik will be delighted to know that Corak by.Myz is currently bringing in gorgeous new fabrics that are available for pre-order, so be sure to call dibs early.

Pre-order a bag or shop from their existing collection here.

Courtesy of Baju by Oniatta (@bajubyoniatta)

Baju by Oniatta

Homegrown label Baju by Oniatta houses exquisitely handmade batik, a rarity in this technologically advanced age where digital prints are readily available. Keeping this tradition alive is brand-owner Oniatta Effendi, granddaughter to Javanese grandparents that have kept the tradition of creating motifs on fabrics — through wax and dye — alive for generations. Baju by Oniatta allows its wearers to take a retrospective look at familiar silhouettes that define Malay traditional wear, alongside striking Kutubarus boasting parang motifs that have been hand stamped with love.

Shop from Baju by Oniatta here.

Courtesy of Ying The Label (@yingthelabel)

Ying The Label

Created out of her immense love for watercolour paintings, Founder Phuay Li Ying started Ying The Label to meld her passion for arts and fashion. Converging this proposition of everyday style with the fine art of Asian watercolour — a medium that withstood the test of time since Singapore was a trading port — has solidified Phuay’s brand as one for the books.

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Anthophiles will take a liking to the brand’s symbolism with their choice of flowers in the patterns. Take the outfit above as an example. Portraying tiger lilies that represent boldness and uniqueness, Phuay hopes to remind others through its design that each individual is amazing despite their differences.

Get a piece of wearable art here.

Courtesy of (

The scrunchie craze has undoubtedly made its way to mainstream media faster than VSCO girls can say ‘sksksk’. Jokes aside, you’ll want to check out’s scrunchies as they’re truly ‘not like other scrunchies’. Made in extra-large sizes, these heritage-print hair bands double up as a functional pouch or bracelet that can fit your lipsticks and sanitisers.

If you can’t get enough handbags or are insistent on bringing ALL of your essentials when you leave the house, look to’s Asmara Bungkus Bag. Fashioned from luxurious and one-of-a-kind batik fabrics hailed from Malaysia and Indonesia, this thoughtfully created bag will be able to carry your necessities and more.

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Grab yourself a functional fashion accessory here.

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