Keeping up with fashion trends can be really costly so thank goodness that Taobao exists to buffer the burden on our bank accounts. Somehow, cheaper versions of popular items will always find their way onto the website.
Following up on our previous cheap Taobao picks, here are 10 popular fashion items that can be found on Taobao for a fraction of their local retail price. Sorry to the guys out there, this is going to be a female-centric article. But if you’re interested in a male version of this, just drop us a comment!
1. Round Rattan Bag
These mini rattan bags originating from the East have been dubbed the “it” bag of the summer and the title’s well deserved. Just look at how effortlessly chic they are and how they can instantly elevate any outfit to vacay-ready status.
While the classic design comes in a round silhouette with a ribbon or button clasp, there are varying sizes and shapes to choose from. For instance, it’s also available in a more boxy structure.
These bags are available at several local online retailers but the prices are pretty steep — I’ve seen some going for over S$90. Personally I would never fork out that much for this because cute as they are, they aren’t exactly the most practical.
Price: 145 – 258 Yuan (approx. S$30 – S$50) | Product link
2. Straw Handbag
Since rattan and straw items seem to be trending now, here are some other options. These rattan handbags are roomier and more economical while giving off the same vacay-ready vibes.
Similarly, they’re available in several renditions. For instance, these half-moon shaped ones are available in a thin straw weave and a thicker version as well.
Or, you can opt for this circular bag which looks more relaxed. Sadly, the rattan and straw materials are completely vulnerable to rain, so bear that in mind!
3. Statement Earrings
For girls, the de facto option when it comes to affordable jewellery-shopping is often Lovisa. While they do carry some gorgeous pieces, the prices aren’t exactly the cheapest; not ideal if you’re hunting for statement pieces that probably won’t get much wear.
Thus, here are some alternatives on Taobao that are equal parts eye candy-worthy and wallet friendly. A word of caution — if you have sensitive ears then please steer clear of these.
Price: 9.90 – 18 Yuan (approx. S$2 – S$4) | Assorted Statement Earrings
4. Tassel Earrings
Tassel earrings are having a moment this 2018 so we had to include them in this list. These ones from Taobao are available in ombre and multi-coloured shades that can instantly add a bit of cheer to your look!
They’re sassy yet breezy and go with basically any outfit.
If the multi-layered ones are a little too elaborate for your liking, how about this simpler and sleeker pair?
5. Basic Cami Top
Here’s the quintessential top that every girl should own. A cami top’s comfy, effortless and goes with absolutely everything. The ones from Taobao are available in two versions with differing strap width.
They’re really cheap but don’t underestimate their durability! I think I’ve worn and washed mine for over a year and it’s still hanging in there. But, I’m definitely getting a new one soon because I wouldn’t want to risk having no cami tops in my wardrobe should my current one finally give up.
6. Strapless Bra
Here’s another absolute wardrobe staple. While there are many different types of strapless bras out there, the real challenge is finding one that not only braves Singapore’s heat and humidity, and the resultant sweat, but also stays in place the whole day.
While I haven’t tried this particular one, it does bear a striking resemblance to the one available on a local blogshop. The blogshop promises that their strapless bra has been tried and tested to be 100% reliable so fingers crossed that this Taobao dupe is just as reliable!
Price: 39.90 Yuan (approx. S$8) | Strapless Bra
7. Gel Nail Polish
Prices for an express gel manicure at salons start from S$16 but you can use that same amount to buy your own set of UV gel lamp and gel polishes and DIY the manicure yourself!
The UV lamp is slim and portable and with it, each coat takes less than a minute to dry, making the whole experience of applying your own nail polish much less frazzling. The UV polishes are available in a wide array of shades and they have the same shine that you’ll get from a salon manicure.
8. Classic Flats & Slingbacks
Available in neutral hues of white, black, beige and brown, these flats and slingbacks will likely complement all outfits, with the classic cut making them timeless and elegant.
Admittedly, these are pricier than typical Taobao shoes but it’s worth investing in a versatile and lasting pair, right? The feedback from previous buyers is pretty positive too!
9. Gingham Off Shoulder Top
This top from Taobao combines two popular trends, the gingham print and the off shoulder cut, into an adorable little number.
In fact, this top looks like it could be found on the racks of local blogshops or even The Editor’s Market! Wear it like the model for an edgier look or tone it down with some casual shorts and sneakers.
Price: 105 Yuan (approx. S$21) | Gingham Top
10. Comfy & Classy Culottes
There’s nothing quite as comfortable as a reliable pair of breezy culottes. It’s like a socially acceptable way to attain a pyjamas-level of comfort while looking presentable and possibly classy.
These ones from Taobao are simple yet still beautiful and best of all, affordable. In fact, why not pair this with the basic cami top for a no-brainer outfit?
While some of the items in this list are staples, there are also some that could be more seasonal so have fun mixing and matching!
This may be common sense but I’d still like to point out that the “you get what you paid for” rule applies here. While these products may be fractionally cheaper than the ones you can find in local stores, the quality may not match up to their pricier counterparts. It’s up to you whether you want to choose quality or quantity.
Lastly, in light of discouraging fast fashion, don’t buy these items just because they’re cheap! Add them to your cart only if they’re items you know you’ll definitely wear out. 😉
Prices: approx. S$2 – S$50