Going to the Australia Day ball: where to find ball gowns in Singapore

Carmen and Natasha will be attending the Australia Day ball this Saturday night at the Swissotel. This then raised the question: where do you buy a ball gown in Singapore?

Dress Sense at Raffles City Shopping Mall

We feel like this shop on the third floor of Raffles City mall was opened just to serve those attending the Australia Day ball. They allow you to either purchase or rent a gown, and they ensure that you will not wear the same gown as someone else attending the same event (they take notes!). Oh so Hollywood.

Here are some of the dresses currently available (yes, you can rent or buy in time for the Australia Day ball – but hurry!). You can request express alterations too, but it will take 2 days at least.

pica1 Gown # 1 tried on: love the detailed flowers, looks pretty and the colour is striking enough to stand out. Needs a good steam clearly. Price wise, it’s steep, but guess the rental price is ok if you really love it. You get to rent it for a week. Sale price: $744.73 and Rental price: $247.82 pic1 pic2 This dress below feels Bollywood inspired. It was a bit big (as you can tell) being a US size 4, however it could be altered if you are smaller. Not sure about the see through panel in the middle, think it’s a little too over the top, but at least the colour combination is fun! Sale price: $724.38 and Rental price: $210.31pic3 This shimmery gold dress looked amazing on the rack, although if you are small chested it just doesn’t seem to sit right at the top. Still. we love the colour and if the top half fitted better, it would be a winner. This was an Australian size 8. Sale price: $407.86 and Rental price: $177.80pic4

You can see when we pulled the top half down this is how it is meant to sit. Looks very fitting for the Golden Globes perhaps! pic5 Carmen’s favourite: what a fun flapper inspired dress below! We love the sequins along the top of the dress, it’s all really simple but feels really glamorous. This was a US size 2. Sale price: $335.08 and Rental price: $148.68pic6  This dress below reminded us of that amazing dress that Keira Knightley wore in the movie Atonement. Her dress was better, but this is not a bad choice either. The dress was only available in a US size 6 which was too big for Carmen, but you get the idea! Sale price: $564.73 and Rental price: $195.32pic9 Overall dress sense is definitely worth a look if you require a ball gown, bridesmaid dress or just want to celebrate a really special occasion with style. It would have been great if there were more “fashionable” dresses available, i.e. a bit more daring or a bit more catwalk/ trend inspired, however we get that this may not be feasible for their business! The black flapper inspired dress was the winner for us.

Coast (UK brand) available at Robinsons

For those of you who have lived in the UK, you will know that Coast is a brand that caters for women who need a “special occasion” dress. We were excited to see the brand in Robinsons, so decided to check out their ball gowns.


After rummaging through the racks, we are sad to report that there weren’t any small sizes left at all! We loved this red dress below, but it was only available in a UK size 10 and up. This dress makes you feel expensive, and you feel that it could easily be used on the red carpet, so it’s good enough for the Australia Day ball! There was a massive price tag attached to this dress however, at $559! Still… it is gorgeous!pic10

And here was the other dress tried on at Coast. It didn’t excite us at all, (most likely meant as a bridesmaid dress) – the only words we can think to describe this dress is blah.


Another pretty looking dress from Coast, however again – looks like it’s meant for a bridesmaid! In any case, it was too large (UK size 12) for us to try on – sorry ladies. We think if you added some fun accessories in say navy (sapphires anyone?!)  if could be a winner!

pic12  Besides these stores, we also visited Blum & Co as well as Occasions (which is next door to Dress Sense) but we would not recommend either for ball gowns (only either  “bling” inspired or “baby doll” dresses available).

So out of all these dresses, we prefer the black flapper dress! If the red dress from Coast was a smaller size, then that would be top of our list too. What do you think?

For those of you who are attending the Australia Day ball (or any other formal occasion in Singapore), we would love to know…. where you have found your ball gown in Singapore?!


7 thoughts on “Going to the Australia Day ball: where to find ball gowns in Singapore

  1. Great post! I love that you can rent as well as purchase at Dress Sense, as it’s so hard to get your money’s worth out of expensive formal dresses. That gold dress is my favourite for sure, followed by the black flapper.

  2. There is a standalone coast store in Paragon which is loads better than the Robinsons outlet. Tonnes more stock and I didn’t have any trouble picking up a UK 8 when I went. They do a UK 6 as well (from memory). Worth a look?

      1. Hi Carmen & Natasha,
        There is a boutique at Delfi Orchard on the 2nd level called Satine specialising in evening wear. They have been around for a decade. Check them out.

      2. Hi Carmen & Natasha,
        There is a boutique at Delfi Orchard on the 2nd level called Satine. They specialise in evening wear. Great quality and cut! Check them out.

  3. Dress Sense looks great – thanks for the tip ladies! Last time I needed a ball gown I headed to Envie de Pois in ION. They had some great frocks but were crazy expensive so this one is only worth doing if you feel like spoiling yourself 🙂

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