As a frequent traveller through Asia and in the past couple of years a more frequent visitor to Bali once again I have stumbled across a few stores that have fulfilled my love of shopping for clothes when on holiday.
Up until about 4 years ago I found Bali shopping was really quite limited and also quite pedestrian in the range of clothes on offer, especially what was on offer for men. Usually it was all Bintang singlets and shorts and not much else, unless you wanted to get a sarong or two and who really wears them when you get back home, except for when you are home by yourself – although they do make great presents for people but if you go back once or twice over the space of a year or so there is no need to buy any more. This has become a problem for local traders in Bali as tourists are not spending the money they use to on these things and so many of the market stalls have been suffering greatly. With the inclusion of the larger malls and people becoming a little more discerning the market owners are all going to have to look at what else that they can offer to keep the tourists shopping with them.
No matter where you travel in the world there always seems to be a reasonably good range of diverse women’s wear options on offer. Now things are slowly shifting and with shopping destinations in Bali like the Beachwalk and Bali Collection there are a range of stores opening to fulfil my desire for some interesting and different on trend menswear.
And on my last trip I noticed that ZARA was just about to open on the Beachwalk and that will add yet another dimension in clothing choices as their ranges change quickly and do not last long in store as the are at affordable prices…sitting along side Armani Xchange, Armani Jeans, Aldo, Guess Fashion and some more unique and interesting smaller clothes stores such as Carpe Diem makes Beachwalk a great destination for clothing as well as food, coffee and a range of other shopping options. http://www.beachwalkbali.com/stores.geml – you can check out the other stores by heading to their website.
Sitting outside of the main shopping centres are many stores in Seminyak and even Kuta that offer some rare and interesting finds in terms of clothes for men. As you may know I am not a standard tshirt and jeans man at the best of times and really like clothing that has bit of an edge to it or that can at least be added to to give it a different slant. Religion, a UK brand, has two stores in Bali and I love spending time wandering through the store and finding a new and unusual garment to add to my wardrobe and I am usually not disappointed. Sure they do the usual tourist style clothes of jeans and tshirts for guys but they also do interesting jackets, jumpers and tops as part of their collections in store. Before Bali I was not aware of this brand and over the past couple of years have become a fan of Religion and the clothes they produce and the concept store in Seminyak allows me to get lost for a couple of hours in the different ranges they have available. http://www.religionclothing.co.uk/stores.php – you can check out Religion at their website and where their stores are located.
Part of the new range from Religion…
Shoes for men in Bali is another thing entirely…they really are very boring, functional and uninteresting in what is on offer. Mind you it is primarily a holiday destination and so you hardly ever see tourists wearing shoes, even when they head out to dinner – it is usually a slide, thongs or more casual shoes for men – again the options for women are a little more interesting and varied but still seem to be based around sandals and not shoes as such.
So being someone who loves his shoes I make sure that I take a couple of options away with me so that I can have some choices when I head out to dinner…many other Asian cities have at least got a nice range of mens shoes to select from and I always look forward to heading to Bangkok and KL to satisfy my love of well made men’s shoes when travelling in Asia.
So shopping in Bali for men is looking up – I know for some people that is the last thing on their mind – but even over the course of a 15 day rest and relax in Bali I did still spend 3 days out and about shopping and exploring my favourite shops in search of some new and interesting pieces to bring home with me and I wasn’t disappointed. The price points are still pretty good but I also know that in some of the top end stores they have started to charge Australian level prices which is why most of those stores are constantly empty and you have to wonder how long they will be able to stay open. With the economy the way it still currently sits people are still searching for a bargain, even when buying fashion, that is why so many of us from Perth head to Bali – it is a relatively cheap holiday destination and in some instances cheaper than holidaying at home.
There are now even some local Australian designers who get their ranges made in Bali, the cost factor and ease to travel their makes it a cost effective place to manufacture, and so Bali is slowly getting away from the Bintang singlet mentality and realising that when looking for clothes we all have different needs and wants and that a diverse range is really important.