If you’re headed to Bali, congratulations, I’m jealous. It’s an amazing place. It’s hard to explain what’s so great about it, because it occupies a weird niche. On one hand, it’s hard to counter claims that Bali offers a highly developed, curated, and tourist driven experience of tropical Asia; on the other hand, Bali is filled with a riotous beauty, an overwhelming hospitality, and a stunning design aesthetic which are all inimitable and indescribable. And often, in places like Ubud, the mushrooming development remains tasteful and understated, only adding to Bali’s appeal as an island of tranquility and friendly service. Best of all, in Bali good design pervades everything, meaning that the Balinese lifestyle can be enjoyed at pretty much all price points. And there is a lot to do.
Here is a list of my favorite stores I visited in the Seminyak/ Legian areas of South Bali. All of these stores are located across two streets: JL Laksmana/Oberoi, and JL Seminyak. The perfect way to shop in Bali is to rent a scooter (if you can) for $5 a day (500,000 rupiah) and drive up and down these two streets and the small ones which lead off of them.
I spent the majority of my time shopping with my boyfriend so I didn’t get to go into all the stores I might have liked, but in exchange, I did get to experience a larger slice of menswear than I would have otherwise, which was fun and worth it. Here are my recs:
MOONROCKS: Moonrocks is actually a brand based in Saint Sebastian, Spain, but its made its way to JL Seminyak, right next to the expat-popular Moka Café. Moonrocks trafficks in brightly colored t-shirts with funny and whimsical illustrations, and other casual streetwear. I bought two women’s tank tops, but my favorite things there were the men’s boardshorts which came in fun colors and covered in a small black print of things like elephants, spiders, and tear drops. Really cool and really affordable.
DRIFTER: Drifter was probably my favorite store in Bali, which is funny since there is no womenswear. But everything at this surf shop is just so cool. We were told to look out for The Critical Slide Society, and indeed we found their awesome line of boardshorts and t-shirts (the prices seemed to range from about $50-$100). Other brands include: RVCA, Obey (with Shepard Fairey’s ubiquitous Andre the Giant logo), Brixton, and Patagonia. They also sell surfboards here, if you’re in the market.
C BOUTIQUE: If you have money to burn and you want a great suit for the beaches of Bali, this is the place to go. Filled with cool Australian and American brands like Zimmerman, Lover, Camilla and Marc, and my favorite—Anna & Boy. But be prepared to part with a hundred bucks at least.
Located @ Jl. Oberoi N. 8
A SIMPLE KONSEP STORE (SKS): Beautifully designed, simple pieces with a bit of an Asian feel. Aptly described on their website as “East meets Chic.” Lots of block printed sundresses, origami wallets, toy watches, and smartly tailored trousers. For both guys and gals. Also carries some home design. Designers come from across the globe.
Located @ Jl. Lasmana N.40
MAGALI PASCAL: The eponymous line of a Parisian designer, Magali Pascal is filled with the most beautiful, feminine, floaty creations (think lots of printed chiffon), arranged on racks by color. The website rightly describes the line as being girlish without the frills or frippery. I tried on almost every dress in the store and came away with a sophisticated black pair of shorts ($120) and a cool, studded leather wallet ($60)(which I managed to stupidly lose the next day much to my chagrin.) A small disclaimer: this seems to be the sort of line that women love and men are indifferent towards. When I tried on a loose, floaty, cream-colored dress with small blue flowers and a plunging neckline, my boyfriend said that I lost my figure and that it did nothing for him. But I wouldn’t let that stop you.
SHAKUHACHI: Another cool and boho-chic line of womenswear worth visiting.