Back to School Shopping

(Photo credit:

By Crystal Chang

Maybe it’s because I’m a girl – although there is hardly a problem with that, seeing that my target audience is 70% female – but I love to prepare Back to School supplies. Or perhaps it is because it is the perfect excuse to go shopping, which, of course, some people might then link back to the premise of me being a girl. But let us not be gender bias here, because I know of many guys who love their shopping too.
Whatever the reason, Part II of “The Guide to Celebrating the New Year” will be on 3 quintessential Back to School supplies. So steel your heart, and your wallet’s, for you’ll probably find yourself itching to buy a little something for the New Year very soon.



1. Planners

    • Typo isn’t the prettiest or the cheapest, but it’s pretty pocket friendly and mostly appealing. A bonus is that there are many choices so the chances of you ending up with the same planner as your desk buddy is pretty small. Do wait for their sales; Typo has numerous sales, both online and offline. The online store always has free shipping above $50. So get a couple of friends and buy them together, or simply get other things from CottonOn as well.


$19.95 – 2014 Premium Diary from Typo

3 2

$9.95 – 2014 Spinout Diaries from Typo

    • Not sure if you are like some of my friends – the business type – who need their dull, boring, black, trusty Moleskine planners at their side to prevent their heads schedules from getting messed up. For those who want a little design to the basic functional Moleskine, there are some alternatives to the little black book.


Limited Edition Le Petit Prince Diary from Moleskine


Limited Edition Peanuts Diary from Moleskine

    • Taobao. Who hasn’t thought of buying straight from the birth place of 80% of the world’s goods? The best thing about buying from Taobao is not its price – the shipping fee kills it anyway – but the variety it offers. To save on shipping costs, try to ask your friends in China to bring your shopping back for you when they return to Singapore.


$10.50 – Monopoly Appointment Planners from


$13.10 – GMZ 2014 The Daily Log from


$6.80 – 可爱波点Study Planner from

    • Kikki K has the perfect cutesy designs. It makes you want to jump into your pink polka dotted pajamas, grab your fluffy unicorn stuffed toy and have a pillow fight. What, it doesn’t?


$29.90 – 2014 Weekly Cute Diary from Kikki.K


$71.92 – Leather Personal Planner: Black from Kikki.K

    • Personal favourites – I don’t know anyone who is as witty big a fan of witticisms than I am. If you think you’ll be a good contender though, then this next section is for you.

Waldo Pancakes brings funny to a whole new level by introducing witty sayings in quirky fonts into the world of design. There’s no point in being witty here because Waldo will probably win hands down with his planners below.

9 10

Bad Hair Year 2014 Diary from Waldo Pancakes

The Bright Side designers are just as humorous as Waldo Pancake, so it’s easy to confuse the two but TBS uses white backgrounds and reflective words for their covers to make sure their products are, well, the brightest.


Becoming the Ruler of the Universe 2014 Planner from The Bright Side

2.  Backpack

    • Holographic backpacks – holographic trend is all the rage on the runways now and is catching on in the western hemisphere. It has yet to make its mark in Singapore yet, but it might soon take hold. If you’re one of those who need to own every single one of the trends, then the holographic backpack is the one for you.


$69.90 – O-Mighty Holographic Backpack


Holographic Backpack on

    • Graphic design – graphic tees are definitely a no-no for school, but the closest thing you’ve got to a graphic tee will be a graphic bag. Find quirky, statement pieces that you can take out of the school compound too – and preferably one that you won’t get sick of after 30 minutes of infatuation. It’ll be bonus if you’re the only one in the entire school with that particular design – and not because you’ll be able to spot in in the canteen from ten kilometers and twenty thousand hungry souls away. is an American online store known for their wacky graphics and for selling everything you need to be the next eccentric fashionista.


USD$175 – Andy Mouse Backpack from


USD$60 – Beavis and Butthead Backpack from

    • Sturdy canvas backpack – The canvas bags will forever remain one of the choices for students. You don’t get tired of them but they remain aesthetically pleasing enough, plus they are functional, which is more than you can say about some of the other bags. As for brands, I think we’re quite familiar with the colourful Jansport and Kanken families, so here is one of their lesser known relatives:

Herschel manages to look quirky and appear sturdy all at once with their printed rucksacks.


$89.99 – Little America Backpack, Orange Polka Dots, from Herschel


$89.99 – Little America Backpack, Navy, from Herschel

    • Online marketplaces. Instagram is not only for stalking your girl-crushes – or real crushes. Instashops have been springing up since the platform’s inception and many of the sellers are local, so you save on the shipping and can even opt for meet-up. Carousell is another marketplace platform that you can explore if you haven’t already. If you know your way around, there are many great rucksacks at bargain prices to be found there as well.

Damonsies and bagsunder20 from Instagram are worth a look, but not all of the items are backpacks.

    • Leather (or faux leather) backpacks – the vintage trend is still in fashion I guess, what with the Koreans are still sporting their vintage leather and lace combinations. So maybe it’s not too late to grab that soft leather backpack you have been eyeing since last Christmas.

Feb29 has their entire store decked out in more than 50 wonderful shades of leather. Real leather, half leather, faux leather, the works.


$68.90 – Sui Generis from February 29


$69.90 – Hooplic from February 29

3. Jacket  (for 2014 Year 5s)
This is a definite must for all senior high students who wish not to freeze in the middle of the academic year, much less during exams or common tests. If you think the auditorium is cold whenever you are there for a one hour LA lecture or assembly talk, imagine three straight hours of lectures in the same auditorium. Now, if you think that is cold, imagine being at the back of the hall, directly under one of the vents, for common tests, promos, EOYs or prelims.
Oh, by the way, Math has 3 hour papers.

    • SH hoodie
    • SH hoodie
    • SH hoodie

There is honestly no better choice. It has pockets (okay pocket, with two openings) that can store your GC (graphic calculator) and formula booklet because the auditorium tables are so gigantic and luxurious that when you move your arms everything stays completely unchanged on the tabletop! It keeps you warm in the fuh-reezing auditorium, unless of course the air-con goes down and the entire population depend on three measly fans for oxygen. Then the hoodies double as pretty decent manual fans. Last but not least, it makes a pretty good hobo statement.

So that’s it for my Back to School shopping guide. Hope I’ve enlightened, or at least entertained, you. Check Hoot! every Monday for more Guide to Celebrating the New Year articles and follow @dhspublications on Twitter for updates every time we upload a new article. You know you don’t want to miss out.

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