Wearing a strapless bra in a humid city is the definition of tension.

Humidity causes not just frizz. It can also result in flat chestedness through mission creep from your underwear.

First of all, why do it? Why put yourself in the position of being strapless in Singapore? Well, one of the must-does on a trip is swinging by Orchard Road, where you will find high fashion within flashy buildings. Imagine Zara inside a Zaha Hadid and you're there.

No one escapes this level of retail stimulation without a purchase. In my case, it was a top with narrow shoulders. Trying it on brought a well-known female moment: "This is nice but will I ever get round to finding the underwear that will allow me to wear it?"

Yes, I declared. Be it racerback or strapless, the underwear solution is near. I will find it today. Then I can wear the top tomorrow, not least because there is no iron at the hotel and the stuff I pack is creased.

You are spared the ensuing safari to underwear departments, beyond my note there's always a man. Why? He is often with a girlfriend or a wife, but again, why? Men in underwear departments make browsing for a bra more uncomfortable than wearing one two sizes too small and underwired.

After loitering till the man-coast was clear, a potential brassiere was located. Its straps could be detached. It was not, therefore, engineered for straplessness. Dummies in pretend car crashes had not worn this strapless bra, so the bra's endurance could be measured in slow motion. Did the bra really know what it was doing? Or would its descent be indirectly proportional to the temperature which was forecast to reach 31 degrees?

Next day, D-day. Or AA day in my case. I walked carefully. I dangled my shoulder bag from my wrist, lest looping the bag over my shoulder would dislodge the underwear.

On the subway, there were no seats. After strap-hanging strapless, I emerged at Chinatown station and found the "shop-front" architecture in this part of town to be especially thoughtful. It features columns behind which one can hide to yank up underwear. (NB, must investigate if a woman designed this part of town.)

Humid heat, like that of Singapore, means your perspiration meets moisture that's already in the air. Never treat this combination lightly. It's a slippery slope.

Despite that, the bra was largely a Triumph, even though it was actually a Singaporean brand. But if only I had known, the day would have been much more relaxing.

This stuff matters, you see. Retail sales are down across Asia. To reverse the trend, designers should tell women what garments will do and which everyday challenges they will meet. This underwear should have said "Singapore safe"; or "humidity friendly"; or "we've got your back".

As for the other great peril of humidity, let me conclude with a Singapore hair report. There was a Tintin shop advertised in Chinatown. His quiff was bigger than normal. To avoid a similar look, I had a keratin-rich blow dry. The hairdresser was called Wee. His business card said: "Wee. Stylist". Nice to see Glaswegian naming conventions are going global.