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Smart shopping tips: 6 fool-proof ways to revamp your wardrobe and avoid buyer's remorse in Singapore

Good buys are always the hardest

Text: Ryan Sng


Image: Instagram

Year after year, one inevitably finds that certain wardrobe items no longer appeal to one as much as they did when they were first bought. Some well-used pieces approach unacceptable wearing condition, and are more than ready for retirement. Others have barely seen the world beyond one's closet — and it's these pristine pretties in particular that are the cause of much guilt and self-loathing. Acquiring more than we need is a natural human instinct, but it's unwise to leave the impulse to shop unchecked; below, our handy suggestions to avoiding regrettable purchases.

1. Shop with a goal in mind — and a budget.

Fashion is almost always about desire instead of necessity; that is, unless you stroll into a mall butt-naked and have five minutes before security arrives to haul your heinie to prison for indecent exposure. There's nothing wrong with window-shopping, but we advise erring on the side of caution, and only spending once you've found items which you've been actively searching and budgeting for.

We, for example, have been intently considering this season's seductively strappy sandals:

2. Avoid sales, unless you've been keeping an eye on a particular item.

This suggestion is almost identical to the first, and serves only to warn you it's proven science that the temptation to spend is exponentially increased when we're told that something is discounted. Reduced price or not, money spent is never a 'saving'; that's just your brain playing tricks on you.

3. Want to refresh your look? Trying mashing up your favourite styles.

It's simple addition. If your wardrobe is filled to the bursting with animal patterns and bright solid colours, why not combine the two and seek out brightly-coloured animal patterns? Experimenting with a busier or more directional look is easier when some or all of its components are already within your comfort zone:

4. Make sure you've an occasion in mind for an outfit you're purchasing.

Don't purchase an outfit for a wedding, for example, unless there's one on your calendar in the near future; in the intervening time, your tastes or feelings may (and generally do) change.

If you are looking for a wedding outfit, though, might we suggest supporting local, and shopping at Stolen?:

5. Never make a purchase when you're hungry, angry, feeling lonely, or tired.

Have a meal, talk to someone (about the source of your anger or loneliness, not the shopping, duh), or go to bed. Reassess your feelings a day after; the potential purchase will probably feel a far less urgent.

6. Tailoring is always worth it.

An ill-fitting item of clothing can trigger some of our worst body-image issues (everyone has them, and that's ok). Getting something properly fitted to one's body can make a fast favourite of even the most unexceptional items.

If you've a serious backlog of alterations at your local tailor, we propose cinching oversized items with a belt in the meantime:

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