Fashion,  Money,  Travel

The Easy-to-follow Shopping Rules for Conscious Spenders Who Love Fashion

A friend commented on my previous blog post about Venice, said the content was a bit ‘floating’ and didn’t have a call-to-action. I agree and feel so lucky that he told me early on.

The incident reminds me that the purpose of creating this blog is to share something meaningful. It’s not a place to just showcasing my travel photos in a bigger size than a Facebook page or let the world knows how my daily life goes on. For this, I apologise if you feel disappointed on the last post.

I have to admit, for “Fashion” section, I don’t have many finance tips to share for I don’t really look for cheap, branded or specific clothes when I shop. I buy something that attracts my eyes, feels good when I run my fingers on it, suits my body shape and get a nod of approval from my wallet.

However, I have some rules when it comes to shopping for clothes that guarantee won’t make your bank account frown:

Be careful when you buy clothes online

The clothes that you see online may look good on the model or in the photo, but you don’t know how the real thing looks like until it arrives at your door. Just like these unlucky people:

Source: Pinterest
Source: The Independent

One of my friends bought a traditional, fairy-like Chinese dress online but what she got was a dress for Barbie doll! Lool… pity her.

If you’ve been lucky that the clothes you bought online don’t disappoint, one day, you could be one of them. Be careful when you buy clothes online, especially if they’re unbranded. Usually, I will only buy clothes from brands that I familiar with, or when I do some research they turn out to be a big brand from X country.

But of course, if you’re willing to take the risk of losing your money, go for it! Keep the positive vibe but be easy on yourself if it turns out disappointing.

Mix and match like it’s a mandatory

This tip could be useful if you’re someone who always thinks you have nothing to wear. As someone who loves travelling and dressing up, I want to have different look for my holiday photos. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Some people buy new clothes they’ll only wear once then throw away just for the sake of a photo. For some influencers, they get lots of new clothes from brand partners. Me? I’m just not willing to spend a lot on new holiday clothes.

I prefer to spend most of my money for the trip and pocket money thus I have no choice but to mix and match my clothes. And I do it like it’s mandatory. Most of the times, you’ll be surprised that you can come up with so many ideas!  The photos below are taken when I was away for 18 Days Northern Europe + Russia trip and all I got was 1 new down jacket.

Down jacket vs layers – sometimes, layers make you look more stylish and add colours to your photos.

My stripe-pattern office shirt also looks good in Tallinn! 

Google the images of all your destinations then visualise how your photos will look like

Most of the times, I will google the images of the destinations that I will visit then decide what kind of clothes suitable for it. It’s also important to know the right dress code for each country or place. With this, you won’t feel uncomfortable, out of place or forced to buy new clothes. For example, The Louvre, The Vatican and some Spanish churches won’t allow you to enter if you dress up too sexy.

Wear an exotic, sensual dress when in Bali

Don’t limit yourself

You can go for super affordable, unbranded to designer clothes as long as it looks good on you, your wallet, and make you feel comfortable when wearing it.

When I was in Vienna, a woman approached me and complimented my unbranded, RM25 colourful skirt. She asked me if I was from Italy.

Quality over quantity

I used to be the one who likes to have lots of clothes at a very affordable price. Then I realise that quality is more important than quantity. High-quality clothes are sown perfectly, offer great cutting and feels soft on your skin. In fact, you actually exude different aura when wearing low quality or high-quality clothes.

My ex-CFO told me that his wife spent RM6,000 (around USD1,500) for a pair of Jimmy Choo. “She said it’s an investment”, he shook his head. “What do you think? Would you buy it?”

I told him, with my salary I would never buy that shoes. But if she’s earning so well, why not? A pair of comfortable, killer shoes that will make you look great has more value than ten pairs of shoes that will be weary in a few years.

I bought this original Clarks during sale season for just RM150

If you’re petite, go for children clothes

If you’re petite like me, the children section of your favourite brand can help you save money. Most of the times, children clothes are cheaper than adult clothes. I have some children clothes and shoes from GAP, ZARA, Nike and adidas. My favourite is Zara Kids because the length of the coat, dress and pants is just perfect. I don’t have to spend extra money to alter them! Remember to filter out the ones that look too childish for you to wear.

Flowery dress by Zara Kids 

Check out (Brand) Outlet

Another way to look good without spending too much is to buy original branded clothes in low prices. They are available in outlets, but sometimes brand like Mango has “Mango Outlet” where it sells last seasons’ stocks at much lower prices.

Pink knitted jacket bought in Mango Outlet for less than RM50

Accept what your family members give you

Do you always receive clothes from your family members? If yes, how do you feel? Some people don’t like it, some do (like me). However, the problem is I receive a lot thus it makes my wardrobe full then I feel guilty to shop for new clothes. Tricky, eh? Just keep the ones that you really want to wear, now or maybe in the future.

My late grandmother used to keep some of her clothes in my wardrobe. I had my eyes on some of her vintage-pattern clothes but decided to eliminate them from my wardrobe. Now I regret it because Gucci, Zara and other big brands are launching vintage-pattern clothes.

The geeky, vintage Gucci autumn/winter 2018/2019 collection. Source: The National

Keep stuff that you love because you may wear them in the future

Any dress, top, boots or hat that you seldom wear – you may wear them in the future. If you love them, just keep them somewhere. Don’t worry, the time will come for that stuff to shine in your travel photos.

I never imagine that the hat that I bought in Bandung would complement my look when I visited Warsaw >10 years later. People thought I bought the hat in Warsaw. Rupiah vs Euro (o.O)

I hope these rules can help other fashionistas who are on a tight budget like me to be more conscious when shopping for clothes. Do you have shopping rule(s) that you want to add? Let me know in the comment section below 😉

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