How To Save Money On Clothing And Fashion


I love shopping — eer, hoarding — for clothes. My husband has to put up with that for five long years. But I am proud to say that this ‘terrifying’ hobby has not damaged our family finances. I bought every dress, shoes, and accessory I have coveted – and emerged without credit.

Just how did that happen? A new girlfriend asks. She is three months on her job and used her credit card to buy a Tod’s bag worth her two months salary. She’s been on the city for four months and yesterday she saw a most fabulous pair of Jimmy Choos that she thinks she must own.

I smiled at her too knowingly. I understand how it feels to be overwhelmed with all those tempting retail stores.  Shopping is so much part of Dubai culture. I have seen friends bid the Emirates goodbye for good because they fell into a huge credit card debt — all because they must have every season’ clothes from a French fashion house.

It takes a certain amount of discipline to curb one’s spending on fashion. Like any regular lady who reads Harper’s Bazaar, I can be unreasonable, hence I too lack self-discipline. But I remain unscathed with credit by doing these:

1. Don’t buy the first time you see it. Go home, check your wardrobe if there is anything like it.  Sleep on it. If the urge is still there in the morning then go back and pay for it.

2. Look online for second hand clothes for sale. I am  huge fan of OLX, an online market place where sellers advertise pre-loved clothes, shoes, and accessories. It’s like going to flea market without leaving the house.

3. The basics must be tailored to get the polished look. Invest on blazer, trench coat, wide leg pants, and little black dress. Then mix with pieces you bought from a thrift store.

4. Buy clothes that you are going to wear now. Avoid a purchase that is one size smaller because you are planning to go on a diet. Chances are, you are never going to wear it. Try the clothes on. Never buy without trying it on. A size 8 on New Look could be size 10 at River Island.

5. Bathing suits are summer essentials yet they never come quiet cheap. So I look out for bikinis that are reversible. It makes holiday packing lighter without compromising style.

6. Stay away from pieces with care labels that calls for dry-clean only. It’s a costly way to care for clothes.

7. Join or host an exchange party. Invite friends with unwanted clothing. Like they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

8. Learn to accessorize. Update a plain shirt with statement necklace, brooches, and pins.

9. I turn to flea market for vintage pieces and interesting jewelries.

10.  For the serious frugal fashionista, join one of those flash-sale websites. Apparently, you can grab a bargain of luxury brands these days through an exclusive limited-time sales for members only.  If you are desperate to own  a brand new and authentic Yves Saint Laurent product, this might just work out for you. Without breaking the bank.

Carry your clothes with attitude! I bought the moss green frock at Carrefour for $4.

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