Looking a million rupees…
1 September 2014 02:32 pm
On a budget!
By Shihara Maduwage
Looking good is feeling good, isn’t that right ladies? But always looking good is not always easy for some of us, especially if the purse strings are a tad tight. But fret not, because I am here to share some secrets with on how to always look fabulous and put together without having to spend a fortune (and without robbing a bank, of course!)
If you keep these tips in mind the next time you head out shopping, you would be able to steal the celebrity-look and save money while you are at it!
Every month, set your shopping budget
Every month, when you get paid, figure out your priority expenses and then set aside a budget for shopping. When you go out shopping, try not to take too much extra cash with you. This way when you hit the stores, you won’t get carried away and make too many unnecessary purchases that you cannot afford.
Try to figure out what you need before you go shopping
Rather than going shopping without an aim, it is better to know what you need the most before you set out on your shopping trip. Is it a new pair of jeans or a black work shirt? Try to stick to stores that sell those items. It is okay to window-shop and look around but make sure you don’t end up with a sequined mini dress and denim shorts when what you really needed was a sturdy pair of sandals. If it helps, make a shopping list and cross off each item. If you really you want to do things right, you can even note down the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each item.
Find sales and bargains
From time to time, your favourite stores will have sales and price-off promotion. Some of the stores even have permanent bargain sections. Hit these first so that you can find some great deals. And be patient. Sometimes (if you are lucky) the top that you really want but is way too expensive will end up on the bargain section next month! But make sure you don’t get carried away with attractive looking promotions and deals (such as buy three perfumes – get one lotion bottle free) which are not really bargains at all.
Also, every time you go shopping ask the salespeople about special promotions. Most places have special discounts for loyalty card and certain credit and debit holders which would definitely be a pleasant surprise!
Build a ‘French Wardrobe’
No you don’t have to take a trip to France to do this. What this means is that you own classic pieces that never go out of style. I know it is tempting to spend your budget on very trendy looking pieces that look bold and daring from the shops. But trust me, it is much better to spend your dough on timeless pieces that you can keep wearing anytime rather than things that go out of fashion in two minutes. That rhinestone studded skirt might look super hip but you are going to get way more use out of perfectly-fitting pair of jeans or a well-tailored jacket.
Fit-on everything you buy
Sometimes trying on everything you before you buy can be a bit of a pain, especially if there are long lines at the fit-on rooms. But it is VERY important to make sure that everything you buy fits you the way you want it to exactly, whether it is shoes, skirts, tops or pants. Nothing is as unflattering as an ill-fitting outfit. So the golden rule is to try on everything before you buy. I even try to send photos to my friends and family to get their opinion before buying something special. It might mean a few trips to the fit-on room but it will save you a trip later to return some items or wasting money on something you can’t/ don’t want to wear.
For this reason, I also try to avoid shopping online for clothes and shoes because I have found out the hard way that they don’t always deliver what they have promised and clothes always don’t fit me the way they do the model in the pictures. While it is fun to browse and look for styles I really like, I try to do my actual purchasing at shops that have fit-on rooms.
Matching is the key!
Match, match and match… This should be your mantra, even if it means memorizing your entire wardrobe before stepping out of the house. Try to buy items that match with things that you already own. For example, it is easier to match neutral colours and patterns such as chevron and stripes with a lot of things whereas crazy, loud designs in a blend of colours are much harder to match and as a result, don’t get worn much. They will stay at the back of your closet forever and even if you do force yourself to wear it once in a while, it will be hard to find things that go perfectly with them.
Of course it is okay to splurge on a ‘fun’ item once in a while but as a general rule always go for the practical heels in black, brown, grey or nude rather than the spangly ones in bright pink or lime-green with which you can barely walk. Listen to me now, you will thank me later!