Are there certain items of clothing or accessories you can get away with buying cheap on? Is there a rule of thumb to say that one must only invest heavily into statement pieces? How can you cleverly get on-board with trends without feeling you’ve wasted your hard earned money?
Before we take this discussion further, I firstly want to explain that I do not advocate fast fashion here whatsoever. Clothing, especially seasonal on-trend fashion, need not cost the earth. There are many high-street brands out there at the moment with a sustainable approach gaining more of an ethical standpoint in all aspects of their business. For example, H&M – a high street store – usually not the first company that comes to mind when you think of sustainable brands, has started using recycled plastic bottles to create recycled polyester and implement more closed-loop practices such as reusing scraps from the textile industry.
When it comes to curating a working wardrobe, I personally like to invest in timeless pieces that I will wear over and over again and which will work with my existing wardrobe. But when it comes to hopping onto seasonal trends – I look at this differently. Trends come and go – we all know this. Something that was fashionable in Autumn and ‘all-the-rage-over-on-Tiktok’ will probably look dated come Spring. So for this reason alone, I avoid paying heavily into trends. This you can certainly do cheaply.
Cost per wear should also always be taken into consideration. For example, you’ve splurged on a beautiful dress for an occasion which let’s be frank – you may only wear once. Whereas…that pair of pjs you picked up in Primark for AED30 (£7) – you’ve worn almost on repeat for the last two months. When you think about the amount of times you may wear a piece of clothing – is it worth the splurge?
Along with fashionable trends that flood the high street at the beginning of every season – let’s explore five other items, you could do cheaply.
Let’s face it, heavy coats and jackets are not required if you live in the Middle East. In fact, there is probably one month of the year – January, where a light jacket is required for evenings, that’s about it. For this reason, you can totally get away with not paying over-the-odds for coats and jackets. In this instance, I would personally splurge more for a blazer rather than a coat. Blazers can be layered up, worn on the shoulders and worn all year round even in the a/c.
Alex Stedman, Fashion Editor and author of The Frugality, recently stated on Tiktok that when she used to work on fashion shoots for magazines, fashion designers would send bags of sunglasses to be featured – casually flung into the packaging, with no care taken, none were individually wrapped and were never requested back. From that, she knew investing into designer sunglasses was not worth it. This is certainly food for thought. I personally invest in both designer and cheaper sunnies depending on the style I enjoy at the time. One advantage of buying cheaper sunglasses though is that you need not worry as much if you accidently sit on them or lose them. Just remember, when investing in any type of sunnies – ensure UV protection is always a feature.
Jeans are timeless – we know this. But seasonal ‘fashion’ jeans with features such as rhinestones, patches, different colours and numerous rips for example are not up there with a classic pair of well-fitting jeans. Save by not spending too much on the typical ‘jeans-of-the-season’. Instead, invest in a flattering, timeless pair that you can wear all year round and for any occasion.
Even though socks are having a moment currently (hello to all the socks and Birks plus socks and Crocs fans), these are one item you can go cheap on. With a multitude of choice on style, patterns, and colour – it can be hard to distinguish between designer and cheaper high-street options.
This may be controversial. On the one hand, I put a classic white t-shirt up there as a wardrobe staple. You can appreciate a good quality, expensive white tee, for it’s fit and washing results. But on the other hand, how many of us have ruined a nice white tee from make-up, perhaps fake tan, food, or other random stains only to have it ruined in an instance. Buying a few cheaper white, grey, black or any other neutral colour tees will guarantee an almost back-up supply if one needs it.
To conclude, everyone’s shopping tastes are different. What one person deems worth investing in when it comes to shopping – may be different to another. Thankfully, the malls, high-street and online is awash with choices and options for all budget requirements.