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3 Ways to Make CNY Fashion More Affordable

Working with a tight budget this Chinese New Year? Here are some tips to help maximise your savings when purchasing clothes for your "new beginning."

According to Chinese tradition, wearing new clothes during the Chinese New Year (CNY) symbolises a new start and fresh hopes. So, with CNY just around the corner, apparel-buying may be on your to-do list. Given how much you've already spent for CNY, however, you may be worried about your thinning wallet. You're not alone. According to a poll held by the United Overseas Bank (UOB), an average Singaporean intends to spend an average of S$2,503 during the festive period. A budget in the thousands is a hefty amount for many. To help alleviate the pressure so you can focus on celebrating, here are ways to save on CNY clothes shopping.

Take Advantage Of Online CNY Sales

Many online retailers such as Zalora, Lazada, Shopee are now running aggressive promotions in light of the upcoming festive period. Take Zalora, for example. Their current promotion 'Shop More, Spend Less' allows you to enjoy higher discounts the more pieces of clothing you buy. With 5 pieces costing S$59.9, each will only set you back by ~S$12 instead of the S$19.9 cost if you only purchased 1 item. That's S$7.9 of additional savings on top of the existing discount. Of course, if you don't need this much new clothing, you can always pool purchases together with friends and family.

Table of current Chinese New Year sales

There’s also an additional advantage to shopping online instead of in-store–you'll never be short on inspiration for what to wear for CNY. Many online retailers feature fashion edits that highlight outfits suitable for CNY. Some local blogshops, like the MGP label, The Closet Lover, and Anticlockwise even go the extra mile to launch CNY-themed collections. Many blogshops also offer 10% off your first purchase, so be sure to make use of available first-timer voucher codes where possible.

Finally, to further maximise your savings from shopping during the CNY season, you can also make use of credit cards that specifically reward online shopping. For example, the new Citi Lazada Card offers up to 4.8 miles per S$1 spend with Lazada, plus store-specific discounts and shipping rebates.

Buy Pieces That Will Work in a Capsule Collection

If you're a female looking for a suitable CNY dress, you may wish to reconsider opting for a cheongsam–a one-piece, traditional ethnic clothing. As classy as they are, cheongsams are rarely worn for everyday occasions and will most likely languish in the back of your closet after CNY. Besides, with most retailing at about S$30 per piece, they're pretty expensive for a 'one-time use' fashion piece.

Capsule collections increase the number of outfits possible with the same number of garments

So, if you’re investing money into new clothing, be thoughtful about what you buy. Make sure that you can continue wearing the piece for the rest of the year. Even better, as you’re looking through your existing wardrobe, spend some time to optimise your wardrobe for a capsule collection. A capsule collection is a selection of essentials that can easily be mixed and matched to create multiple looks. New CNY clothing that fits into this collection can add value and save precious space in your wardrobe.

If You Want To Stand Out, Get Quirky CNY Themed Shirts

If you really want to stand out and be remembered for your choice of clothing this CNY, why not consider getting a quirky CNY-themed shirt? You don’t have to be dressed head-to-toe in new apparel; a new T-shirt holds the same lucky symbolism, after all. These T-shirts can also be a fantastic conversation starter, perfect for relieving any awkwardness from meeting up with relatives you haven’t seen in a long time. Perhaps more crucially, by skipping the branded outlets like Zara, Topshop, and A&F–where a T-shirt will likely cost over S$40–you can potentially enjoy savings of S$20+.

Table of prices for CNY T-shirts from popular Singaporean designers

Homegrown brands like Naiise and Temasek Clothings feature on-theme CNY clothes from local designers for less than S$35 per piece. If those don’t appeal to you, you can also consider designs from other websites, like Zazzle and Spreadshirt, too. Better yet, if you have an artistic flair, why not try your hand at designing your CNY shirt? At S$12 per T-shirt, this is the cheapest option.

Think About Your CNY Budget Overall

From hosting reunion dinners to buying symbolic new clothing, it's easy to overspend without realising it until it's too late. As you plan out your holiday shopping and fun, consider thinking through your spending ahead of time and making yourself a budget. By comparing what you want and need to spend with what you can comfortably pay for, you can set expectations and consider ways to save ahead of time. This is a great way to start the new year fresh without worrying too much about overextending your finances. And, if you have enough to spare, you can jump-start your new beginning with a savings account, which can help you to save up for your next CNY expenses while also earning interest year-round.

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