Credit Cards

Fashion Made Affordable: 3 Ways to Save on a Chic Wardrobe

Shopping can be expensive, especially if you want to maintain a chic, up-to-date wardrobe. Nonetheless, it's possible to save on clothing purchases without compromising on quality or style.

Shopping in Singapore can be expensive, which isn't surprising as it's been ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world for years. If you're trying to stay fashionable and want to avoid showing up to events in dated looks, you may find yourself buying more and more clothing, even when your closet is beyond full. Fortunately, there's a way to remain fashion-forward without spending so much on clothing, freeing up your budget for other expenses. Here are 3 ways to save on clothing without sacrificing quality or style.

Optimise Minimalism with Capsule Collections

If you're a frequent shopper, chances are you've built up quite a wardrobe overtime. From tops and bottoms that match almost exclusively with each other to pieces that once were super trendy (but not anymore), you may have a closet full of clothing that's been untouched for a while. Given how expensive rent can be even for a small flat, every square inch may be considered prime real estate. It may feel counterintuitive, but the best way to clear out your space–and save money on shopping in the long run–might be to switch to a more limited capsule collection.

In short, a capsule collection is a selection of essentials that can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple looks–basically, optimised minimalism. Usually, this comprises of the same shirt in several colours, paired with basics like skinny jeans, black pants and more. While this may seem boring at first, the number of outfits possible for the number of wardrobe items is remarkably high.

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

Even better, the amount you'll save by decreasing your wardrobe size (while still maintaining the number of unique pairings possible) can be used to splurge on accessories. A great selection of shoes, bags and jewelry make it easy to differentiate a classic look any time you wear it.

Stay Fresh & Save Money with Designer Rentals

While a capsule collection works great as a foundation for day-to-day fashion, there will almost certainly be times when you'll need to dress up for a special occasion–perhaps for attending a wedding or gala event. In these cases, it may be tempting to go out and shop for a new look. But given how expensive high-end and designer brands can be, can you really afford to purchase a new outfit for every occasion?

If you want to look fresh and never repeat a previous look, consider renting upscale clothing from a service like Covetella or Style Lease. The one-off price of renting a cocktail dress tends to range from S$120–250+, which is far lower than buying the piece brand new. Even better, clothing rentals tend to last 4 days with potential extension, are shipped directly to you, and don't require extra cleaning or membership fees. Many companies also offer fashion subscription services, but these are often quite costly (minimum S$69+/month). Everyday consumers who only need to dress up occasionally will save more by just renting 1 piece individually.

Leverage Discounts & Earn Miles with Shopping Credit Cards

Regardless of your fashion choices, spending with a shopping credit card is the absolute easiest way to offset your purchases–whether online or offline, locally or overseas. Most credit cards that reward spend on wardrobe offer points for rewards, which can be redeemed as air miles (great if you're a frequent traveller) or as vouchers with select merchants. These cards also often come with special discounts with popular stores like Zalora, Shopee and more. Finally, there often are no minimum spend requirements for earning rewards, and some cards–like OCBC Titanium Rewards–offer an annual fee waiver so you can shop stress-free.

Certain shopping cards offer both discounts and miles rewards on fashion spend

The best shopping credit cards also offer 0% interest instalment plans, which break down your bigger purchases into smaller payments. This is great if you're buying something expensive–perhaps your wedding dress–and want to bring home your look immediately rather than saving up beforehand. If you do choose a credit card that offers a 0% interest plan, look for an option that doesn't charge a processing fee. These added fees can actually cost you extra, even if the plan doesn't directly charge interest.

Conclusion: Combine All 3 Methods to Maximise Savings

Ultimately, these recommendations aren't simply "stand alones"–they can be used together to maximise your savings. By using a capsule collection as the foundation of your wardrobe, you're freed up to splurge on designer rentals for special occasions. Even further, using a shopping credit card on all of your fashion spend will earn rewards that essentially provide a discount on what you're purchasing. Overall, regardless of your style or taste, you can still save money while making the most of your wardrobe.

Carrie Arndt

Carrie is a Senior Analyst at ValueChampion, helping consumers find the best credit cards and other financial products based on quantitative and qualitative analysis. She previously led consumer studies worldwide as a Senior Research Executive at MMR Research, and led development & operations and BellaVetro. She attended Duke University and Penn State University, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Government. Her work has been featured on a variety of major media such as Yahoo Finance, Asia One, Buro, Zuu Online and more.

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