Gone are the days when the Singaporean uniform was a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, or when blogshop fashion ruled local campuses. The number of bona fide fashionistas has shot up ever since the Internet turned everyone into a hipster or Korean star wannabe.
As a result, your wardrobe might contain enough items to clothe the population of an entire HDB estate. Which, when you think about it, is a bit crazy. Fashions change and many of these clothing items you've paid good money for will be relegated to the never-seen, never-used pile in a year or two.
So before you head out on another clothes shopping binge, here are five clothing items that all Singaporeans should stop wasting money on.
1. Clothes for other people's weddings
When you get to a certain age, your weekends tend to get booked up with other people's weddings. Everyone wants a piece of the ang bao pie, from that childhood friend you haven't seen since the PSLE to that colleague you've only spoken to once but who invited the entire office.
You're going to be losing enough cash just attending these weddings, so there is really no need to make a fashion statement and buy a whole new outfit each time someone you know decides to get hitched. What's more, unless you want to show up looking like a getai singer or car salesman, formal clothes tend to be expensive.
You only need one good suit or one formal dress and it's good for all the weddings you'll be invited to in the next decade or so. Nobody is going to realise you're always wearing the same thing as they'll be too busy looking at photos of themselves or the couple.
2. Winter wear
Office temperature in Singapore can be positively polar at times, but it gets a little ridiculous when you see people walking around in trench coats and scarves, only to step out into scorching weather during lunchtime.
Singaporeans are a well-travelled lot, but sometimes can go overboard with stocking up on winter wear. Of course you want to look great on your next trip to Iceland/Korea/New York, but you don't always have to wear the latest fashion. It really is fine to wear the same coat and the same scarf each time, especially when you only get to use them once a year.
3. Beautiful but uncomfortable shoes
If you're planning to buy a pair of shoes that is not very comfortable but looks stunning, just don't do it.
You will either never wear those shoes, or hate yourself every second you stumble about in them.
4. Anything you need to diet to fit into
You see a beautiful dress / shirt / tutu / catsuit, and fall in love with the image of yourself wearing it in the changing room mirror.
The only problem is that your gut sticks out just a little too much. Never mind, you tell yourself, all the more reason to motivate yourself to lose weight. You'll buy the fashion item and wear it when you've shed those extra pounds.
If something doesn't look good on you right here, right now, put it back on the rack and back away slowly with your hands in the air, because the chances of your ever wearing it are almost nil.
5. Statement pieces that don't go with anything you own
Not everyone wants to look like their entire outfit came from a Muji or Uniqlo store. So yes, we understand that sometimes you want one or two striking statement pieces that immediately transform an outfit.
But don't buy that massive Aztec-inspired geometric necklace or those day-glo limited edition sneakers unless you already have some outfits you can wear them with. If you have to tell yourself that you'll "one day" buy the perfect dress/shirt to go with it, that's a red flag that your new statement piece will someday find itself on Carousell.
This article was first published on MoneySmart.