Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Dior… that's the way the alphabet goes around here nowadays.
Singapore boasts one of the world's highest concentrations of high-net-worth individuals. We have more than a hundred thousand millionaires and at least 26 billionaires living on this tiny island.
But it's not just the filthy rich who are cashing out; overall, local consumer expenditure has increased. Late last year, the Department of Statistics reported that more Singaporeans are splashing out on an expensive lifestyle - that includes travel, dining, recreation and…luxury goods.
Big names like Chanel and Hermes are certainly no longer just the fetishes of high-flyers.
Our generation's unbridled enthusiasm for the high-end is tangible and clear. Once seen as status symbols, Singaporeans are now decked up to the likes of Tinsel town inhabitants, with thousand dollar bags a dime a dozen.
Telling Gucci from Givenchy is well-acquired knowledge by both the young and old.
A quick look makes case in point. Teenagers are touting Longchamp bags as if they are given out free on the road. Ladies spend their spare time chatting about the Chanel flap bag version 1, 2, 3. The guys typically obsess over watches - the bigger the better.
Whether it is by influence, a form of investment, or an induction into the culture of indulgence, everyone seems to want a chance to lap up luxury, even if their paycheck can't afford it.
Now we all know the risk in spending beyond your means, so here are five ways you can feed that lust in an affordable manner and prove that you don't need to be rich, to look rich.
DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a sponsored post. Any organisation mentioned has not paid us to write about them.
The Expensive for Cheap(er)
Reebonz is surely no stranger to the e-commerce industry, and it does a pretty acceptable job in satiating any hankering for extravagance.
Born in 2009, Reebonz offers a wide variety of new and pre-owned luxury items at discounted rates - typically 30 to 40 per cent off. Special events can see items going for up to 80 to 90 per cent off, and are usually held both online and at their brick-and-mortar store - Reebonz Space - located at Raffles Place.
As a loyal follower of Reebonz, I've witnessed some pretty awesome steals on their site. Take for example this year's March blowout sale - items were marked down to a flat 70 per cent off. Can you imagine Yves Saint Laurent bags going for less than $500?!
Needless to say, shopping during such massive cuts is the ultimate game of fastest fingers first. Make sure you refresh the product page every few seconds because visitors of the site are constantly removing and/or carting out items.
So the product you thought was sold out could be in stock again within the next few minutes, and vice versa.
Alternatively, participate in sale events at their physical store. But do be prepared to fight with hordes of territorial females and OLs (Office Ladies) equipped with (literally) killer heels. You can read about a buyers' first hand account at the store during a sale last June.
Lastly, it is advisable to subscribe to their mailer and/or 'like' their Facebook page to get any additional discount codes.
Straight off the European racks
I chanced upon this website earlier this year during one of my many relentless pursuits of an old season bag.
Similar to Reebonz, Premium Mall brings in luxury bags, accessories and shoes, at cheaper-than-retail prices. Bee Yee, the sole owner and manager of the store, frequents Outlet malls in Europe and returns with major hauls every few months.
Bee Yee updates her website, Facebook and Instagram accounts rather frequently with her handpicked loot. She also informs customers via text message when her next trip will be, and what she will be bringing back next.
One man's trash is another man's treasure
If you are dead serious about getting the best bang for your buck, then second-hand goods are a great option to consider. Personally, I have no grouses about buying a used item since I'm not one who treats her stuff like gold anyway.
So if you are like me, then your heaven on Earth is probably…Carousell. This nifty mobile application provides a platform that allows users to post their used items for sale, and buyers to make corresponding bids and deals.
And one of the categories prominently featured is Luxury.
I can spend hours on end just scrolling through the huge selection of items. What I especially appreciate about the platform is that it gives me the ability to find items that tend to be sold out in stores.
But as with purchasing any kind of used good, there is a need for you to practice a level of discernment in assessment. So schedule a meet up with the seller and have a good go at feeling up the item before committing to a purchase.
Also, it is highly advisable to do some homework on authentication checks beforehand.
Aim a little lower
Online fashion and beauty stores Shopbop and ASOS don't exactly offer upmarket material. Rather, they cater to a market satisfied with mid-tier brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch, which of course are way more affordable, and yet still slapped on with a label.
So if you aren't ready to go all out to splurge your entire paycheck, then start small.
Quick tip for shopping on ASOS: make your purchase in Pounds. That will make the final bill a little easier on your wallet.
$100 for a Balenciaga bag. No Kidding.
What happens if your wallet really can't bear the brunt of another huge expense, but yet, you heart has been sold to the Devil who wears Prada?
Well, I think you need to seek help.
But, if push comes to shove and you really can't shake off that extravagant shopaholic alter ego, you could possibly indulge in the short-term solution…of renting a bag.
Singapore has a host of bag rental services such as SGBagrental, Bagsnoenough, or Bagborroworsteal to fuel that inner chi chi lust. Sites typically offer their bags at per week or per month rental prices.
This option is also great for those looking to test a particular bag model out first, before committing to a purchase.
At the end of the day, it is always best to make sure you finances are well in order before you go splurging on a want, not a need.