DO I REALLY NEED...

19 April 2017

By Musa Bwanali


There was a sale last week at one of the largest retailing stores in the city. Being the thing lover I am, I went to check out what they had. More than the clothes on the rack, I was drawn to an animated conversation between two friends who, just as I had, run away from the office to do some lunchtime shopping. Picking on all the good bargains (Sissyboy jeans at almost half the price, who wouldn’t!), they convinced each other that these would come in handy one day and made their way to the service centre to make their purchases. As they walked away I scanned their outfits and my eyebrows shot up in surprise. One lady was wearing jeans that her body was eagerly waiting to rip off given the opportunity. The other friend was in an oversized shirt that was drooping at the shoulders and she kept pulling up.  I stopped right in my track and asked myself if the two dresses and pair of morning shoes I had been cradling on my arm for a good fifteen minutes were actually a necessity. And they weren’t. So with a heavy heart but clear conscience I returned them and walked out of the shop with this article in mind. Every once in a while we all slip up and miss the mark with our wardrobes. This fashion faux pas includes overspending, mashing up a look with ill-fitting prints or sizes or holding on to something dear way past its lifetime. Even the most stylish people are prone to making these mistakes. Don’t despair—there are some easy fixes!


Bargain Mania
Just like the ladies I saw last week, most of us get trigger happy at mark-down sales. It’s easy to get swept up and lose your mind (yes, completely lose it) as budgeting and good sense exit the building. Most of the times, you end up with clothes you don’t need, would never wear and don’t even look good in. So before you click “buy” or bolt to the checkout counter, pause, reflect. Is it the thrill of the bargain that you’re responding to or the item itself? Ask your¬self, “If this were full price, would I still want it? Do I need it?” Imagine what you’ll wear it with and for what occasion. Ask yourself what else in your closet serves the same purpose. If it checks out, proceed to purchase. If it doesn’t, walk away.


Desperate shopper
You know you have a big event coming, and you’ve been procrastinating that visit to the store. Day before the wedding, or launch party, you’re breathless as you whiz up and down the aisles looking for that something. At the last minute, as the shop is about to close, you panic and race to make a purchase and end up with something pricey that you will probably never wear again. The day you get the invitation to that function, schedule time on your calendar to figure out what to wear. Assess what you already have and then you can buy what you need. It actually feels good when you know that you’re wearing exactly what you wanted to wear because you planned the outfit in good time.


Attachment Issues
You still have the skirt you wore before you had your first child. Your favourite sweater now has holes in it but it was a gift from the love of you life so you still wear it, holes and all. Or is it that you refer to a certain pair of jeans, or dress or shoes as your ‘best friend’ and when we troll your Instagram feed we will find said “friend” in more than three or five photos. My friend, if any of that applies to you, it’s time we told you – you have attachment issues. Take a long, good and hard look at old faithful and accept that it’s time to let go. If the item is of deep sentimental value, you can keep it as a work of art or a treasure – frame it, take a picture of it or pack it away for posterity. Do anything but wear it!


Keep simple. Keep it stylish.

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