Sales do tempt, but don't binge shop

August is anyway a slow month, so it's the best time to do some introspection. As you look at the contents ask yourself three simple questions

By Sujata Assomull (The Fashionista)

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Published: Sat 12 Aug 2017, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 12:21 AM

I have been over indulging lately. It had become pretty obvious as shopping bags full of clothes and accessories lay aimlessly at the foot of my bed for days, unable to find space in my closet. It is already full! But it is not my fault - have you noticed how good the sales are this year? Be it the Dubai Summer Surprise (which ended on Saturday), or offers on various online aggregators, who seem to have a permanent sale section throughout the year. You cannot help but be tempted!
As a member of the fashion community, the first thing I do every morning is check the online BoF Daily Digest. It is Business of Fashion's (the go-to website for the industry) daily update on what is going on in the rag trade. What's surprising are the not-so-happy tales of stores featuring almost everyday. Be it that of a well-loved niche sportswear brand, whose revenues are down, or the news of Collette, considered to be Paris' most cutting-edge concept store, shutting down. Or high street maestro's H&M newest fashion collaboration with British cult fashion label Erdem not receiving the warm social media response it expected. It is a little depressing but also explains why there are so many summer sales and the shopping bags at the end of my bed.
Anyway, to make room for these shopping bags I decided to go through my wardrobe and empty all its contents onto my bed. I found some hidden surprises - at least a dozen shirts that still had price tags on. These are the things I had bought just because they were available at reduced rates, not because I liked them very much. Examining these clothes taught me a lot about my shopping habits. I was kind of reminded of the saying: Eating with your eyes! Well, turning that expression on its head - I tend to shop with my eyes. I buy things without really thinking if a certain piece would work well with my lifestyle or complement other pieces in my wardrobe. Come to think of it, I once worked as a stylist and image consultant!
Just as BoF keeps writing about how the fashion industry needs to rethink its marketing strategies and also their footprint, I need to rethink my own personal shopping habits. There is nothing like emptying out the wardrobe and taking a stock. It'll help understand your own shopping strategy and reflect where you are going wrong.
Since September is the start of the fashion season, which means new collections will hit the stores and you will be tempted to shop, again, I suggest recalibrating your stock. August is anyway a slow month, so it's the best time to do some introspection. As you look at the contents, ask yourself three simple questions: When was the last time I wore this? If the answer is more than six months ago, then ask yourself why? Does this actually work with my lifestyle? There is no point buying a piece just because it's in fashion or you just love its design. The item needs to work with your body and your daily routine. Lastly, if it's a separate or an accessory, see if it matches at least two other pieces in the wardrobe. If the answer is no, you know for a fact that it was a wasteful purchase and not an investment buy. You may even find that you actually need to shop.
Now this is a problem I wish I had!
Sujata Assomull is Consulting Fashion Editor at Khaleej Times

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