Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

Shop Smart: How to Invest Wisely In Your Wardrobe 

by The Simple Sum Team | 1 Feb 2024 | 7 mins read

This article is brought to you by Uniqlo

Many of us indulge in the ritual of buying new clothes before a festive occasion like Chinese New Year.  

But we also make the mistake of treating these festive additions like one-time showpieces, which end up in the back of our closet never to be seen again until our next Marie Kondo decluttering cycle (likely around the next festive season).  

In a world where trends change faster than our moods on a Monday morning, why not take a more wallet-friendly and timeless approach to our style?  

Instead of treating festive wear like a seasonal fling, see them as versatile staples effortlessly blending into your everyday life – be it work, play, or just another coffee run.  

When shopping for clothes that work for every occasion, buying the cheapest isn’t always the smartest option.  

Sure, you save money at first. But you could be spending more to replace those cheap finds because they fall apart quicker. It defeats the purpose of shopping for versatile pieces. 

On the flip side, splurging doesn’t guarantee quality.  


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When shopping, keep in mind that quality spans all price points. To find high-quality gems, look out for these three key elements: construction, fit, and fabric. Nailing these checks when you shop will transform your wardrobe from a money drain into a curated collection of garments that you love and last a long time.  

Construction: How the garment is made 

The foundation of any garment is its construction – it’s the easiest way to spot if a piece of clothing is made well.  

When buying staples like T-shirts and blouses, check the stitching of the items. It should be even, neat, and tight. A simple trick is to hold the fabric up to the light and gently stretch it; if light seeps through, it’s a red flag. 

A well-constructed T-shirt, dress, or blouse would also have no loose threads and threads without fraying fibres.  

Even if you are purchasing new clothing because of a festive or special occasion, they should stand the test of time and regular everyday wear.  

When examining your potential purchase, pay attention to the finishing techniques. Well-crafted items boast meticulous finishing, where there’s no shortcuts or loose threads at important areas like the hem and collar to ensure that the clothing will stand the test of frequent wear. 

For your festive dresses to look good without visible panty lines, you might consider buying seamless innerwear.  

When buying seamless innerwear, check to see if the item is bonded without stitching and that it doesn’t have any bands around the waist. This gives you next-to-skin comfort, free from any itchiness or irritation, making it an essential addition to your wardrobe for maximum ease and wearability. 

Fit: How the garment looks on you 


When choosing clothes, look beyond just the aesthetics. A truly good buy is when a garment doesn’t only look good on the hanger but also drapes elegantly on your frame.  

Always try on the item you’re buying. Does the fabric fit well to your body? Are there areas where the fabric is too tight, too loose, or bunching? Do you find yourself fiddling with parts of the clothing? 

For example, when buying a brand new festive-coloured polo shirt for Chinese New Year, look for one that has a polished appearance, which can double up as your go-to outfit on Casual Friday in the office.  

Polo shirts with patterns that are refined to the millimetre, and with a balanced placket length and collar size can give you a sophisticated look even when it’s unbuttoned.  

Do the tuck test when buying polo shirts. If it’s too wide, the fabric may bunch up around your waist, making you look sloppy. Untucked, the shirt should drape well and not look baggy. A well-fitted, versatile polo shirt that can transition from laid-back hangs to the professional realm would give you more bang for your buck. 

When shopping for 2-in-1 bra tops, consider purchasing those with an internal structure featuring a hemmed power net. This design provides support from the surface, alleviating pressure from the supporting rubber under the bust, ensuring a hold that’s not constricting. This ensures that you’ll get more wear out of it.    

Comfort is key as it contributes to how you feel in the clothes. Feeling good and confident in your clothes isn’t vain, it directly impacts your likelihood of wearing the piece repeatedly. The more an item aligns with your comfort and aesthetic satisfaction, the lower its cost per use becomes, making it a wise and economical choice. 

Fabric: What the garment is made of 

When shopping, pay attention to the quality of the fabrics used. High-quality fabrics not only stand the test of time but also offer comfort that will spark joy every time you put the garment on.  

Linen is a great option for the hot and humid weather in Singapore. When buying linen, look for ones with the finest possible yarn count. The higher the yarn count, the more delicate, soft, and breathable the fabric is.  

 A lightweight and breezy linen fit will not only look graceful but also grow softer with each wear.  


Cotton, a material that almost every t-shirt is made from, tends to get overlooked in the quality department. Not all cotton is made the same. Supima cotton, for instance, has extra-long staple fibres that make the fabric stronger, and softer, and retain the colours from dyes better.

Balancing quality, budget, and care 

Shopping for quality takes work, and if you’re going to put in the work, you have to also make sure that the clothes don’t bust your budget and work for your lifestyle.  

Remember, not every high-quality item needs to come with a staggering price tag. When shopping, keep an eye on construction, fit, and fabric.  

Not every high-quality item needs to be in your wardrobe, either. You might want to invest in a beautifully tailored suit, but if your daily life demands casual comfort, that suit would hardly see the light of day.  

Consider your routine, work environment, and personal preferences to ensure that each purchase adds aesthetic value and practical utility to your everyday life. 

Finally, it’s equally important that you treat your clothes with the tender, loving, care they deserve. Follow the care instructions, give them the right wash, and put them in the right place to extend the lifespan of your clothes. No matter how meticulously you’ve selected an item for its quality, neglecting its maintenance can render those careful choices futile.

Sponsored content with Uniqlo  

This Chinese New Year, make a smart style move by choosing Uniqlo pieces that transcend the festive season and seamlessly integrate into your wardrobe throughout the year – all without breaking the bank.  

Uniqlo understands the essence of life’s needs, emphasising comfort, utility, and wearability that withstand the test of time. Uniqlo’s LifeWear essentials are classic pieces that are more than just garments; they are constantly evolving, innovating, and improving to meet the unique demands of your dynamic lifestyle. 

As we usher in the new year, Uniqlo invites you to celebrate in style with pieces designed to empower you for all occasions. While trends may come and go, Uniqlo’s evergreen essentials guarantee enduring style and versatility beyond the festivities – whether it’s for work, leisure, or the joyful moments with your loved ones. 

Uniqlo’s commitment to quality doesn’t compromise on affordability, ensuring that you get the best value for your money. Discover how Uniqlo products are not just clothing – they are an investment in timeless style and enduring quality here.