-Fashion PR Maven and Entrepreneur Josh M Yugen shares his secret on spending your dirhams wisely this DSF season-

January is not yet over! We all know that it is a season of shopping and sale in Dubai and no other way to enjoy this month than to check out shopping malls and centers for big discounts with fabulous deals from luxury brands to housewares, electronics to fashion, cars to jewelry. The Dubai Shopping Festival aka DSF, the world’s biggest shopping festival, is a month-long celebration and it isn’t just about searching for bargains and shopping till you drop, there’s also a line-up of thrilling entertainment, such as firework displays, fashion shows, and live concerts, and visitors will also get the chance to win unforgettable prizes, such as SUVs and gold. It is indeed overwhelming where shoppers will find unbeatable deals on everything that could sometimes lead to impulse buying.



1. SET YOUR BUDGET. Whenever you go out to a mall or a shopping center, make sure that you have set a specific budget to spend otherwise you will end up hurting your pocket as any impulsive buyer can do. When you go out at the shopping centers, all shops have attractive offers and you might get a second thought on buying a specific item even if you don’t need it at the moment. My personal advice: Bring the exact cash that you want to spend on shopping.

2. PRIORITY IS A MUST. As clichéd as this may sound, list down the things you need and you will save time and money by staying focused. This is one of the important principles of spending wisely. Create a list of the things that you need or must buy and rank them according to their urgency of need, then you can follow this list when you are out in the mall instead of just going around and looking at each store.

3. DEAL OR NO DEAL? The value of any item is determined by how much you will use it and not by how much it is marked off. Not every pretty thing is really worth collecting. So if you’re not really planning to visit somewhere cold this year, avoid buying the warm coat on a 70 percent discount. Consider the state of things on a massive discount – you should avoid buying things that are not your exact size, look worn out and may be out of fashion soon.

4. COMPARE, COMPARE, COMPARE. Do not buy on the first store that you see. Always do a comparison at least between 2 to 3 shops, in that way, you can have an idea how the stores position the specific items, some stores might have more incredible value-added options that the other one. These stores are also competing to get customers and they will have a little extra bonus to each customer, that’s for sure.

5. THE VIP PRINCIPLE. Very important product – first. Focus on buying the most important and most expensive items first. For instance buy the main piece of furniture before you start buying accessories like lamps, carpets and table art. This principle ensures that all your shopping is well aligned and that you save the most. Even a small discount on a big-ticket purchase will amount to more savings than a bigger discount on smaller things.

6. BUY BIG SIZE CLOTHES. During sales, you can either see the super big or super small size on clothes. Lucky you if you fit on those sizes but for those who aren’t fit for these sizes and having a dilemma about buying these clothes, my advice is to get a big size. Why? A good tailor can alter anything to fit, but get it tailored within a week of buying or you’ll never do it.

7. DON’T EVER BUY A SIZE TOO BIG (OR SMALL FOR THAT MATTER) IN SHOES, even a half size. Either way, if they’re too big insoles don’t really work and if they’re too small cobblers “stretching” methods work less well. Those shoes will only see the light of day on a resale site.

8. DO REPEAT BUY THINGS THAT YOU DO WEAR. I will forever stockpile cashmere sweaters, plaid shirt, and overcoats in black because I wear them all the time.

9. INVEST IN A CLASSY GOWN. Do buy a classic fabulous evening gown even though you don’t currently have an invitation to a black-tie event. A wedding/party/cocktail will arise and you’ll be ready. This category of clothing is always massively reduced and it is far better to buy now than to have to go out and panic-buy something at full price later.

10. AVOID SHOPPING ANYTHING THAT SMACKS OF A SEASON. You might love that mashup floral/polka dot print asymmetric silk day dress now but will you next season? Try to look for more versatile pieces or slow-fashion pieces, these are the outfits that never go out of style easily such as jeans, plaid shirts, and black dress.

11. INSPECT THE ITEMS. Inspect garments before you take to check out, these clothes have been hanging around on the shop floor for a long time, make-up marks, tears, snags are all plausible and might make for a further reduction if you still want to purchase. (A good dry cleaner can get most stains out: make-up is easy; red biro pen marks on white not so much).

12. THE MEN ADVANTAGE. Don’t forget to browse the men’s departments which often benefit from bigger reductions and cheaper original prices – items like sneakers, especially at Saint Laurent and Off-White, are the same for men and women, and the men’s offering is often cheaper.

13. PICTURE IT. When you’re deciding whether to buy something, you should always try to picture it in your wardrobe. Some people say you should be able to think of at least three items you can pair it with in order to make it worth it, but I say as long as you can think of one, you’re all set.

14. TRY. IT. ON. Obviously, you’ve heard it before. But it’s true! You really don’t know how something is going to look on you until you try it on…for better or worse. Sometimes a piece is stunning on the hanger but just doesn’t look right on your frame and sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s also important to try on a variety of silhouettes (midi skirts, high-waisted trousers, boxy tees, crop tops, shift dresses, etc.), so you have an idea of which styles tend to work best for your body.

15. KNOW WHEN TO SPEND MONEY AND WHEN TO SKIMP. The key to a balanced wardrobe (and budget) is to have a mix of high and low designers and brands. My motto? Spend where it shows. In other words, beautiful prints, lu leather handbags, meticulously designed shoes, and avant-garde silhouettes look as expensive as they are. Designer T-shirts, on the other hand, do not. Save your cash for that perfect Christopher Kane print, and score your tank tops and leggings at H&M.

16. SHOP FOR FUN TOO. If you went through all the planning tips to discover that you don’t have a long list to shop but a strong urge to shop just for fun…well, go ahead and do that. Shop for definite events in the near future like summer travel or gifts for upcoming birthdays and special events. Have fun to save and being organized.

17. THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Want to get a leg up on the latest DSF offerings? One of the best ways to see what’s coming down the pipes is by following your favorite retailers on social media. Facebook and Twitter tend to be the most active platforms for retailers, but don’t be surprised if stores start using Instagram to reveal secret coupon codes or crazy deals as well.

18. KNOW YOUR RETURN POLICY. Retailers tend to tweak their return policies during the sale season. While some may extend them, others might restrict them or increase their restocking fees. Doorbuster and “final sale” products tend to have the strictest policies, so be sure you’re comfortable with a store’s policy before you buy anything. Also, be sure to ask for and save your receipts. You never know when you may need them.

19. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Check between e-commerce sites that they don’t have something listed for less. They have different markdowns at different stages so it’s worth a two-minute scroll. Now go shop.

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