Style On A Budget In Windhoek

By: Rukee Kaakunga

I’ve always been a cheapskate when it comes to buying my own clothes, I’m not even ashamed to say it. I hate spending on anything that won’t last me long. It’s for same reason I refuse to spend too much on fashion trends and rather buy clothing that will stand the test of time.

While I admit I had a problem spending unnecessarily in the past, going back to school two years ago really humbled me. For once in my working life, I realized that shopping will have to take a backseat. All the advice I read in my favorite magazines over the years have started to come in handy. Those ‘shop for winter in summer’ and invest in good quality items’ tips, thrift shopping and many other shopping hacks may seem corny but they are all safe-proof methods of saving coins while slaying.

Here are a few tips hat have worked for me over the years:

source: The Fix

Cut Down on Shopping

One thing that I’ve taught myself to do is limit big spending on clothing and shoes to two shopping sprees per year. On both occasions, I make sure I write a realistic list of all the things I need to add to my wardrobe. My handbags, denims, perfume and jackets are things that I prioritize when it comes to quality. Throughout the year, I avoid shopping unless it’s something very cheap and by very cheap, I mean under N$200 each month. Anything over that makes me panic because it messes up my entire budget. My favorite go-to shops for affordable good quality clothing are Big Daddy and The Fix. The secret to buying lower-end retailers is knowing your fabrics –  ask yourself what ages well and what looks worn out after just one wash.

Thrift Shopping

The Tuuthikeni City Market is great place for thrift shopping in Windhoek. Another shopping event I’ve come to look forward to is the Monochrome Magazine Pop Up shop which houses Namibian designers in one venue for a day. This is a really great platform to shop local brands at often marked-down prices without the hassle of booking studio time with a designer. The recently launched Kasi Vibe Festival is also a good shopping event where one can access the latest trends from local upcoming designers and online boutiques.

Tuuthikeni City Market

Sales Are Your Friend

Like many women who value their money, I live for sales. No matter how enticing, waiting for that chic-looking blouse to go on sale will definitely save you loads of money. One of my favourite local fashion stylists, Reinhard Mahalie, warns me about sales though. “Yes, you can go for sales but sometimes you can get great quality items that are not on sale. I recently bought a good jean for N$100 in Edgars. Just know that if you do go for something cheap, choose something that is of good quality and looks expensive,” he said. December sales are my absolute favourite. I mean, that’s when the 13th cheque comes through in time for end-of-year sales. I buy my wardrobe staples and expensive items like perfumes, foundation, winter jackets/coats and wigs during this time.

Planning Ahead

I work in an industry that requires me to attend fancy events and red carpet appearances so looking good is a prerequisite. One of the ways I’ve learnt to deal with this is to simply plan ahead. I know exactly when all the major events are taking place in any given year so I usually plan my look way in advance. Fashion Week is coming up in November and I already have a look in mind. I also know which designer will be dressing me.

The key to have designers dress you though is to approach them early. Our fashion industry is bursting at the seams right now so if, for instance, a music awards show is taking place, it’s best to approach your favourite designer a month or even two months in advance. Same thing applies to our major fashion events. Failure to do so only results in rushed jobs and stress for both of you. All the pieces that I have purchased from local designers are pieces that I can wear in so many ways and because it wasn’t mass produced, these are items that stay the longest in my closet. Money well spent if you ask me.

Stop Being A Liker of Things

One more thing that saves me coins upon coins is my suppression of the liker of things in me. Unlike before, I no longer have the urge to buy the latest trends in fashion or cosmetics. I don’t care if it’s Kylie Lip Kits, the latest sneaker or even a surprise collection by the hottest designer in Namibia. If I wasn’t planning to buy it, I won’t buy it.

As long as I keep up my grooming (which only involves eyebrow shaping and tinting by the way), then I’m good. I’m such a cheapskate that I don’t remember the last time I had a salon manicure. Stick-on nails have saved my life in that department (shout out to Leah Misika for putting me on those). Wearing my hair in a natural afro has also been a great help and when I get tired or too busy to manage it, the wigs come out to play.