5 Tips to Be a Better Shopper!

Shopping – some love it and others hate it. We sometimes get completely scatter brained when we go clothing shopping. We get distracted as soon as we walk into a clothing store and we tend to forget why we initially went to the store and what we were supposed to buy. We then end up buying things which we do not need and in most cases, these clothing items just end up laying at the back of our closets for a long time.

Here are 5 tips to make your shopping experience way easier:

1. Make a shopping list.

In your shopping list, write down every item that you need to purchase. Be precise when you make the list and describe the items you want exactly for example; the colour, the shape and whether you can mix and match it with other clothing you own. This process keeps you away from buying anything unnecessary that you do not need.

2. Try it on before you buy it.

This is the one common mistake people make when they go shopping. They buy clothing without trying it on and when they get home and try it on, they end up not liking it. You will never know how something looks on you unless you actually try it on at the store. Clothing can look breath-taking on its hanger, but when you try it on you might realize that it just might not be for you or you body type. Trying clothing on before you buy it saves you from a lot of hassles such as returning your items or having spent unnecessary money.

3. Create a budget.

Important, important, important for when you go shopping. Many people get distracted by the items that they do not need and end up overspending. Overspending is not really a very smart way of shopping and in most cases you end up with a hole in your pocket. After you have made your list of the exact items you want to shop, settle on figure that you feel comfortable spending. Creating a budget will definitely save you from making unwise shopping decisions.

4. Do your shopping alone.

Many of us fall into the ‘peer pressure’ trap when we shop with a friend or family member. They usually persuade us to purchase something that we don’t need or want. At the end of the day, your basket is full of clothing that your accomplice wants you to have and you never got to shop something that you truly desire to own. You end up living with the consequences of how you chose to shop, not your accomplice. Shop alone to make independent decisions and to actually purchase items you want or need without someone telling you otherwise.

5. Set a timeframe on your shopping experience. 

Limiting the time you spend in a clothing store or at the mall ensures that your attention is only focused on the main reason for your shopping. Having a time limit disciplines us and our shopping habits. It leaves no time for us to wonder around aimlessly, look at anything that might distract our main focus and purchases anything that is not needed.

DRESSING UP AT HOME DURING LOCKDOWN

Dressing up is usually associated with going out and having fun, however, we are currently facing a national lockdown and we cannot leave out homes which put a hold on our sense of fashion. Most of the time we do not bother looking stylish when we are staying at home because we are used to having a reason for dressing up. However, dressing up for yourself at home during this time would not only help pass the time, but you’ll also look and feel good in isolation everyday.

With winter on our horizon, which is dubbed the least fashionable season by many, the urge to dress up further fades and we end up opting for the usual leggings, oversized hoodie and slippers combo which puts us all in a rather lazy mood. Fashion is a means of escape and what we wear has a direct effect on our mood and choosing to dress up smart and stylish at home will guarantee a positive and confident mood.

There is a lot of joy in just dressing up for fun and pairing your favourite accessories and hairstyles with the outfits you would have worn when going to work, college, and university or on a special occasion. There have been social media challenges such as the #norush challenge that provides a rather fun reason for everyone to dress up and share their looks with their social media friends. Join the challenge if you need some type of reason to dress up.

Our favourite celebrities even proved that the lockdown will not stifle their fashion sense and shared their lockdown looks with us. Katy Perry shared a picture of herself wearing a lovely floral-print dress and stilettos and; in celebration of her birthday, Basetsana Khumalo wore a beautiful pink fluted-sleeve dress.  

Take this lockdown time to sort out your closet, pull out all the clothing that has been hiding at the back of your closet and have a fashion show of your own by mixing and matching your clothing and wearing something different each day. Taking winter in consideration, you can always add a stylish coat, sweater or leather jacket to a simple outfit to make it pop or pair your simple outfit with statement items such as a printed head wrap, scarf or colourful beanie.

The lockdown should not be a reason for you to dress down. When you dress up, your positive energy spreads and influences those who are in isolation with you to dress up too. Slip out of your lazy-day outfits and slip into something more mood-boosting and stylish!

A Message from UAC Regarding The COVID-19 Pandemic

As of March 27, 2020, South Africa has undergone a 21-day national lockdown to try to curb the spreading of the coronavirus within the country. The coronavirus cases within South Africa are currently at 1,462 with 5 deaths and 31 recoveries (reported negative).

Nurses and doctors are working around the clock to attend to infected individuals as well as conducting coronavirus tests at various testing points around the nation. It is important for us to stay at home and self-quarantine and practice social distancing to ease the work of our essential service workers.

The team at Urban Afro Concept is in support of the national lockdown as a means to slow down the spreading of the coronavirus disease and we believe that this epidemic can be beat if we remain unified and adhere to the lockdown rules and any other rules that may follow. We urge individuals to protect themselves and prevent the spreading of the virus by:

  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly using water and soap or using hand sanitizers.
  • When you cough and sneeze, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow.
  • Stay at least 1 meter away from people who are unwell.
  • Stay at home. if you feel unwell, self-isolate yourself from others in your household.
  • And, do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes if your hands are not clean.

From the team at Urban Afro Concept we would like to extend our love and support to our nurses, doctors, supermarket workers, our President and all other individuals who offer up their time and risk their life’s each day to fight and contain this disease and ensure that everyone receives their basic essentials. We see you and we are grateful for the sacrifices you are all making for our country.

Urban Afro Concept will still be operating online and will still be active on our social media accounts (including Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook). You can still message us to place jewellery orders and for custom orders as well, however, order deliveries will only be made after the 16th of April.

Visit our online store, get us on WhatsApp or Email, shop our merchandise and thank you for your support and please continue supporting our small business.

Fashion Brands Lend A Helping Hand In The COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, many manufacturers of medical supplies such as sanitizers, masks, ventilators, gloves and hospital gowns have felt the pressure in the increased demand of these products. A number of fashion brands have stepped forward to assist in making the manufacturers work lighter.

In New York City where cases have risen to roughly 16 000 and counting, top fashion companies like Prada, Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell are using their designing abilities to create gowns and masks to assist hospitals in the state of New York and around the USA that are suffering from the shortage of medical supplies. The Los Angeles Apparel has also jumped in by aiming to produce and supply LA hospitals with 50,000 hospital gowns and 300,000 masks for free per week.

Kenyan fashion designer David Ochieng, known for his looks like Avid fashion brand, is working non-stop in his studio to design masks using recycled African print fabric from his designs. He gives out the masks for free in hopes that it assists in curbing the spread of the coronavirus in and around the most vulnerable communities in Kenya. Ochieng also uses the distribution of his masks as a way of educating individuals on the importance of self-protection against the virus.

A Cape Town sunglasses company named Ballo has also decided to join the train by creating fashion-forward face masks. Ballo uses disgarded pieces of material to make these masks and has made roughly around 500 masks already and vows to continue making the masks. These masks don’t completely prevent infections from the coronavirus but, are aimed at reminding individuals to cover their mouths and avoid touching their faces. It also assists as a block to the spreading of the virus by those already infected.

Celebrities in Nigeria has opted to wear blinged-up and bedazzled masks to make a fashion statement about the importance of taking precautions against the COVID-19 disease. Jack Ma, a company in China, has donated medical supplies to all of Africa to assist them in the fight against the coronavirus.

It is important to bear in mind that masks do not completely prevent you from contracting the coronavirus, but merely just stops you from touching your face and sneezing or coughing onto others. Remember to always keep your hands clean by washing them with disinfectant soap and using hand sanitizer. Keep safe South Africa!

 

5 FASHION RULES TO LIVE BY!

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In the fashion department, there are many rules that are created and followed by individuals and there are equally as much rules to break. This week we will focus on 5 fashion rules that we believe are important.

1. Be comfortable in what you wear.

Comfort is key to looking good and feeling even better. This has to be the most important rule when it comes to fashion. There are instances when individuals look totally good in their ensamples, but they feel completely uncomfortable in it. Discomfort stifles your ability to rock and own what you are wearing and it distracts you from everything. Choose clothing that will make you feel comfortable always and wear your clothing with pride!

2. Own basic clothing pieces.

We all have that one basic item that we can wear with anything. When you think of basic clothing, you think of a white t-shirt, jeans, heels or your favourite sneakers. Basic clothing can be anything that is not too over the top and you can never go wrong with owning them in your closet. They provide endless outfit choices.

3. Do not be afraid to be yourself.

There are a lot of trends that drop every year and we tend to lose ourselves and lose that one particular thing that makes our style unique when we indulge ourselves into these trends. Even though we don’t like the new trend, we feel peer pressured when we see everyone is participating in the new trend. Break free from the peer pressure or media pressure. Do not be afraid to showcase your own personal style and perhaps start your own trend! Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

4. Wear anything you want to.

Have you ever heard people saying that tall women should not wear heels, short women should not wear long dresses and you cannot wear all white? Don’t let fashion stereotypes restrict you from wearing something you like or dressing a certain way. If you feel like you look good, you feel good and you’re comfortable in what you are wearing, forget about what is said and just do you. Break free from those stereotypes and dress for yourself, not for the public.

5. Don’t save your outfits.

We all have our clothing that we wear everyday and our favourite pieces of clothing that we reserve just for special occasions. However, what happens to these clothing items when there is no occasion to wear them? Eventually we’ll outgrow them. Let everyday be your own occasion, pair your usual clothing with your reserved clothing to create chic casual looks that are fitting for everyday of the week.

Style Radar: Lulutho Skeyi

This week our Style Radar detected Lulutho Skeyi, an aspiring writer, journalist, all-round media personnel and an aspiring fashion designer. She sees beauty in everything and finds expression through writing, art and fashion. Lulutho is all about self-empowerment, women empowerment and she aspired to become an activist for all women.

Lulutho loves how different and diverse fashion is for everyone. “Fashion expresses one’s identity and we can tell people a lot about ourselves (without having to say anything) through our choice of clothing”, she said.

She also stated that fashion is a instant language. “As a visual artist, I view fashion as an art form too. It accommodates everyone and I absolutely love that fashion is constantly changing!” she added.

Lulutho defines her sense of fashion as ‘Streetwear style’. “My style is simple, but unique. It changes on a daily depending on my mood and/or my inspiration for the day”, she said.

A number of things inspire Lulutho’s style such as; nature or a certain movement (feminist movement or the love for and by queer people). She also added, ” I even inspire my own style, but my number one fashion icon that I look up to for style is Rihanna. She is so free-spirited and carefree through her style and she is not afraid of wearing outfits that cause controversy with stereotypical people. She just portrays a sense of feminism.” 

We asked Lulutho if there are any fashion rules she follows and she said, “I feel that for a unique and cool look, it is okay to sometimes break fashion rules. However, not being afraid to be myself is one fashion rule that I live by and I don’t save clothing for certain occasions. I make every ordinary day an occasion for myself and wear whatever I feel like and whenever.”

Lulutho enjoys switching up her style from looking like a hippie to looking like a tomboy, girly girl, sporty girl, goth or even ethnic fashion style. However, discussing her ideal everyday look she stated, “My everyday look would be a good pair of jeans with chic sneakers, a cool expressive top and a touch of jewellery pieces.”

“What advice would you give individuals who are trying to find their voice through fashion?” we asked Lulutho.

“They should not be afraid to simply be themselves. Be courageous, keep things simple, look for inspiration, ask for help, accessorise, know what you want, make thrift stores your best friend, get creative with your combinations, don’t ever change your style to accommodate others or to fit in, stand out! Do you and have fun!” Lulutho concluded.