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Edited and Photos by Mary Ma | 13 October 2015
Whether you or a friend of yours just want to look perfect 24/7 or are, perhaps, simply bored on weekends, the following are several typical factors responsible for turning Singaporeans into shopaholics.
Shopping is an activity that requires people to be relatively fit, because browsing all those designer, retail and even second-hand stores means that one has to be able to withstand often hours of walking, changing, then walking and changing some more, with only a short coffee break in between. However, Singapore has long been known as a shopper’s paradise, and fashion brands like Daiso, Prada and H&M are just some representatives of Singapore's fashion scene.

However, when it comes to the age-old question of why people have the need to go shopping in the first place, several answers can be found. After all, Singaporeans are avid shoppers, to put it mildly, and hitting up the retail scene or even shopping online is a favorite pasttime of even those who can't stand squeezing through Orchard Road's hordes of frenzy-shoppers. And whether you or a friend of yours just want to look perfect 24/7 or are, perhaps, simply bored on weekends, the following are several typical factors responsible for turning Singaporeans into shopaholics.

"If I don't shop, I'll miss out"

Ever notice that "BIG SALE" sign in front of a fashion store? Singaporeans have a knack for panicking whenever they see such a sign, and their kiasu instinct immediately kicks in, telling them that if they don't immediately go in and buy something, anything - they'll miss out on huge "savings". In other words, it doesn't really matter that a particular clothing item, say, a shirt, makes a person look like the Goodyear official mascot; if it's 90 percent off, they'll buy it and go home thinking they've taken advantage of a huge deal.

"Everyone else's life is perfect. I want mine to be, too"

Today there is a variety of technologies that enable people to stay connected and socialise in ways that were unimaginable several years ago. Take smartphones, for example: they allow people to constantly be bombarded with pictures of their friends' "perfect" lives on various social networks, as well as celebrities who have nothing better to do than find new and idiotic ways to spend their money. Compared to such flashing images of people's extravagant and wonderful lives, one's own life starts to seem somewhat pale. And the desire for that kind of life can ignite the pursuit for the perfect home, perfect clothes and perfect hair. And guess what? Other than stealing, the only way to be able to have all of those items is to actually pay for them.

"I'm bored and I… Hey, look at those boots!"

It's easy to be leisurely walking through some of Singapore's famous areas and suddenly catch yourself carrying a designer bag containing an expensive pair of shoes you don't really need. What happened? Well, you got absent-minded and must have wandered into a store where the sweet-talking salesperson managed to convince you that you actually need a pair of, say, dominatrix boots. You're likely to experience the same if a friend you're supposed to meet ends up being late or if you go out for a restaurant meal and happen to walk past a ton of stores on the way there (Singapore is literally covered in shopping malls). As you can see, many Singaporeans have a way of buying unnecessary things simply because they're bored.

"The purpose of my existence is to impress others"

Let's get one thing straight - the only reason why fashion retailers survive is the fact that people have a never-ending need to consider their clothing a physical way of expressing their inner selves. Regardless of your gender, small are the chances that you don't have that one girl friend who's on a constant mission to never be seen in the same outfit twice. That girl might love fashion, but what she loves more is being perceived as a fashionable person by others. That being said, if and when one chooses to pay $7,000 for the latest Chanel bag, they are making a statement as someone who can afford luxury, whether they like it or not.

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