Youtube Facebook Twitter RSS Email Back to top
Font size  
Mobile | Contact Us | Find Us On

December 22, 2014 Monday | Last updated on 18/12/2014 3:18PM (Singapore)
Latest :
Home / People / NS / Style on an NSF budget  
Published: 04 Apr 2012 12:30PM (Singapore)
Share this
Style on an NSF budget
Anyone can look good on a budget even NSFs. How? Go for well-fitted and made basics seasonless and straightforward with a no-nonsense sensibility. Wear them three, four (or maybe five) times a week and you'll never go wrong in them. Find out more.
By Kenny Loh
Basics are widely considered as wardrobe staples due to their practicality, versatility and affordability. They now come in more styles and with surprise details, like the Polo T-shirt (above), with a "twin tip" stripe detail around the collar. PHOTO: Charissa Tan

The average monthly allowance for a Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) falls between S$500 to $650.

Or if you're like me, serving in my first year - S$480 – after the recent S$60 increment for all NSFs.

But here's what I think - an income, no matter how high or low, does not translate to how well-dressed a person can be.

Looking good doesn't need to burn a hole in the pocket.

“It is not money that makes you well-dressed, it is understanding, said late fashion designer Christian Dior.

Never buy on impulse even when the item makes your heart stop.

Evaluate the piece on its practicality, versatility and of course, price.

How often can I wear it? Can it be worn with what I already have? And will it leave me skint at the end of the month?

Personally, my priority for what I put on my back is longevity.

That means seasonless clothing that I can wear any time of the year, any year and never look out of place (or like a trend-victim).

Seasonless fashion is the latest development in the democratisation of the industry, said creative director, editor and writer Sameer Reddy on American news website The Daily Beast.

“It is an evolution that has given rise to the fast fashion of stores like H&M and Topshop, he added.

A significant clothing-type that constitutes seasonless fashion?


Examples of these include:

A well-fitted Oxford shirt, preferable in a neutral colour like white or dark-navy. 

An all-black shirt can look very severe. If you have to wear one in that colour, go for a patterned-mix like gingham. PHOTO: Kenny Loh

An Oxford shirt is extremely versatile, it's tighter weave and thicker feel makes it easy to dress up or down, day to night, and for virtually any event.

Next, a pair of chinos.

Created in the 19th century for military use, these pants are extremely utilitarian and almost adventure-apt.

But since the introduction of innovative shapes and well-tailored cuts, chinos have transformed into an everyday clothing piece that's extremely durable.

It can be worn many times a week, go into tough washing and hardly succumb to wear-and-tear.

Besides, given the many fits now from regular to slim and even carrot which is looser around the thighs and tapered at the calves it won't be hard to find one that suits any individual's body-type.

Finally, cotton T-shirts.

They're comfortable, low maintenance and can be worn with anything.

While the nature of the job we're in restricts this item for most of the week, it's good for the weekend.

Do check the content label of the T-shirt before making a purchase.

It is important for a T-shirt to be 100 per cent cotton, not acrylic as it will create a prickly sensation on the skin.

Aside from H&M and Topshop/Topman, Japanese fast-fashion powerhouses Muji and Uniqlo also offer a variety of good-quality basics at a decent price.

The Japanese are known for creating well-made, fitted and structured products with an understated appeal.

Uniqlo has also collaborated with top fashion designers Jil Sander and Undercover's Jun Takahashi on collections to bring luxury to the masses at an affordable price.

Each collection has incorporated each individual designer's aesthetics, from Sander's minimalist approach to Takahashi's urban-utilitarian attitude.

A premium-quality cotton T-shirt at Uniqlo starts from $16.90, full-sleeve shirts from $34.90 and chinos from $69.90.

Overall, the most important factor for anyone's wardrobe is fit.

You don't have to spend a lot on what you're wearing, but a well-fitted clothing can make anyone look like a million bucks.

Share this
back to top
More NS:
Stargazing with Home Team News: Meet Nazwayne bin Abidin
iNSpire: “NS is what you want it to be”
iNSpire: “I felt a higher sense of purpose towards my country”
If you have a comment to share, please send it to us at


Also On This Site
Typhoon Hagupit: SCDF officers storm Philippines to assist in relief efforts
Singapore Civil Defence Force officers were deployed to the...
Heroes for Life: Eter Foo, the man who defied all odds
Getting to chat with a man who has weathered through the darkest...
Home Team Sports: Aleksander Duric appointed as ambassador for Singapore's Delta League
One of Singapore's most acclaimed football player, Aleksander Duric,...
Citizens on Patrol members commended at Community Policing System roll-out
Two Citizens on Patrol members were presented the Public Spiritedness...

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement   Copyright © 2014 Ministry of Home Affairs. All Rights Reserved