Clothes can be so expensive. A clothing season can be really pricey. A clothing habit (like mine) can be ridiculously costly. So, how on earth does one decide which items can justify the higher price tag, and which items can get by on the cheapy, cute, lower-quality versions you run in to pick up at Target? It’s not always easy to figure this out, because sometimes you see something so perfect that you decide to splurge, only to realize later it was a stupid idea, while conversely all of us at times have found ourselves buying the same type of item over and over, year after year, and for some reason always having to replace it! So let’s look at some splurge vs. go cheap items, and establish some guidelines to help lower our shopping trip tabs (and credit card bills! and fights with spouses! and…you get the idea)
Splurge: Spend your money where it counts- on the dressy items you are going to wear to multiple events, in multiple seasons, for multiple years. A black dress, black dress pants, a suit, a classic shape skirt, wide-leg trousers in staple colors (houndstooth, gray, white, etc.), a white blouse. When you pick up an item picture it in summer, spring, winter, and fall. Will it go with more than one item in your closet? Can you wear it to work and to a dinner? Can it be worn with heels and boots? Is it cute alone and with a jacket? Is the shape something you’ve seen in style for years? If your answers to these questions are yes, then splurge. Buy a name brand, high-quality, good-fitting version of this item and it will be something you can turn to over and over again for years, if your size doesn’t change. It’s an investment, so invest.
You will wear this so many times, splurge it!
Go Cheap: Skip the fancy tags and pricey fabrics if you’re buying something for a one-time party night, Las Vegas, or a random function. Do not spend a lot on anything that is uber-trendy right now, because next summer it will be uber-out and you’ll never wear it again. That one-strap, flashy gold dress may look better in a Betsey Johnson label, but I promise you, it won’t look so cute next year. If you’re like me, and you like to have lots of fun options for nights out and events, don’t go crazy on the spending of these items. Hit H&M or Forever 21, or trusty old Target and see what they have first. I promise you that no one dancing at Jet in Vegas is going to check your tag.
Totally hot, totally not gonna wear this in 5 years. Go cheap!
Splurge: On one pair of dark washed, wide-leg (or boot cut if you really like your legs), perfect length jeans. All you need is one and you will wear their worth out of them over the next few years. Yes, $250 on a pair of jeans seems crazy, but do the math. If you love them, and wear them even twice a week for a year, that’s 104 wears, making it about $2 a wear. If you wear them for two years, (which you will), you will have worn the cost right out. Find a name brand you love and spend the money. Once. All it takes it once!
Ahhhh True Religion, worth it to me every time. Splurge on these!
Go Cheap: On anything cropped, cuffed, fashion washed, bedazzled, skinny, or anything else that is considered trendy. You might not always like those skinny jeans, you can’t wear cropped all year, and a fashion was (extra faded, vintage fade, etc.) might be really lame next year. So go somewhere cheaper like Old Navy, American Eagle, or a non-name brand from a department store, for these styles. You can own ten of them, and wear them without worry that next year you won’t like them, because they didn’t cost you much!
You might seriously hate this distressed look in two years, don’t break the bank. Go cheap!
Splurge: On basic shirts. A white one, a black one, some long tank tops, and anything else you know you wear constantly. My older sister loves V-necks, so for her, buying a few really nice ones from Banana Republic is going to go further in the long run than 20 cheap ones at Ross that fade/shrink/fall apart, and she has to keep replacing. I wear tons of ribbed tanks in the summer, so I get my major colors (black, white, navy, gray) from Abercrombie or J Crew. Sure, I could get an $8 from Wal-Mart, but I’d end up buying 4 every summer, when I could buy one really nice one from J Crew and wear it next summer (case in point, the one I’m wearing today I got 3 summers ago from Abercrombie, and it’s still perfect). Think about what YOU wear, and splurge on it.
It’s so perfect. Splurge.
Go Cheap: On everything else! A crazy leopard print top, a one-sleeve caftan style, a strapless glittery number….why would you spend a boatload on these? You’re going to wear them only a few times, to a few very specific type places, and that’s it. There is no reason to go crazy dropping cash on these tops when you know they aren’t things you’re going to recycle wearing over and over. Those tops you buy for a Friday night? That shirt you got for that one beach wedding? Have you worn these since? See? I know what I’m talking about, people!
Dude, you won’t wear this through the ages. Go cheap.
Splurge: Again, think basic and frequent wearing. Black heels, running shoes, brown heels, neutral flats. These shoes will be worn over and over and will go with everything you wear, so don’t go cheap on them. It is kind of true that the more expensive the shoe, the longer they will last and most times the more comfortable they will be (yes, I know a 4″ Jimmy Choo is never going to feel like a Nike sneaker, but you know what I mean). I also never suggest buying cheap shoes for exercise purposes. A LOT of injuries can be attributed to poor footwear in exercise. So one pair of versatile of sneaks is worth a splurge just as much as a great black heel, in my opinion.
You will wear these for 10 years. Splurgggggge.
Go Cheap: On the bright, wacky, fun, crazily painful, brightly colored numbers you buy for anything else! If you look at them and cannot name five occasions they could be worn to, don’t splurge. Hit up a knock off and enjoy the $40 out of them.
You and I both know you can’t name 4 places to wear these. Go cheap!
So you see the motto here? If it’s going to be something you wear a lot, something that isn’t going out of style (AKA it’s been IN style for a long time now), and is an article of clothing you wear a lot, splurge. If not, cheap it up! Happy shopping, my friends!