Splurge vs. Skimp

Happy New Year, friends!!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are finding your way back into regular routine with ease.  Along with fresh resolutions, a new gym membership, a kick-ass juice cleanse and the anticipation of a new year, there is one other thing that gets folks understandably excited this time of year.  Wicked sales on just about everything!  This is a great time of year to add key pieces to your wardrobe and finally pull the trigger on things you may have been dreaming about.  However, it can be very easy to get swept up in all the crazy deals that you start adding things to your cart that shouldn’t be there.  As you cruise amazing sales and are attracted by deep discounts, keep in mind the wardrobe you’re building and be mindful of what you’re adding to it.  Some of that focus can come from knowing what items are worth a splurge and those that you should spend less on. 

Where to thoughtfully invest…

Denim.  When you find a quality pair of denim that makes you feel amazing and wears well, all you need is 1 or 2 pairs instead of 10 pairs of cheap jeans that lose their shape after 1 wear and don’t fit quite right.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining the quality of your denim: when you stand up/sit down do you need to adjust your pants immediately?  Is it a good color of denim and clear of too much ‘whiskering’, bedazzling or unnecessary logos?  Does it have a great stretch to allow for easy movement without looking painted on?  Is it a flattering shape/length for your body? 

Some of my favorite sources for quality denim:  Imogene & Willie, Madewell, Revolve 

Sweaters.  During the colder months, we depend on our clothing a bit more for wear and withstanding more intense conditions.  As such, when you invest in quality sweaters, they are able to be on regular repeat, not only during the season but as years go by.  Sometimes I like to take an investment piece and break down the cost-per-wear to get a good idea if this investment is worth making.  Instead of 5 new cheap sweaters that will pill, pull and lose shape, this is an area to invest in a well-made sweater you are proud of.

Shoes.  These are the real workhouses of our wardrobe and worth extra thought and investment.  This can be an easy area for women to want to regularly shop for since shoes always fit.  There are also numerous flashy, trendy, wildly inexpensive styles available made from cheap, man-made materials.  Don’t do it, ladies!  Identify the few versatile styles that bring polish and functionality to your outfits and commit to those.  My recommended styles currently:  ankle boots, Chelsea boots, loafers and classic pumps.

Outerwear.   I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, your coat sets the tone of your look, the first thing people see, and is also taking the brunt of exposure to the weather.  A chic wool coat is timeless and worth it’s weight in gold.  Whatever that means.  Hashtag worth it, guys.  Trust me.

Handbags, totes, carry-alls.  I can’t be the only one who scrolls through outfit shots on Pinterest or fashion blogs, and one thing I consistently notice is that the final touch on most every outfit is the bag.  These are your statement pieces and I definitely recommend splurging here.  Also, when well taken care of, these are the items that not only last for years but can be handed down in years to come.  

Where to skimp...

T-shirts. These are items that get a lot of wear, would be called a wardrobe stable but typically don’t last through many seasons.  It is still worth finding ones with a great fit and nice fabric but ultimately, not worth spending more that $25 for...at the end of the day, it’s still a t-shirt.  You can find some great options at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Everlane.

Summer clothes. Most clothing designed for the summer months is made from lighter, more delicate fabric and does not have the same lifespan of winter clothing, thus not requiring the same type of investment.  You can find great seasonal items at places like H&M,  Zara, Gap,

Trendy items. These are pieces that are more ‘current’, won’t withstand changing trends and will likely only be worn a handful of times in one or 2 seasons.  For example, neon clothing, camo print, harem pants, crop tops, bubble skirts etc.  You see what I mean.  If it makes you smile and you want to make a statement with it, go for it!  Just don’t use half your clothing budget to make that statement.

Accessories. This is a great area to really elevate outfits and show your own personality and style easily, but these pieces rotate and don’t need to break the bank.  There are amazing selections of beautiful scarves, jewelry and hats at places like Target, H&M, Forever 21 and T.J. Maxx, to name a few.  When you have a clear idea of what you’re looking, it can make the hunt a bit easier.

There are many ways to invest wisely and one of those is to be aware of sales.  The shifting of seasons, as the previous months clothing is being cleared out at deep discounts to make room for what’s next, is a great time to splurge on big-ticket items.  Save yourself from impulsive, unnecessary spending and make sure your clothes are working for you!  It feels great to shop with purpose and focus and makes the thrill of the find that much more fulfilling.  

- Alison

all images via Pinterest


Alison KnoxComment