Ever spot a garment you just had to have? Like that sexy top you wore only once two summers ago, that you just found buried in your closet?
It’s frustrating to spend money on clothes that eventually end up forgotten or given to local thrift stores. But you also know that a high-quality piece can become a favorite staple and last for years.
So how do you know when to save or splurge? The answer boils down to just a few easy rules you can follow the next time you go shopping.
Here are three essential ways to make the most of your wardrobe.
1. Consider Your Frequency of Use
As you decide to save or splurge on a garment or accessory, consider the frequency of use. Do you practically live in jeans or yoga pants around the house, or do you wear dress pumps to work every day? Ask yourself what you wear the most and invest in those pieces. The higher quality the item is, the longer it will hold up to everyday vigors and last as a part of your wardrobe.
2. Save on Trendy and Casual Pieces
To make the most out of your wardrobe, you have to watch what you spend. Wardrobe items to splurge on should be thoughtfully purchased with intention, to fill a gap in your wardrobe or to invest in a quality item you expect to last. But to splurge on better, high-quality pieces, you have to save where it counts.
To be more thrifty, shop at off-price department stores or online sites. You can also take advantage of seasonal sales. However you intend to buy, here are some of the wardrobe pieces you should consider saving on.
Trends are fleeting, which is why you shouldn’t spend a lot on these items. Chances are, after one single season, you’ll never wear it again and it will collect dust in your closet. Trends come in patterns, seasonal colors, metallics and even dress cuts and styles. Sure, that blousy boho top looks cute for this summer, but will it stand the test of time? For these types of items, take them for a test drive and, should the trend stick around (like skinny jeans), then you can decide whether to splurge.
With the growing popularity of the athleisure trend, gym clothes are easy to find at reasonably affordable prices. You can discover tons of yoga pants, sports bras and sweat-wicking T-shirts from other companies that offer the same quality clothing as high-end athletic brands but without the price tag.
When it comes to jewelry, we’d all love to own the real thing. But until then, we have to settle for costume jewelry. If you want to add some embellishment to your wardrobe, such as a bold statement necklace or some drop earrings, costume jewelry is a part of your wardrobe where you should definitely save. It can add that final touch that pulls an outfit together without breaking the bank.
Tees are one of those debatable save or splurge items, so ask yourself how often you wear T-shirts. Do you wear them to the gym? Then maybe save on these types of tees. Do you wear them to work under a blazer for an effortlessly sophisticated look? Then you should splurge on T-shirts for yourself.
By investing in high-quality tees in basic black, white and gray, they’ll last for ages and allow you to wear them to the office or even over a pair of comfortable jeans.
Jeans and Denim
Speaking of jeans, this is another debatable save or splurge item, also. If you live in your jeans, then by all means invest in high-quality, indestructible denim. But if you wear them only on weekends or on rare occasions, you can get away saving on this wardrobe item. Also, place jeans in the save category if they’re micro-trends, such as jumpsuits, wide trousers or fringed bell bottoms. The only jeans you should splurge on should be classic cuts.
3. Splurge on Timeless and Essential Pieces
First, let’s define a splurge. A splurge is meant as a once a year occasion, maybe once a season, if you’re that fluid. However, you shouldn’t think of a splurge as a once a week “retail therapy” session where you drop your entire paycheck.
A splurge could even be a celebratory gift to yourself for a milestone like a big birthday or a promotion. The trick with splurge wardrobe items is to ensure it is iconic and timeless, or at least something you absolutely adore. And as a given, it should be of high-quality so you know it is made to last.
Bras and Undergarments
Just because few see it, doesn’t mean it should be low quality. Undergarments of all types–bras and underwear–allow a comfortable foundation for your outfit and can make you feel confident and secure. You could also invest in affordable yet quality shapewear to slip beneath dresses and work apparel, making your wardrobe look that much more chic. When you do decide to splurge on these items, again, choose colors such as nudes and blacks that you’ll get the most use out of and can disappear beneath sheers and white clothing.
Jackets and Blazers
Since jackets and blazers are intended to be worn in a professional office environment, you want them to appear as polished as possible. It’s very easy to spot a cheap jacket or blazer, as they typically have a thin lining or no lining at all, which makes it not quite fit right or become easily wrinkled. So this is absolutely one of those wardrobe items you should splurge on. And when you do, opt for a basic black colored jacket or blazer that goes with anything!
Outerwear and Winter Coats
Outerwear and winter coats are one wardrobe item to splurge on, especially if you live in colder climates like the Northeast or Midwest. Cheap outerwear is typically made of inferior materials such as polyester-based filling, as opposed to feather down that can keep you incredibly warm. And these days, if you want to be more socially conscious and eco-friendly, you can also invest in responsible down.
Besides puffer-based coats with filling, you can also invest in a wool pea coat. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with owning one functional coat for outdoor excursions and one dressy coat for dates and evening parties.
The perfect shoes can elevate an ensemble. However, don’t be a Carrie Bradshaw and splurge on every cute pair that catches your eye. Instead, make the most out of your wardrobe and invest in the basics. Choose a pair of black or nude heels for dressier occasions and work attire, as well as ankle boots and tall boots (think over-the-knees) in brown and black. Keep a pair of wedge sandals on hand, too. Lastly, make sure they’re super cozy and supportive of your feet.