Imagine you were give $200 to go shopping. How would you spend it? Would you try to get as much as possible for your money? Or would you spend it all on 1 item? My immediate impulse would be to buy as many items as I could, literally as much as possible for the money. But in the last couple of years I’ve changed my thinking. I think it all started when I got my first job and realized that I had to spend my my own hard-earned money.
I will be the first to admit that I have expensive taste. No matter what store I’m in, I always zero in on the most expensive item there. But I also realize that my budget does not allow me to buy the coveted Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes or even a full-priced Kate Spade handbag. So I continuously struggle to find the balance between high quailty items and affordable prices. And I thought I would share with you those items that I feel are worth it to splurge and those that are not worth the high prices.
-Jeans- You already know about my jeans obsession. I will reiterate how I think jeans are worth splurging on. In my experience, my Citizens jeans last about twice as long as my Gap jeans (not including weight gains 🙂 ). If you are an avid jeans-wearer like me, I think it is worst investing in at least 3 or 4 pairs of high quality, designer jeans. Get them in different washes, and styles. That way, you always have an appropriate pair of jeans for any occasion. Dark, skinny jeans for nights out. Lighter, relaxed styles for the weekend. And find a designer that fits your body well. I’ve put together some sets that show some of my fave dark and light jeans:
I try to stagger buying jeans so that I only need to buy 1 pair at a time (although, I will embarrassingly admit that my holiday bonus last year went mostly to jeans.)
I understand that some people do not want to shell out more than $100 on jeans no matter how much I tell them they’re worth it! So here are some options that might be easier on a tight budget:
-Trousers/slacks- I work in an office, so I am used to dressing in trousers almost every day. So I need to make sure the pants that I buy are great quality. So I am usually willing to pay more for pants that will last longer. I’ve bought so many pairs of inexpensive pants that only last a few months and it ends up costing me more in the long run. To me, that is not a good use of my money. My favorite pants are actually from Gap, and they aren’t really that expensive – ranging usually from $50 to $70. I will usually buy 2 pairs of a pair that I really like in case they discontinue the style.
The first pair is Gap, the 2nd from J.Crew and the 3rd from Banana Republic.
-handbags- I have an affinity for purses. But I like buying bags that can be worn with a wide variety of outfits. So I need a good quality bag that can be worn casually with jeans or dressy with my professional clothes. I also have A LOT of things that go into my purse – planner, hair brush, kleenex, hand sanitizer, mirror, Kindle, iPhone, etc, so it has to be roomy. So what are my favorite splurge-worthy purses (for my budget, anyways. A real splurge would be Chanel or Prada 🙂 )?
Kate Spade Kate Spade designs are classic, sophisticated but quirky at the same time. And they have crazy good sales and even give you access to online sample sales if you sign up for their emails – you can save up to 75% off the original price.
Marc Jacobs. I love his shapes and patterns.
-Tee shirts. Some designers charge obscene amounts for plain, solid tee shirts. James Perse makes tee shirts that are comfy and soft –but with a price. Tee shirts that cost $75 are definitely not in my budget. So what do I do? I hit up the local Target. I like to buy the Hanes 3-pack of men’s undershirts. They can also be found here (and Michael Jordan endorses them! Hm, what has he been up to?!). They are perfect cotton shirts (crew or v-neck) that can be worn with jeans for a casual look. Target also has a variety of women’s tee shirts -crew, v-neck, pocket, etc.-in many colors. Try these, these or these.
-Leggings and tights. Again, some designers will sell their leggings for upwards of $100 (I refuse to pay that – with the exception of these drool-worthy leggings.) I buy my leggings in a variety of colors for under $20 at Target and tights at Express ($22.50/buy one get one 50%). And since my tights tend to wear out after a season or two, I don’t feel bad about throwing them away when they’re only $20 or less.
There are a lot of items that I don’t necessarily splurge on or save on, but are more in the middle (jewelry, shoes, sweaters, jackets, outerwear, etc.). I track sales and rarely pay full price for any item (except for the above “splurges”).
What are some of your splurges? Your saves?