To Splurge or to Save, that is the Question

already_prettyRecession talk is rampant, and it’s certainly not the time to be purchasing ostentatious one-time wear outfits. Learn how to maximize your dollar while still remaining chic with our Trendsetter Sally’s tips on when to save and when to splurge. Her blog Already Prettycovers everything from budget-friendly trends to self-empowering ways to make the best you visible to all.

******When to Splurge

Did your mother or grandmother hit you with the “shoes, bag, coat” mantra? As in, sinking some serious cash into a fantastic coat, quality everyday handbag, or classic pair of shoes is a worthwhile investment? Well, kittens, I’m with the matriarchs, there. That old chestnut got to be old and chestnutty for a reason: It makes a heap of sense!

But which other pieces should you consider splurge-worthy? And which pieces can be done on the cheap? Here’s my two cents:

Perfect dress: A classically cut day-dress that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories, or even a timeless cocktail number that makes you want to paint on a smoky eye and haul out the martini shaker is well worth your buxx.


Sally’s Perfect Dress from Etsy vendor Liza Reitz

Signature piece: Remember that a signature piece is something that you can imagine deploying approximately every other week, and in outfits that run the gamut from hip-casual to office-friendly to out-on-the-town. Signature pieces are versatile by definition, so don’t confuse them with trendy pieces.

Sexy boots: Nearly all cultures and climates require boots at some point during the year. And while pumps are pretty, sandals sexy, and sneakers sensible, I believe that an amazing pair of boots will serve you best.

Keystone bottoms: For me, this means the perfect black pencil skirt. For you, it might mean a pair of tropical-weight wool wideleg slacks. For someone else, a navy a-line that hits just above the knee. The majority of us cycle through tops quickly, and utilize tops to experiment with color, pattern, fit, trend, layers, and texture. But a keystone bottom is likely to get worn almost as hard as an investment coat, and is therefore investment-worthy itself.

Tees: Tees frequently get ruined within a year. Less if you’re me and prone to spaghetti-sauce-related accidents. They are flimsy, simple, easily procured items that really shouldn’t cost more than $20 a pop.

Jewelry: I very seldom spend big on jewelry. It’s a matter of taste, of course. If you love the real deal and it suits your style, that’s more than valid. My argument is this: Sparkly is sparkly, and if you’re feeling broke, cheap costume jewelry can totally tide you over.

Layering pieces: I have a vast collection of long-sleeved layering tees and not a ONE of them cost me more than $10. They never get worn alone, they only ever peek out from beneath a higher quality garment, and they will always be a scrimping item for me. Garments that serve as base layers needn’t suck up tons of cash. Save your pennies for the stuff that shows.

So those are MY rules of thumb, and a good jumping-off point. Now let’s hear some other opinions. Do you think that quality tees are well worth the dough? Is blowing the wad on a great dress something you’d never do? What are your spend-and-save guidelines?