What to scrimp on, and what to splurge on. An eternal question for shoppers. If you are over 40yrs old, there comes a point that buying everything discount makes you look schlumpy. You have to have a few pieces in your wardrobe that look classic and will stand the test of time. There comes a time in every adult woman’s life where it’s time to save some money on some stuff, and then shell out a few bucks on a few items that will last.
1. T shirts are a scrimp. White t-shirts are a dime a dozen and they get ruined in the wash anyway no matter how careful you are. Like how a certain one fits or the drape of the fabric? Buy 5 of them. Good examples…Old Navy, Lands End, and Target, all less that $20.
2. Denim is a splurge. Buying jeans that fit you well, will always be a good investment. Jeans are here to stay as a fashion staple that can be worn on the weekend, on a date night, or to the office as long as you are accessorized correctly. Great stores to buy quality denim….Nordstrom, Torrid, and Madewell. All three stores cover size ranges, styles, and price points. Look for words like ‘premium’ as it provides a better quality denim.
3. Bras are a splurge. Can you get cheap bras at any discount store? Absolutely. But as I’ve said in many a blog, (Got Boobs?), you need only 3 bras in your life. Nude, black, and pretty. All the others are just gravy. Wash them on the gentle cycle and hang to dry, and a good bra will fit well for years! Go get yourself fitted at Lady Grace, Nordstrom, or Soma and invest people! Gravity is not our friend, and we need all the help we can get holding these babies up. And if you are small chested, you are NOT off the hook. A good bra will KEEP them where they are. Yes, you too dear will droop someday.
4. Gym clothes are a scrimp. I don’t mean your ‘athlesure’ wear. I mean the actual stuff you sweat in. Is it really important to have a $120 sports bra from Lululemon? Those leggings are being stretched, sweated on, and washed constantly. Don’t waste your money.
5. Black pants are a splurge. Find a pair of black dress pants with a straight-ish leg, no pleats, and that hit just at the floor at the back of your foot. Not skinny pants, and not boot cut, dear lord step away from The Limited please! Get a straight cut classic pair of trousers. They will always flatter, always dress you “right” for the occasion, and allow you to you mix up tops and your accessories. And, most heel heights will work with them. Have them dry cleaned and hang them well, as NOT on a metal hanger. Try any store that sells upscale clothing like Nordstrom, Bloomies, or a local boutique. Try and avoid mass produced stuff from Ann Taylor, The Limited, or any mid range department store. They are generally not great quality and won’t hold their shape or color over time.
6. A black blazer is a splurge. It can go with your jeans, or with the afore mentioned pants. It should be square cut on the edges, so the rounded edge one in your closet from 1999 doesn’t count. A single breasted, 2 button, hip length blazer is a staple. Again any higher end department store will carry it in a full size range and at multiple price points.
7. Cardigan sweaters are a scrimp. It’s a classic yes, but here is why you should scrimp. The cardigan is a layering piece. It becomes the item that goes on and off. It hangs over the back of your office chair. It gets sat on in the car because you lay it in the backseat and a kid sits on it, or the dog jumps on it. It gets left behind as Susie Q’s after a few wines and next thing you know it’s crumpled and rumpled with some weird stain on it. Go to Old Navy, or any department store and get one for $25. Get three for that price and in a few colors too.
8.Neutral pumps. Now either black or brown are best. Those colors go with anything. There is nothing worse than a great outfit with a pair of heels where the actual heel leather is peeling back like a banana. Or when the front is so scuffed its a different color from the rest of the shoe. What the hell are you doing anyway, kicking the seat in front of you at work? Anyway, a neutral mid level pump is worth the money. Never goes out of style and will say in good condition if you store them in the original box.
9.Neutral flats. Same rules apply as with the pumps. Scuffs and such are not acceptable. Buy a nice tailored looking pair of flats and you are good to go for any occasion.
10. Last but not least a good tote style bag. A square, neutral colored bag. Think black brown or grey. It can be used as a work bag, a travel bag, or an everyday bag. Forget the hobo bag that adds to your schlumpy look and takes you 25 minutes to dig your keys out of. Basics last forever.
What’s your go to staple item worth a splurge?