Monday, July 26, 2010

Save or Spend? A guide to buying Wardrobe essentials.

What's worth stretching your budget for, and what can you get away with buying on the cheap?

Save or Spend? Save.
Experts Say: Save on tees because "you wear them close to your skin, so you wash them more, and they don't have that long of a shelf life. Plus, white ones usually lose the fight with underarm-perspiration marks. Go for a good fit first and for fabric that doesn't look flimsy.

Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: Jeans might have been created for miners and manual laborers, but today you can wear them everywhere - in the backyard when you rake leaves, to work, and to dinner with friends. Splurge on one or two good pairs. Premium denim has an attractive dark wash and the right amount of stretch and should fit better than a cheaper pair. Consider hemming one pair for flat shoes and another for heels, so the length always looks just right.

Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: Bras are a good investment item because they can affect your overall look. Focus on the fit. "A great bra can make a 5- to 10-pound difference in your appearance. "The bigger your bust, the more important the fit is. If you have a smaller chest, a quality bra can make the most of what you have."

Gym Clothes
Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: The great thing about gym clothes: Even if you choose to buy the best (instead of sweating in a ratty old T-shirt), you won't burn a hole in your wallet. Gym clothes aren't that expensive, and the pieces will most likely last for years to come. "Invest in something functional. Be sure that the outfit feels flattering. "When you look good in your workout clothes, you're more inclined to work out." But don't overdo it: A great pair of pants and a couple of tops will do the trick. (Supplement them with those college tees.)

Trendy Items
Save or Spend? Save.
Experts Say: With all the discount retailers out there, you can avoid overspending on fashions that will feel passé after one season. These stores offer trendy items at fair prices. But remember: Some trends, like nautical-inspired clothing and tunics, will come around again and again, so go ahead and splurge on an item you feel has staying power.

Black Pants
Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: A high-quality pair of black pants can last for years. "Black pants are timeless." "And investing in a good pair is smart, as the wear and tear on them is typically greater than on most wardrobe items." Spend more on at least one pair of well-tailored tropical-wool black pants." Better fit and craftsmanship and higher-quality materials cost a bit more, but you'll save in the long run, as you won't be spending twice as much buying a new, cheaper pair every year.

Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: "A very good jacket can do a lot for your overall look."You could wear just a T-shirt and jeans, but an expensive, fabulous jacket upgrades your outfit." Look for a jacket to fit the widest part of your body. If you have a large bust and a small waist, buy a jacket in a size that will close over your bust. Then go to a reputable tailor and have the jacket taken in to fit elsewhere.

Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: A go-to dress works as a default outfit for any occasion, so you want one or two top-quality ones that will last for years. In particular, "a dark dress, in black or some deep shade of brown or a jewel tone, is something to spend a bit more on." And "make sure the dress isn't too short. "That can kill its longevity." Choose a knee-length style that won't risk looking outdated next year. An exception to the splurge rule? Casual sundresses, which rarely last more than a few seasons.

Black Suit
Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: "A black suit should be a staple of any woman's wardrobe." You can reach for it for interviews, cocktail parties, dinners, and important meetings. A high-quality suit will last through many seasons and won't be ruined by multiple wearings or trips to the dry cleaner. Look for a superior fabric and cut. A classic style, in tropical wool with both a skirt and a matching pair of pants, will prove most versatile.

Work Shoes
Save or Spend? Spend.
Experts Say: "If you can afford it, I would absolutely encourage buying one pair of really good shoes per season" Work shoes suffer wear and tear, and a good-quality pair will withstand daily use. Again, with shoes, higher prices mean higher-quality elements, like soft leathers that breathe, extra cushioning, and top craftsmanship. Choose comfortable heel heights and classic styles. And protect your investment from the start by taking the shoes to a repair shop to have them weatherproofed and the soles reinforced with rubber.

Evening Shoes
Save or Spend? Save.
Experts Say: "You're probably not going to wear them very much" And chances are high that they'll get trashed." Buy a pair that you don't mind people stepping on. And if a splash of wine ruins your satin-covered pumps, it won't break your heart to throw them out.

Evening Dress
Save or Spend? Save.
Experts Say: "Head for the sales rack." Don't pay full price. How much wear will you really get out of it?" Evening events last a few hours and don't occur very often. Attractive options abound at national chain stores, where prices won't leave you wondering how you'll pay for shoes to match.

Evening Bag
Save or Spend? Save.
Experts Say: "It's not worth it to go out and buy an expensive clutch you're not going to use every day" "Go to a thrift store and buy a vintage bag for the evening," or look for one at a discount retailer. Like an evening dress, this bag won't be used very often. So even if it's a cheaper version, choose classic black or a metallic color, which will work with different outfits.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...