With the dawn of Fall semester approaching, and the recession in full swing, many of us are facing a dilemma–quality or quantity. And when it comes to fashion, I’m a faithful believer in both. The only way to create a truly personal, awesome and –let’s face it– realistic wardrobe is to incorporate incredible steals with the occasional investment piece.
Yes, it may seem frivolous to blow a month’s rent (and then some) on a single item to add to your closet, but trust me, buying a ton of shoddy, albeit adorable, stuff from Forever 21 will hurt your wallet more in the long run.
When it comes to clothing, I like to use the simple formula Cost/ Number of Uses = True Value. Is it a way to justify my splurges? Yes. But it also proves that sometimes a higher price tag means a longer life span, therefore making that splurge totally worth it.
Consider saving up for these items–and trust me, when you walk out of that designer boutique with a sweet purchase you made completely on your own, you will not regret it.
1. A Classic Handbag.
I’ll admit it, I am a complete label whore. And many a designer house capitalize on this weakness by jacking up price tags just so I can have someone else’s name plastered all over my purse. But the intricate design, meticulous attention to detail (much of the time hand-crafted) and use of higher quality materials also contribute to the higher price tag. Splurge on a bag made of a quality material (like soft, buttery leather) as opposed to a generic cloth or plastic. Yes, they’re hot, and some of my favorite purses rhyme with “Trada” and “Moius Luitton”, but those are status bags and are expensive for the sake of being expensive.
A note of caution: if you’re looking for a deal and the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Check here for specific ways to spot a fake. Premeditating buying a fake? Don’t waste the money. Any decent copies (in addition to being ILLEGAL) will most likely be pretty pricey ($100 and up)– so you’re better off just saving up for the real thing and enjoying your new bag for years to come.
2. A Little Black Dress.
Every woman knows the almighty power of the LBD. It fits you perfectly, can be worn to pretty much any function given the right accessories, and makes you feel classy and sophis the second you put it on. To get this feeling though, you’re gonna have to shell out just a little. I’ve heard testimonials of girls who bought their LBD at JC Penny’s for $35 and couldn’t be happier. But if you spend a little more, you can ensure a higher quality dress, with a better fit. Even if you do snag an inexpensive, perfect dress, take it to the tailor and see just how much better they’ll make it fit with a few (cheap) alterations.
I used to be a non believer when it came to expensive jeans. They’re jeans for cryin’ out loud. Why the hell would I pay a small fortune for everyday staples. But then, I walked into a denim boutique and was fitted by a girl who probably had to attend a 4 hour course on how to help people find jeans that look like they were created for their ass. I was hooked. Pricey jeans (and it varies by brand) make my legs feel like I should have been born with them encased in denim. And over the years, these jeans have not stretched, shredded, worn or faded (granted, some of them already came that way). In fact, I’m fairly certain that some of the pairs have become one with my lower half and have molded into the shape of my body. Amazing–and absolutely worth it.
4. A neutral pair of amazing shoes.
You can wear these anywhere, day or night, interview or da club. Make sure they’re a timeless pair (pumps of any variation, simple sandals, or classic flats) to avoid buying anything too flashy or trendy that you won’t be able to wear in the years to come. The best part? The more expensive the shoe, the more comfortable they are.
5. Diamond Studs.
An accessory staple. No matter how small (or large!) they are, they will never go out of style. You can play it safe and go ultra conservative with just the earrings, pair with a simple necklace and minimalist bracelet, or use them to balance your look when you want to try a crazy new trend (you know, like in case those tattoo necklaces ever come back). If your funds just aren’t up to buying legit bling, get yourself a pair of 14 karat gold or nice silver CZ’s. They won’t have the same dazzling effect, but they’ll definitely tide you over until you can afford the real thing.