It’s really easy to get swept away by trends and brand names when you’re shopping. The stuff is just so pretty! Not pretty, though, is a closet full of overpriced clothes that are torn, tattered or out of style six months later. Before you hit the mall and load up on all that Spring cuteness, take a moment to assess the difference between an investment and an indulgence.
Which is which?
Let’s break it all down.
Worth it: Black pencil skirt
Not Worth it: Sequin mini-skirt
Why: While sequins are a hot trend this season, they are just that – a trend – and who knows if they will still be popular next season? On the other hand, a black pencil skirt is a classic; it works for multiple occasions, will last you for years, and will never go out of style.
Worth it: Good pair of comfortable pumps
Not Worth it: Flats
Why: No matter what flats cost, they are still very…flat. That means they wear out easily, so it doesn’t pay to fork over $100 for a pair; they’re still going to be beat up by the end of the year.
Worth it: A versatile purse
Not Worth it: A clutch that you take to the bar
Why: Fact – The more you drink, the higher your chances of losing things. If you splurge on a clutch and you lose it, it will be heartbreaking, not to mention a HUGE waste of money. On the other hand, a versatile purse that you can use as a school bag, for everyday use or for job interviews is well worth the investment.
Worth it: A bra in the right size
Not Worth it: Underwear
Why: Though not often considered, your bra is one of the most important things you put on everyday. A quality bra (that fits right!) not only keeps your girls in place, but it makes your clothing fit and look better. Underwear, on the other hand, is all the same. It doesn’t matter if you spend $10 for a thong at VS or $2 for a thong at Target, it all looks the same under those pants… and it’s all going to wear down quickly in those dorm dryers.
Worth it: Pair of well-fitting jeans
Not Worth it: Leggings
Why: Why anyone would spend more than $20 on a pair of leggings I’ll never understand. Especially when there are so many cheap options out there! They are leggings! They will wear out quickly no matter where you buy them. If you want to make a sound investment, save up some cash and buy a quality pair of jeans. They will last you forever (even if you wear them every day!) and, unlike leggings, there is a distinct difference between the look, feel and fit, of premium denim and the cheap stuff.
Worth it: An LBD or LGD (little grey dress!)
Not Worth it: A trendy mini dress
Why: A classic LBD or LGD is versatile – its appearance can be changed with different shoes or accessories. It also happens to be completely timeless. A trendy mini, however, is likely a one-look outfit that you’ll wear once or twice before retiring to the back of your closet with those other overpriced trendy pieces you wasted money on.
Worth it: A classic, neutral blazer
Not Worth it: A sequined blazer
Why: Same as the pencil skirt/sequin mini, you don’t want to spend the big bucks on something that is clearly a trend. Put that money towards a neutral blazer that works for everything: over jeans for the day, over a mini for the bar, or over a pencil skirt for an interview.
Worth it: A black cardigan
Not Worth it: A C&C California cotton cardigan
Why: If there is one thing I can say it’s this: stop spending money on low quality products just because they have a fancy brand name. $80 for a cotton cardigan that will be torn up and pilling in three months is not worth it. Even if they sell it at Bloomingdales.
Worth it: A warm winter coat
Not Worth it: A cute raincoat
Why: Clearly you need to stay warm in the winter. A versatile, neutral colored winter coat won’t go out of style, and if you buy a good quality one, it also will last you for years. A cute raincoat is something you’re likely to get sick of after a season or two, so if you save your money on it you don’t have to love it forever.
Worth it: Dress pants for interviews
Not Worth it: Sweats for lounging around
Why: This one is pretty obvious. Dress pants for interviews should drape well, and be hemmed to wear with your nice, interview appropriate shoes. If you’re just wearing your sweats around the house (and you should just wear them around the house) it doesn’t really matter what they look like or what brand name is plastered across the butt.