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When To Splurge & When To Save: A Guide To Smart Shopping

No matter how much money you’re making (or not), everyone loves a bargain. But sometimes a “good deal” can cost you more in the long run.

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Here are five tips on when to splurge and when to save.

And of course everyone's idea of a "splurge" is different — so always consider your personal budget before making any wardrobe investment.

SPLURGE: Handbags

A great bag will elevate even the most basic outfit. Find something in a quality material and versatile style that goes with most of your wardrobe. It's important look for durability and craftsmanship to ensure that it holds up under frequent use. Plus, if it's something that you use nearly every day, your cost per wear (i.e. the cost divided by the number of times you use it) makes a splurge worth it.

(Bags listed clockwise from top left)

Givency $2300

Space Style Concept $229

orYany $298

Coach $345

Modalu Antonia $245

Balenciaga $815


Denim trends change with the wind, and even designer brands go on sale constantly. Mass market and lower priced brands like Gap and Zara catch on to trends quickly, and often do them well. Also scour department store and boutique sales for deals on designer denim — jeans are almost always overstocked.

(Jeans listed clockwise from top left.)

Hollister $50

Cheap Monday $38

Bullhead $25

Madewell $80

Gap $18

French Connection $40

Gap $31



Quality, and versatile basics can last you a long time. A well-made pencil skirt will do the work for you, and a cashmere sweater that doesn’t lose shape is worth every penny. Everyday jewelry crafted from pure materials won’t tarnish or irritate your skin and should last forever — saving you money in the long run. And ALWAYS make sure to follow the care instructions on the tag to ensure that your favorite items stand the test of time.

Cardigan Calypso$199

Leather Jacket Danier$239

Flats Calypso$99

Watch Michael Kors$250

Earrings Blue Nile$195

Booties Rag & Bone$495

Blazer Rebecca Taylor$325

Skirt Reiss$180

SAVE: Trendy Items

Uber trendy fashion pieces keep you shopping from season to season. Remember a few years ago when every designer on the planet made harem pants? Yeah, I wish they didn’t either. The trend didn’t quite pick up, and those who forked over hefty price tag probably regretted their impulse buy when they couldn’t even resell them on eBay for a tenth of the price. Avoid buyers remorse by experimenting with an inexpensive version of the trend before investing the big bucks.

Black-and-white Dress Zara $40

Wedge Sneakers Go Jane $38

Vest Forever 21 $35

Bag Liibecca by Joy Gryson $111

Belt Ark UK $8

Skirt H&M $23

High-heeled Shoe Asos $38

Jeans Gap $25

Bracelets Pull & Bear $15

Jacket Target $40

SPLURGE: Unique Pieces You'll Wear The Hell Out Of

Unique and hard to find pieces like a comfortable pair of heels that you can actually walk in, sunglasses that truly suit your face, a bikini that gives you confidence every time you put it on, or a cocktail dress that always makes you feel beautiful are worth a higher price tag. When you find something that you genuinely need to fill a wardrobe gap — like comfortable heels to wear to the five weddings you have to go to this summer — BUY IT! Or spend the rest of the season wishing you had.

Sunglasses Super by Retrosuperfuture $250

Bikini Zimmerman $240

Wedges J.Crew $128

Jacket Coggles $535

Sandals Cole Haan $228

Perfume Net-a-Porter $220

Heels Aldo $120

Dress Alice & Olivia $597