If you’ve been around since last summer, you may recall that I won this fabulous leather jacket through a giveaway on Instagram (check out Gracie’s Boutique!). Of course I was extremely excited, but I was even MORE excited to realize this jacket retails for more than $300… and I only had to pay the $7 to ship it. But guess what? The first day I wore it, my hair ripped out one of the studs on the shoulders. It just goes to show that more expensive does not always equal better. Which is what inspired today’s post—a round-up of items I would recommend splurging on, and a round-up of items I would never splurge on.
You all know by now that I’m a very budget-friendly shopper (aka cheap). Yes, the word ‘cheap’ seems to have a negative connotation, but when it comes to purchasing clothing, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing! I rarely pay full price for items because a) I am very patient and capable of waiting for sales and b) there’s a certain thrill to purchasing something at a fraction of its original price. But, I also recognize the value in spending a little extra mula for higher quality pieces once in a while. So if you’re also a budget shopper and looking for a little advice on when to splurge and when to save, here are my general rules of thumb:
DO splurge on belts. In my mind, belts are firstly for functional purposes and secondly for style. While I love a good trendy pearl or leopard print belt, I usually regret spending only $10 on them—inexpensive belts are flimsy, poor quality, and don’t do their job very well. Not to mention, the loop holes usually stretch out or rip within a few wears. Hardly any of my pants fit correctly around my waist, so I NEED a good belt. The brown one I’m wearing in today’s post is from Cabi, and while it was expensive at $76, the cost per wear is less than $0.80 because I wear it so much (and it’s still in pristine condition!).
DO splurge on certain shoes, particularly snow boots. Shoes can get pretty pricey, and while I don’t recommend spending a fortune on them every time, certain pairs are worth coughing up a little extra dough. For example, cute walking shoes (like my $60 Steve Madden quilted sneakers) are worth it if you know you’re going to wear them constantly. My white mules were also a hefty price at $70, but I wear them so much that a lesser quality shoe would have surely fallen apart by now. And snow boots! Boy oh boy, do I wish I had splurged on snow boots. I got $40 snow boots a few winters ago because I was cheap, and they stink. They don’t keep my feet warm at all! When it comes to snow boots, I definitely recommend splurging on Sorels—they’re super cute and will last you a lifetime!
DO splurge on staple jewelry. I love costume jewelry and highly recommend inexpensive places like Francesca’s for bold statement necklaces or fun rings. But if you’re looking for a piece of jewelry to wear every day, I recommend something a little more durable (though it doesn’t have to be insanely expensive, either!—Kendra Scott has super cute options). I have a few small necklaces from Francesca’s that I wear almost daily, but they’ve all tarnished now and changed from their original rose gold hue to a dirty grey shade. Investing in those staple pieces (or better yet, asking for them as gifts) is worth it!
DON’T splurge on sunglasses. I’m really bad at taking care of sunglasses, so I prefer buying super cheap pairs. That way, I’m not too upset if I accidentally sit on them or if they get scratched in my purse! The blush tortoise ones I’m wearing in today’s post are less than $13 from Loft (buy HERE).
DON’T splurge on purses. I have a few Kate Spade purses that were gifts that I absolutely adore. However, when it comes to spending my own money, I usually prefer inexpensive bags from Francesca’s or even DSW. I don’t use the same purse enough (nor do I stuff them full of things) that the quality noticeably degrades over time. But, if you’re a one-purse kinda gal, investing in something a little nicer is probably the move!
DON’T splurge on formal attire. I can’t stress this one enough! Prom dresses (and other gowns) can get SO expensive for something you’ll probably only wear once. That’s why I recommend checking out local thrift or consignment shops instead. Consignment stores are usually a little nicer with higher-end pieces, and you can find amazing deals on dresses. I bought this black Calvin Klein dress for one of my Homecoming dances for only $50 (and have worn it several times since), and this mauve tulle gown was also $50 from a consignment shop in Las Vegas. And if you see a fabulous gown in a regular store that’s steeply discounted, consider buying it! You may not have an occasion to wear it right now, but when you’re invited to a wedding (or whatever) in the future, you’ll be glad you snagged that piece while it was on sale.
All in all, the most important thing that guides my spending is use. I am willing to splurge on pieces like belts, shoes, and everyday jewelry because I know I’ll be wearing it constantly (and will get my money’s worth). Trendy pieces or items that are meant only for special occasions are a good reason to save money instead. Not that I ever would, but I’m so glad I didn’t spend the $300+ this jacket is worth! Of course it’s so stinking cute, but it’s not worth that price tag.
What’s your best advice for splurging versus saving? Are there any expensive purchases you regret, or any cheap purchases you wish you had splurged more on? I’d love to hear all your thoughts and advice in the comments! As always, thanks for reading today’s post.
Miles of smiles,
Olive Green Bodysuit: Francesca’s, $20, last worn here, buy exact HERE | Leather Studded Jacket: Won in a giveaway, $7, last worn here | Skinny Jeans: JCPenney, $25, last worn here | Black Booties: DSW, $45, last worn here | Blush Tortoise Sunglasses: Loft, gift, buy exact HERE | Brown Belt: Cabi, $76, last worn here | Maroon Circle Purse: Nordstrom Rack, $50, last worn here