When it comes to your wardrobe, it’s essential to make smart choices about where to allocate your shopping budget. If we consider the concept of value per wear, the items that offer the best return on investment are often the ones that end up costing you the least in the long run. These items are typically characterized by their superior quality, timeless style, and ability to be paired with a variety of outfits.
Instead of constantly buying inexpensive, fast-fashion pieces that quickly lose their appeal and wear out, it’s worth considering investing in a few key items that will stand the test of time. These investment pieces may initially seem pricier, but when you factor in their longevity and versatility, they become a cost-effective choice.
When choosing where to splurge, look for high-quality basics that fit you well and can be worn in various settings. Classic items such as a well-tailored blazer, a versatile pair of jeans, a fabulous handbag, or a quality leather jacket are excellent choices. Opt for neutral colors like black, navy, or beige, as they tend to be more versatile and enduring.
On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable to save on trend-driven, seasonal pieces that might not have a long lifespan. These are the items that are likely to go out of style quickly or have limited utility beyond a specific season. By saving on these items, you can stay current without breaking the bank.
When choosing where to splurge, look for high-quality basics that fit you well and can be worn in various settings. On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable to save on trend-driven, seasonal pieces that might not have a long lifespan.
1. Invest in Quality Wardrobe Workhorse Pieces
Pieces in neutral colors, that work with other pieces in your closet, are worth investing in. Here are a few of my current favorites:
- Veronica Beard for blazers, denim, workwear, dresses, and shoes (sign up for email alerts for great sales and seasonal discounts)
- Ruti Great pieces for everyday and travel. I love the “Go-to Skirt” so much that I purchased it in two colors, also in petite, here. Currently offering $75 off your first purchase (HERE).
- Mother Jeans (my personal fave). I recently discovered Closed Denim and am obsessed with their fit.
- Eleven Six Sweaters
- Figue for bohemian skirts, dresses, and blouses
- Cuyana everyday basics and loungewear that doesn’t fade holds its shape, and really lasts + handbags
- The Cashmere Sale for cashmere sweaters and accessories
- Eric Javits : for hats, currently running a summer sale (HERE) my fave, the classic fedora, is on sale HERE.
- Lili Lotan : love the SHON pant.
- Michael Stars for mid-priced knits and tees
- Vuori for lounge and workout. I lived in my Lux jumpsuit, for under $100 (HERE).
- Clare V (french inspired handbags)
- SPANX for workwear pieces, denim, and shorts (select styled now 30% off). My go-to pieces are the faux leather flare pant and the Perfect Pant kick flare
Some of these brands may only be available at boutiques, or online, however, some are at Saks, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. For quality mid-price staples I like Evereve. The service and offerings remind me of Nordstrom 15+ years ago, meaning curated offerings for women over 40 and great service. With boutiques across the US, you can also shop them online at Evereve.com (HERE to browse) | PRESS HERE to browse their selection of private-label tops and tees.
2. Where to Find Quality and Trend at Incredible Prices
Shopping the second-hand market can be both, but shop smart, set up to get alerts for your favorite brands, and ask questions.
Poshmark | ThredUP
I’ve lost count of the occasions when I’ve developed a deep affection for a designer item while browsing in a boutique, only to discover and acquire it on Poshmark, either brand new or in impeccable condition. From my pristine Veronica Beard Scuba Jacket, purchased with tags for a mere $200, to the stunning crochet dress I stumbled upon this week, originally priced at $495 but gently used and now mine for just $80. Poshmark and ThredUP have become my go-to destinations for finding incredible deals on coveted fashion pieces.
Both ThredUp and Poshmark can be considered cost-saving options, but it’s important to consider the brand’s quality. If the brand is not known for durability, I recommend buying items in “new with tags” or “like new” condition. This way, you can ensure that the item hasn’t been washed or worn extensively by the previous owner, potentially shortening its lifespan.
Another great spot to shop for investment as well as trend pieces. I never shop at the Rack without a list to keep me on task and stay clear of potential “closet orphans”. Great for off-season designer brands, shoes, handbags, and accessories as well as private label basics.
3. Where to Go for Trend-Driven Seasonal Pieces
The Drop is Amazon’s exclusive fashion label. Launched in 2019, The Drop collaborates with influential individuals boasting large social followings to create limited-edition collections. These sought-after lines are released every few weeks and remain available for a mere 30 hours, that is, if they manage to last that long. It’s not uncommon for pieces to fly off the virtual shelves within hours of their release. However, fear not, as The Drop’s staple line is here to stay, offering a range of essential items that serve as the foundation for a well-curated wardrobe. This permanent-ish line was introduced in 2020 and features must-have fashion pieces that assist in crafting stylish outfits.
During one of my YouTube video sessions, The Drop caught my attention. The video’s host was showcasing a selection of fantastic travel essentials, reminiscent of old-school Target’s affordable prices. While I typically steer clear of fast fashion, I sometimes find it necessary to have access to affordable and trendy pieces. Intrigued by what I saw, I decided to explore The Drop’s offerings further and ended up ordering a ribbed tank top to assess its quality, style, and fit. I also came across reasonably priced blazers, denim jackets, button-down shirts, and sandals. If you’re curious, you can explore The Drop yourself by clicking (HERE) and share your thoughts with me.
Speaking of fast fashion, if you are looking to add a trend or two to your closet, and prefer to save your shopping dollars for great investment pieces, ZARA can be a good resource. Like right now, they have a great selection of crochet, eyelet, blazers, shorts, summer dresses, and colors – they also make some fun prints and accessories. I think their service is horrible, but you can buy and return from home so you don’t have to visit their very busy and messy stores.
In the end, the key is to strike a balance between splurging and saving. Invest in high-quality, timeless pieces that will serve as the foundation of your wardrobe, while being mindful of where you can cut costs on more transient fashion trends. By doing so, you can create a casual wardrobe that is not only stylish but also economically sustainable.
How do you allocate your fashion spending? Where do you choose to invest or save?
Have a great week friends!