Join our community of Solution Seekers!

When It Comes to Your Wardrobe, Where do You Splurge and Where do You Save?

One thing Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton have proved: Great style comes in a range of prices. This month, fashion-savvy readers share how they mix steep with cheap. 

Illustration of a woman in sunglasses and a scarfChristopher Silas Neal


Nothing keeps me as warm as my pricey sweaters. I usually invest in two to four new ones each year. One of my favorites is a rich brown cashmere cardigan that ties on the side and looks great with skinny jeans and boots. On the other hand, I shop at Goodwill for blouses. It takes patience, but I always manage to find amazing deals.

Lisa Steffl

Watertown, Wisconsin

As an avid exerciser, I’ve noticed that expensive name-brand fitness apparel is much more durable and high-performing than run-of-the-mill T-shirts and shorts. Plus, looking good helps me stay motivated at the gym. I offset the cost with cheap tank tops. I load up on them only when they’re on sale.

Sadie Abuhoff

Cranbury, New Jersey

When I shop, I think about the cost per wear. That means I spend very little on party outfits that I’ll don on just three or four occasions. In fact, when it comes to festive attire, I usually try to swap pieces with a friend to avoid buying something new.

Vicki Goldsmith

Des Moines, Iowa

I’ve heard people say you should splurge on the classics and save on the trendy items. But I do the opposite. I’ve found that basics, such as cardigans and jeans, can be bought inexpensively and replaced each year to look crisp and current. I prefer to spend on signature pieces—like my platform oxford wedges and my bicycle-motif shirtdress—which are more likely to draw compliments.

Carrie Ryan

Vancouver, British Columbia

Most of my clothing budget goes toward major winter purchases, like coats and boots. I particularly love wool and faux-fur details. They really make a difference when the temperature takes a dip. I save on small accessories (hats, scarves, and mittens) by knitting them myself.

Elise Randall

Columbus, Ohio

When looking for jeans, I try not to spend more than $20 a pair. It can be tricky, since my favorite brand is expensive, but I’ve been able to find jeans (albeit gently used) within my budget at a thrift store in my town.

Gloria Collis

Lee, Florida

For the sake of comfort, I splurge on shoes: quality clogs for my workday (most of which is spent standing) and high-end running shoes for exercise. However, I’m thrifty with T-shirts. If I get a stain on one, I cut out some fabric in the shape of a flower or a leaf and sew it over the offending mark. It’s like getting a brand-new top!

Amy Heide

Missoula, Montana

Read More About:Clothing

Related Content

Felt Pads as Clothing Securer

Clothing Securer

A clever way to repurpose an everyday item.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments
Advertisement

Quick Tip

Clear nail polish

To avoid lost buttons, dab clear nail polish on the threads of the buttons to prevent them from fraying and loosening. Get more tips.