Fashion Basics

A Guide to Buying Wardrobe Essentials

When to save and when to spend.

By Claire Sulmers
High heels on a scaleEllen Silverman

Gym Clothes

Save or spend? Spend.
Experts say: The great thing about gym clothes: Even if you choose to buy the best (instead of sweating in a ratty old T-shirt), you won't necessarily burn a hole in your wallet. You can find quality gym clothes at reasonable prices, and the pieces will most likely last for years to come. "Invest in something functional," advises Brumbaugh. Be sure that the outfit feels flattering. "When you look good in your workout clothes," says Brumbaugh, "you're more inclined to work out." But don't overdo it: A great pair of pants and a couple of tops will do the trick.

Trendy Items

Save or spend? Save.
Experts say: With all the discount retailers out there, you can avoid overspending on fashions that will feel passé after one season. These stores offer trendy items at fair prices, says Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist and designer Phillip Bloch. But remember: Some trends, like nautical-inspired clothing and tunics, will come around again and again, so go ahead and splurge on an item you feel has staying power.

 
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