Splurge vs. Save

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to really spend money on – or often in my case, know when to spend money. This final post for Becoming Essential is all about figuring out when to really splurge or invest in a piece versus saving your pennies.

When it comes to basics it’s easy to save money, especially when you see basic tees at your local Target. But you have to ask yourself: do they fit the way you want them to? Do you keep buying the same style or few brands hoping that you’ll finally find your perfect fit? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to move on. You don’t have to spend $100 on a white v-neck tee shirt – please don’t do that! But you may want to spend more than $10.

So where are your best investments or splurges? I like to think that these will be your timeless pieces. A good black or cognac bag, a nice flat or pump, a great pair of jeans. Now these items would be especially important if you’re on your feet all day, travel for work, and at a weight or size that you’ll be pretty consistent at for a while.

Classic bags to me are worth the investment. You don’t need twelve, maybe just two (an all purpose tote or satchel and a cross body or clutch). You’d be surprised on how well you can get around with a limited amount of bags. Plus, invest in those every day pieces and find some deals on the trendy bags.

Shop these bags

Jeans are always tricky if you’re fluctuating or at some in-between sizes, at those times, don’t splurge – save your money and find deals (especially around the holidays) to get well fitting, but inexpensive jeans. But if you’re pretty consistent at your size, spend a little more for a jean that molds to your body and will hold up with wash and wear. (Tip: Madewell has great fitting jeans and will give you money toward a new pair when you bring in an old pair.)

Shop these jeans

Places to save? Think trendy items. Do you have a feeling this certain look will be around for next year? Are you nervous about trying a look out? If yes, then don’t spend your bank on one item that you can’t see yourself wearing more than twice.

And yes, that is another good place to evaluate: will you wear this more than once? And no, it’s not like a bridesmaid dress, which you will definitely not wear again! (Take it from me, who has 11 bridesmaid dresses in my spare room closet!)

If you’re afraid that you’ll be wearing the same dress over and over again for weddings or showers, then invest in a dress that fits well and you want to wear over and over. You can change up with look with accessories – a fun shoe or bag will help change your look just enough to make a whole new look.

Shop this dress

When it comes to accessories, shoes and jewelry this can go two ways. Are you looking for a great piece of jewelry – a gold necklace, a classic statement ring? Invest! Splurging a little on these items are okay. Do you really want something that will turn your neck or your fingers green? Save some money on the side or hint to your loved ones that you wouldn’t mind opening this on your birthday. Or if you have no shame like I do, send the direct link to your husband! Ha! While my siblings made fun of my style, guess who got everything on her wish list – this girl!

Shop these earrings

Remember though, if it’s a little trendy or you’re wanting to try it out, like fringe earrings, or colorful bracelets, look for deals through BaubleBar or their line at Target, SugarFix. These pieces won’t break the bank but are fun to try out for your outfits.

Finally if you want to save on shoes, Target has really stepped up their shoe game. Their dupes are so good and at reasonable prices, you can be on trend without being broke!

Shop these shoes

However if you’re ready to spend or invest in a few good items, don’t forget that the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale is coming up in July. You don’t want to miss out! I’ll be posting about some of my favorites to snag during the sale. But this would also be a great time to look for a great bag, your favorite cardigans, and the list goes on.

My final tips:

  1. Don’t spend too much on trendy – save!
  2. Is it one of your great basics (jeans, flats, a good bag)? Invest
  3. Look for dupes on pieces you may be nervous about trying
  4. When you invest, make sure it fits well and you’ll wear it more than a handful of times!

I hope that some of these tips will help you when you’re out shopping or looking to build up your closet. You can always follow me here or on my Instagram page, @LipstickandLeggingsBlog to see what I’m splurging or saving on!

Happy shopping!

xo, Caitlin


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Hi, I'm Caitlin, I'm a wife and mom to two toddler boys. I have a love of fashion, lipstick, and helping others look and feel their best. I'd love to help you find clothes that work within your closet and budget. Stick with me as I share my favorites, everything from leggings to lipstick!

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