Listen, I am not going to lie, I have expensive taste. You could place five identical black shirts in front of me and I would only like the most expensive one. It is like a sixth sense. But let's get real, I have champagne tastes on a beer budget. That doesn't mean I don't or can't have nice things, it just means I have to be strategic as to when I save and when I splurge. Also I go by the motto groceries? maybe… shoes? yes! (but not something I advocate)
Instead of taking the price tag at face value, I try to figure out the items value based on usage. For example, the day after Christmas I was shopping with my little sis/cousin at J.Crew and she fell in love with a black fluted skirt (the same skirt I have and love)! Of course she is only 17 and still figuring out her style (she currently has this fabulous retro chic look happening) and what is worth spending her money on.
However, this skirt was incredibly flattering on her and as she put it "the most comfortable skirt… ever!" Unfortunately it had a $98 price point. I explained to her that this skirt was timeless and if you divided that price by the number of times she would wear it, then it ends up being less expense than a couple of cheaper items you only wear a couple times (and are usually less flattering).
She left the store without the skirt, but the more she thought about it, the more she wanted it. We ended up ordering it online that night lol.
As I have gotten older, I have found that I value having fewer items that are classic and well made over lots and lots of cheaper and trendier clothes. When determining whether or not an item is worth splurging on I ask myself the following questions:
Is it flattering and does it make me feel amazing?
More expensive clothing tends to be better made and better cut (when you are not paying for the brand of course). Investing in pieces that make you look and feel amazing is important!
Does it fit my style and blend with my current wardrobe?
When investing in clothing it helps to have a clearly defined style and aesthetic. There is no point in spending a lot of money on something you won't like next year or doesn't go with anything you already own.
Is it stylish but not trendy (meaning can I wear it for more than one season)?
A good example of this is a pair of Hunter Boots. They are stylish (not to mention functional) but they are also classics that will remain in style for a couple years. Another example would be a plain and classic pair of Tory Burch ballet flats or riding boots. They will look chic for years to come, but you want to avoid seasonal looks like studs or patterns, which will look dated.
Will I wear it enough to offset the cost?
I have a $100 J.Crew denim jacket that I bought four years ago. It looks brand new and I wear it constantly. I once accidentally left it in the bathroom of the Rome airport and cried when I thought it was gone forever (it was perfectly worn in). Fortunately, I later found it in the lost and found. Bottom line, when I divide that 100 dollar price point by the number of times I have worn the jacket the cost per wear is incredibly low and the jacket remains completely worth the price!
Is the fabric/material practical?
I really value items that are made well and continue to look brand new after months and even years of wear. I was so upset when the gold finish on my adorable Micheal Kors purse started rubbing off. I also try to avoid spending too much on light or delicate fabrics, because I hate spending money on something I can ruin by staining (I am spill prone).
Does the item fit your lifestyle?
This last point is important and you have to be real with yourself. I live in Florida and travel mainly in the summer, so most winter coats aren't really worth the investment, but a good sturdy and functional suitcase is!
My all-time biggest splurge was my Briggs and Riley suitcase. Every time I travel I love this suitcase a little more. Not only is it lightweight and functional, it has a lifetime warranty. For me, it was completely worth it!
What items are you willing to splurge on?