Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how/where/why I spend my money. Specifically, I’ve been contemplating the clothes that I’ve bought in the past. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a bargain hunter. I love sales. I love low prices. And, most importantly, I love saving money.
While this philosophy has kept me from being bankrupt, it hasn’t given me much room in my closet. For instance, I have accrued a ton of cheap t-shirts. I have v-necks and scoop necks and every color of the rainbow. They take up half my closet. Yet, I only wear a select few. Why is this?
I tend to wear clothes that are comfortable and avoid the parts of my wardrobe that have the opposite effect. Over time, I’ve noticed that my agreeable clothes are made from better fabrics and, thus, are more expensive.
In the long run, if I spent more money on these expensive, quality items, I’d actually end up saving. Rather than throwing all of my money at a ton of cheap pieces, I wish I’d invested it in clothes that I’m actually going to wear. A few select pieces here and there. Buying cheap items doesn’t always mean “you get what you pay for,” but, in my case, it truly has. And I have a pile of uncomfortable t-shirts to prove it.
To correct this closet disaster and to make my life simpler, I’ve been thinking a lot about the clothes I want to invest in. The clothes I’ll need. The pieces of my wardrobe that I will actually wear because they are perfect for me. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
A Little Black Dress
Just the phrase “little black dress” sounds classy and important. Since black goes with everything, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to this iconic wardrobe staple. You can layer it, throw on some heels, put on a blazer, add some jewelry and — boom! — this dress is instantly transformed. The little black dress is a bonafide chameleon.
The best part of the little black dress is that it will never go out of style. You can wear it at night or during the day, during winter or summer, to work or out to dinner. It’s the type of dress that you should splurge on because you can get a lot of use out of it.
The above dress is one of my favorite finds, although the price tag ($150) does scare me at first. Mainly, I love the fact that it has pockets because, honestly, every dress should have pockets. The mock neck also gives it a 70s vibe, yet it still looks modern and sleek. According to the reviews, it’s a great fit and is perfect for the upcoming fall season. Overall, it seems that this dress is worth it — especially if you want a dress that will last.
A Tailored Blazer
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved blazers. I love how they instantly dress up a look. Plus, they make me feel like a wise professor. I’ve worn many blazers in the past, but they’ve never looked right. They’ve always been too boxy, too big, too itchy, too this and too that. Never perfect.
If there’s one thing I’d splurge on, it’s a blazer that not only fits my body, but also fits my personality.
J.Crew is one of my favorite stores, so I feel safer when I splurge there. Plus, they have a whole section devoted to blazers.
The one above is made from linen, so it’s not too heavy and is perfect for layering. It’s also fitted, which is definitely a positive. While it does come in many different colors, I don’t think I’d splurge for colors like “kiwi,” “lemon,” or “weathered coral” because they are trendy and seasonal. Instead, I’d either go for the navy one above or one of the brown tones. When it comes to blazers, if I’m going to spend $158, it better match everything I throw its way. Sadly, kiwi would not do the trick.
Honestly, when it comes to jeans, I don’t think the style matters. All that matters is that you are comfortable. For me, personally, I feel most comfortable in skinny jeans, but I also love boot-cut. I’ve bought jeans that were trendy in the moment, but they didn’t always feel right. They didn’t feel in sync with my own personal style.
If you are going to splurge on jeans, I recommend that you try on every pair you can get your hands on. Try on every color, style, and brand. Find what feels right, while still giving yourself the chance to explore.
If I were to go for a pair of jeans, it would be the Rag & Bone pair that I’ve included. They are form-fitting. Medium-dark. And classic. In other words, they are everything that I look for in a pair of jeans. I can picture myself wearing them with heels, boots, sneakers, sandals, and every single shoe in my closet. This is key for me: if I’m going to buy $198 jeans, I want them to match all the shoes that I own.
Then again, that’s just me. There’s no right way to scout out an expensive pair of jeans. There’s only one rule: buy what you like.
A White T-Shirt
As you can probably tell already, t-shirts are very important to me. That’s because I, generally, find long sleeves to be confining. As of right now, I probably own close to 15 white t-shirts and none of them have lived up to my expectations.
I want a white t-shirt that’s pure white, not off-white or see-through. I want it to fit and not shrink in the wash. I want the quality to match the price that I’m willing to pay. Clearly, I’m looking for the Prince Charming of white t-shirts right now.
I own one American Apparel t-shirt and it is my #1 favorite. Unfortunately, it has a Hunger Games slogan on it and isn’t the kind of shirt you wear everywhere. That’s why I’d definitely want to get a plain white tee from this store. They’ve earned my trust and the t-shirt I’ve picked looks really comfy. But, most importantly, it looks shapely at the same time. And for only $24, that seems like a steal (and a great place to start if you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe).
Last but certainly not least, I’d recommend that you splurge on a versatile coat. One you can throw on at an outdoor event, when you’re running errands, and even if it’s drizzling out. You should have a thicker, heavier coat for winter, but what about the other three seasons? That’s what this coat is for.
The reason why I’d splurge on a coat is because this item is quite important. After all, it protects your body from the elements (and can cover up the more casual clothes you may be wearing underneath).
The coat I’ve picked is a Kensie trench coat because when I picture what I’d wear with one, I see an infinite number of possibilities. Plus, this brand is one that I’ve splurged on before and let me tell you: it was worth it. Most importantly, I love how you can buckle a trench coat for a slimming effect, or keep it open if you’re going for a more casual look. There’s also a closure at the neck, so that you will be protected when a harsh wind blows your way.
The takeaway: buy clothes that make you happy, but — before you reach the register — take a moment to think about when you’d wear your item. Why would you wear this item? What would you pair it with? If you can’t come up with some good answers, maybe reconsider and go for something you can see yourself wearing in the not-so-distant future.