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Splurge or Bargain? Making Fashion & Clothes Shopping Affordable

Part of what makes a great wardrobe is having lots of choices and plenty of variety. Even a person with the most extensive closet in the world probably gets sick of wearing the same outfits over and over again, which is why you should build your wardrobe on well-made staples and supplement them with cheap accessories, shoes, and other trendy items. That way, you can change your wardrobe each season without abusing your bank account.

Unfortunately, unless you’re appearing on a fashion makeover show, you’re probably not going to get a complete wardrobe overhaul. But that’s okay – you don’t have to spend a ton to look great! Instead of worrying about the latest pricey pump, look for ways that you can arrange your clothes based on your specific budget.

By building your wardrobe on the best basics, you can change your look with cheap fashion accessories and shoes to make your basics look new again each season. However, it’s important to know which items you should invest the most money in, and which items should be purchased at bargain prices.

Splurge or Bargain?

A seasoned shopper knows the concept of investment shopping: Quality, pricier clothing usually lasts far longer than cheaper clothes. The result of spending more now is less of a need to later repurchase the same item.

Before you decide which items you should invest in, take stock of your lifestyle. If you’re the type of person who wears the same two or three pairs of shoes over and over, it’s best to spend more money on footwear. If you’re a jeans-lover, spend the dough on a well-made pair and you’ll save money by not needing to buy poor-quality pants in the future.

Here are some additional ideas on how you can allocate your fashion budget for big purchases and bargain finds:

Pants and Jeans

If you wear pants on a daily basis for your lifestyle or job, splurge on a few perfect pairs. Grab the best fit for a pair of jeans, a pair of business casual pants, and a power skirt or a power suit.

Once you have the basics, you can look for bargains on supplemental bottoms, like a trendy pair of trouser jeans or bright skinny jeans. Since you probably won’t wear them daily, it’s fine to grab a cheaper pair. I snagged a pair of red skinnies for $19, and while I love them, I’m glad that I didn’t spend any more – they aren’t going to be in style forever.


You can score some serious deals on cardigans and sweaters, especially at the end of the winter season. They’re perfect for layering and are generally low in price, so you probably don’t need to splurge. Of course, if you’re a complete stickler for quality and feel, a pricier cashmere might be worth the expense, but you can usually spend less, especially if you only wear sweaters through the fall and winter.

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