I empathize with how difficult it can be to shop when you’re on a budget; you don’t know where to splurge and where to spare your dollars. I have a backwards theory on the whole ideal of buying the basics and “simple” pieces from a less pricey retailer since basics can be so disposable and easily replaced; I beg to differ. If you think about it, a high-quality cotton fitted t-shirt and a few good tanks, camisoles, leggings, and scoop neck long-sleeved shirts are essential for most of our fashionable outfits. If you buy a really cute cardigan, vest, blazer, cropped jacket, or belted button-up top, odds are you’re going to need a simple cami or short-sleeved shirt to act as a shell or something to wear underneath your focal garment of choice. Therefore, if you’re going to actually use these more often than you would imagine, wouldn’t you want good quality that is durable and can withstand several washes? Have you ever tried purchasing a $3.99 tank top and noticed that it fits well at first but eventually starts to roll at the hem underneath your other blouse and you’re pulling at it and fussing with it more than anything else? It’s because you didn’t give it a second thought when you grabbed it off the “cheap rack” of the “reasonably-priced clothing store”.
I know that when I choose a nice sheer, chiffon top when shopping, I don’t have the intention of wearing it weekly or even more than three times in the same month because it’s a statement piece and something you wear for special occasions and not on a casual, daily basis. Therefore, why spend an arm and a leg? Of course you don’t want the easy way out on this and buy things second-rate or from the bottom of the clearance barrel, but you should weigh your options and think about how purchasing a few tops like this from Forever 21 may be best because you can buy several and then grabbing a cardigan or two from H&M will save you some cash as well. Splurge at Express, Calvin Klein, or Anthropologie for your basics. Pull out the big guns for a cashmere sweater, beautiful tunic, or A-line dress from Nordstrom, Bebe, or Armani Exchange. Torn between a fabulous pair of ankle boots and peep-toe heels? Decipher which is priority for your lifestyle, also taking into consideration when and where you would wear them and during which time of year it is at the moment of purchase. Right now I would say go to Aldo and drop some cash on the boots you’ve been eyeing because you’ll get a lot of use out of them; try a reputable discount shoe store like DSW for the weekend heels that you desire. You really have to mix and match from different stores and brands with different price points in order to expand your wardrobe and give yourself ample yet reasonable options for all of your fashion needs in every area of your life. You shouldn’t feel guilty when buying something expensive for yourself but don’t allow the perception of bargain-shopping trick you into thinking you’re not getting a good deal. Be sensible and brainstorm what’s most important to you!