Refreshing Your Wardrobe: Spend vs. Save

Guest Blog by Brittany Horton (Accessory Stylist with Premier Designs)

Let’s talk about being Christmas broke… that’s me. Not sure why I feel the need to spend every penny I have on Christmas, but I do. If I have an extra $7, I will find someone else to buy for. Yes, that’s me at this very moment. Christmas broke. Anyone else feel me? Am I alone in this? No, good. Thanks for helpin’ a girl out. It’s a sick problem, I’m currently working through it. Regardless, that doesn’t really support my “new year new me”… ya dig?

Come January 1, I almost always say “wow this closet is sad and does not reflect the person I want to be in (insert new year).” BUT I’m also Christmas broke… so I look at ways I can give my closet a refresh- I start with my good friend Stefanie’s “Beginners Guide to Cashing In Your Closet” (If you haven’t checked this out, you’re totally missing out). THEN I have some cash to spend- so I have to figure out where to spend and where to save… here’s my theory, it has 2 parts.

  1. ONLY BUY CLOTHING THAT SERVES YOU AND YOUR LIFESTYLE: what this means is if you don’t go out on dates or explore night life very often, you do not need a ton of “going out on the town” clothes and heels. If you’re a stay at home mom and you speak fluent “athleisure”, you probably don’t need to hold on to lots of office attire. If you can’t see yourself making time to go to the gym, your workout clothes are probably causing you grief. I give you permission, right here, right now to GET RID OF THEM! Look at current you- even if you aren’t totally satisfied with her- it’s better to dress your current body than be the girl who is still wearing clothes from when you were 15lbs heavier. Own the current you!
  2. Spend on things that touch your body every day, save on everything else!

Here’s my personal spend list.

  1. Jeans: They may not be for everyone but you really can wear them to just about ANYTHING.  Playing with the kids, jeans. Dressing up a little with a blazer, jeans. Sports event, jeans. Cute top and heels, jeans. Really if you spend on a good pair, or two, that’s all you’ll ever need. The fit, fabric and bottom opening all make a real difference!
  2. Bra: THIS is the holy grail! If you do not have proper fitting undergarments, your entire outfit can be totally thrown off. SPEND the money to get fitted and get 1-2 neutral, practical, can be worn under everything bras. Fashion editor Tim Gunn says “a proper fitting bra can make a 5-10 pound difference in your overall appearance.” Allow everyone to admire all the hard work you’ve done to get dressed without sabotaging yourself by wearing a bad bra.
  3. Black Pants: whatever these look like for your lifestyle, a skinny black denim, a straight leg dress pant, a chino. Black pants are timeless and can be super versatile. Typically this item gets a lot more wear and tear because of how often you can make them work with an outfit; it’s totally worth spending a little extra to get the perfect fit and fabric, so you don’t have a replace them once a year because they’ve faded or gotten a hole in the knee.
  4. Jacket: A good jacket can do SOOOO much for an overall look. Structure is the name of the game when it comes to dressing every BODY. A good jacket can create a waistline, can broaden shoulders, can really complete an outfit. You’ll want to get a jacket to fit the widest part of your body and have it tailored, if it isn’t perfect off the shelf. This can be worn over a t-shirt to take the look up a notch, with dress pants to create a polished look for your day-job, or with a dress to say “I am here to close this deal.”
  5. Work Shoes: whatever this looks like for you, PLEASE for the love, invest in your work shoes. If you wear heels to an office, invest in a good pair. If you wear tennis shoes with your scrubs, invest. This affects your health, if you’re going to wear them everyday, please invest. The only shoe I wouldn’t say to splurge on is a flat, yes, you want something that isn’t going to fall apart, BUT the one thing you know you’re going to get with a flat is… well, flat. Please don’t spend over $100 on a flat.
  6. Winter Coat: This can be worn for many years, take the money and get a good jacket. The key to this is trying them on and crossing your arms in front of you. If the shoulders don’t pull, if the arms are long enough, if it doesn’t bunch funny… then it’s the coat for you. Another quick tip, you’ll be wearing this OVER your clothes, so you want it to look nice even under pressure- crinkle the fabric in your hand and squeeze for 20 seconds… if it looks like a crumpled lunch sack when you let it go, you probably will look the same way wearing it.
  7. Handbag & Jewelry: All you need is one good handbag and some versatile jewelry to change the look of an outfit completely. Take the extra 30 seconds to do this in the morning and you’ll always get asked “how are you so pulled together all the time?” Well, it may look like my life is together ma’am, but I can assure you, it’s not. HAHA. Even if you feel like you’re falling apart, your look will stand the test of time.

Things to SAVE your money on:

  1. T-shirts: They’re all cotton, and they aren’t meant to stand the test of time. This is something that is probably washed over and over and loses its pizzazz pretty quick. It’s intended to. Go for fit first, then a fabric that doesn’t look flimsy. Those are the only rules, the rest is up to your interpretation.
  2. Hosiery: Panty hose that are $40 snag just as easy as the $7 ones. Save your money. These can be picked up at any resale store (tj maxx, burlington, marshalls) for super cheap. Doesn’t look any different than the more expensive ones.
  3. Seasonal Trends: They are trends for a reason, they will go as quickly as they came. Want to try velvet because it’s “so this season” try it in a headband or a small, inexpensive accessory before you go all out just to find out next winter the trend is dead. Trust me.
  4. Evening Wear: you probably won’t wear it often enough to get the value out of expensive shoes/bags. You can find evening-wear that others have worn once and re-use. Head to your local consignment and benefit off of someone else who has spent the money and only used it once! Their loss is your gain.

Ladies, if there was ever a more perfect time to visit Cru Boutique, I’d tell you. Stefanie is a Saint when it comes to finding you the best quality for the absolute best dollar. You can get your New Year, New You without breaking the bank!

That was a lot, thanks for baring with me. Let’s do a quick recap: SPEND on things that require durability, have high/daily use, or is a wardrobe staple. SAVE on things that are delicate, low use, have simple function or are trendy.

Next year, let me be the reminder that your kids will be fine without another gadget, but Christmas broke affects the new year… Hope this helps you launch your NEW YEAR-NEW YOU with a bang and not to your wallet.

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