To spend or not to spend…that is the question.

There are a lot of budget fashionistas out there who will spend a little money on ready-to-wear items every season. But Plus One Women are a little more discerning. We would prefer to have nicer things if we know they will last.

This week, I’m taking a look at various items of clothing to determine which ones I recommend saving on, and which ones to splurge on. I don’t cover workout clothes, loungewear, undies, or jammies. Instead, I focus on wardrobe staples you will wear either to work or out and about.

Splurge

  • Sweaters – I don’t skimp on sweaters. Because they are the bulk of my winter wardrobe and I prefer cashmere, I go for quality over quantity. The only exception is black cardigans – I love them but wear them so hard, they rarely last year to year.
  • Coats – Midwest winters are brutal. So why would you skimp on a poor quality coat? I had to invest in a new one this year, only because I had gained so much weight that my coat of three winters no longer fit. I got a stylish wool coat that will last me for several years. It wasn’t cheap, but I know I will get my money’s worth out of it.
  • Shoes – This is the item I am least likely to save on. I have awful feet – bunions, pronation, and all. So why would I spend $25 on a crummy pair of shoes that falls apart in a few weeks? My shoes may not be cheap or sexy, but they are comfortable and last me for years.
  • Dresses – Since I only wear two dresses a season, I am meticulous about how they fit, and this is one where you get what you pay for. When I try on cheaper dresses, I am almost always disappointed how they fit. But a good quality dress will fit you like a glove and wear well through many washings.
  • Jeans – I only own one pair of jeans. You heard me right. After searching high and low, I found a pair that covers my stomach, makes my butt look good, and emphasizes my long legs. Yeah, they cost $100, but they’ve lasted almost three years. Can you say the same about a $40 pair?

Save

  • Scarves – These colorful nomads of your wardrobe don’t have to cost a lot. You can find them at discount stores in all sorts of gorgeous patterns that won’t break the bank. Have fun with them!
  • T-shirts and camis – Because they usually don’t tend to last long, there’s no sense in spending big bucks on them. Unless you find a style that really flatters you and you buy all the colors, tees and camis aren’t investment pieces.
  • Trousers – Because I know what Lane Bryant size I am, as soon as I wear out a pair of trousers, I have no problem buying another pair. I put pants through a lot: weight fluctuation, chub rub, contorting in different positions at work or even relaxing on the couch. My experience is expensive trousers don’t hold up any better.
  • Skirts – Because hemlines and silhouettes change, go ahead and have fun with skirts. They’re an easy item to wear and care for. I will spend money on a quality wool pencil skirt, but that’s it.

Save or Splurge

  • Purses – It’s your call. Personally I prefer to pay a little more for one quality black purse. But if you like different colors for the seasons, buying inexpensive purses adds a great pop of color!
  • Tops – For me, it just depends. I have shirts from Target and shirts I paid nearly $100 for. I would prefer to spend a little more to wear a shirt that fits really well than $30 for something that looks like a box on me. Again, I care about fit and quality, not price.

I hope that gives you some idea of how I price out my clothing. I’m not a snob for preferring quality clothes – they are investment pieces in my capsule wardrobe and I save money in the long run by shopping less because I buy clothing that holds up for years instead of months.

What is the one fashion item you always splurge on? Comment below!