Wardrobe Essentials: When You Should Splurge, When You Should Save

It’s the perennial shopping dilemma. Do you invest in the latest It bag/shoe/jacket or give your wallet a rest and settle for the as-inspired-by version? Let us make the call with this roundup of must-haves that gives love to both sides of the price point spectrum.

1 of 13
  • From the perfect biker jacket to statement-making costume jewelry, click through now for our curated selection.  

  • The Denim Jacket

    Verdict: Save
    Great-looking, reasonably priced denim jackets abound in today’s fashion landscape. So why spend more when you don’t have to? The low cost means first-timers can test drive the look without making a big commitment. 

    Topshop Moto Blue Denim Western Jacket ($90)

  • The Cashmere Sweater

    Verdict: Splurge
    A good cashmere sweater is a wardrobe staple. Unfortunately, the real deal doesn’t come cheap. We like this Equipment design because of its classic silhouette and sensible color choice.

    Equipment Sloane Cashmere Sweater ($270) in Gray

  • The Colorful Flat

    Verdict: Save
    A workhorse slip-on is a must for commuters and those often on their feet. But given the amount of wear and tear these shoes are up against, it’s better to purchase a modestly priced pair.

    Dolce Vita Giya Flat ($49.97) in Red

  • The Moto Jacket

    Verdict: Splurge
    We’re actually on the fence on expensive leather jackets, having seen some totally respectable lower priced options. However this MQ Alexander McQueen design is totally worth the splurge. It does tough-chic perfectly, while the peplum waist adds a grown-up twist that makes it more versatile. 

    MQ Alexander McQueen Leather Biker Jacket ($1,500) in Black

  • The Statement Necklace

    Verdict: Save
    Save your pennies for a diamond pendant. When it come to big baubles, it’s best to head straight to the costume jewelry department. Consider it maximal style with minimal impact to your credit card balance. 

    J.Crew Crystal Fan Necklace ($145) in Soft Pink

  • The Black Pump

    Verdict: Splurge
    From the workday to date night and everything in between, the black pump is like mascara: always appropriate and makes everything look better.  Hence it’s reasonable to invest in a classic like the Monolo Blahnik BB.

    Manolo Blahnik BB ($595) in Black

  • Leopard Print Jeans

    Verdict: Save
    Leopard denim is certainly fierce but unless you have a recurring role in Cats, a big investment just can’t be justifiable.

    Juicy Couture Leopard Skinny Jeans ($178) in Leopard Denim

  • The Scarf

    The Verdict: Save
    With a few exceptions (see: Hermes), scarves shouldn’t break the bank. This one by Mango adds a punch of color and transitions easily from day to night.

    Mango Feather Print Scarf ($25) in Black

  • The Tote Bag

    Verdict: Splurge
    Totes are timeless and this Givenchy version is functional (work carryall, overnight bag) with leather that will age like a dream.

    Givenchy Large Antigona Shopping Bag ($1,240) in Shiny Black 

  • The Timepiece

    Verdict: Splurge
    A quality, well-designed watch is the accessory that keeps on ticking. Treat it right and it will last you a lifetime.

    Cartier Tank Francais Small Watch Model ($4,300) in Quartz and Steel

  • The Evening Bag

    Verdict: Save
    Evening bags trends change virtually overnight. And if you want a lot of bells and whistles (or in this case, studs and chains), common sense dictates you go the cheaper route.

    River Island Stud Cutabout Clutch Bag ($47.25) in Gray


Today On: