Thursday, September 27, 2012
Fall’s on its way: A guide to splurging/saving on a new wardrobe
Mix high- and low-end items to stay trendy and on-budget.
UNIVERSITY PARK It’s easy to assume that in order to stay trendy, you have to spend a lot of money on clothes. But, not everything you buy has to be “designer,” and therefore expensive. There are other, less expensive brands that offer in-season items at a much lower price.
You should always ask yourself when it’s appropriate to splurge, and when you should save before you make a purchase.
There are strategic ways to shop that help you stay trendy but also let you keep some extra cash in your bank account.
First, focus on investing in some timeless pieces like a hand-tailored jacket, a perfectly-fitting dress or a cashmere sweater that really prove that paying a high price was worth it.
Then, use these to mix and match with clothes and accessories that are more reasonably priced to complete the look.
Before you can decide which items you should spend more or less money on, it’s important to know what you should be looking for in the first place.
Key pieces for any wardrobe are jeans, boots, black and white tops, black heels, and a blazer. All should be fashionable and functional at the same time.
There is plenty of room to add your own personal touch. The styling is totally up to you and your individual preference — there isn’t a boundary you have to stay in. If you like motorcycle boots, go with those. If you prefer high heeled boots, sport those.
For SMU students, owning these items is a necessity. They can be worn casually for class or dressed up for a night out with friends.
And for those juniors and seniors, these pieces are an easy go-to when preparing for a job interview. But spend some time searching in order to ensure that what you buy is perfect for these occasions.
The best stores to find pieces you see appropriate to invest in are department stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, and individual stores of more high-end designers such as 7 For All Mankind, Alice + Olivia, and Michael Kors.
Highland Park Village is a great place to find name brands. Here you have access to designers such as Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, and many others.
But, you don’t have to shop at these stores to be fashionable. There are plenty of stores and websites that sell the key pieces and appeal to almost any budget. Unfortunately, it may take up more of your time to go through these stores in order to find pieces that appear to be designer.
Shopping at these stores requires you to look through almost everything, because not all of their clothes aren’t necessarily quality items. But spending the time is certainly worth it in the end. The best items to save on are costume jewelry, T-shirts, and jeans, which can easily be found at wallet-friendly stores.
It isn’t hard to find these items that look a lot like designer brands but are nearly half the price. Every store imaginable sells these pieces so the less expensive stores will definitely have them in stock.
And, if you’re careful enough during your search for affordable items, the quality of the fabric can be just as good as any designer piece.
Some of the best stores to find these fashionable, inexpensive, items are Forever 21, H&M, Express, and Zara.
All of these stores keep up with the current trends, so no matter where you are shopping, you are guaranteed to find something - whether it is clothes, shoes, or accessories — that is in-season.
Still, you should be careful at these budget-friendly stores. Getting excited about the low prices can lead to a subconscious comfort for buying a lot at one time.
It adds up, so sift through your items while waiting in the checkout line and focus on the pieces you have to have. These purchases should include pieces that you absolutely know you will wear, and more than once.
If you really want to own more designer labels, there are stores like Loehmann’s and Marshalls that sell designer clothes at a reduced price.
Many companies also have outlets. Nordstrom’s Nordstrom Rack, with a location in Dallas on Park Lane, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Off Fifth, (which is conveniently located nearby Nordstrom Rack) offer their brand name labels for much less.
So, items to splurge on are the pieces you know you will use time and time again and that will be sure to last.
But don’t buy something just because it’s name brand or you love the look of it on the hanger. Make sure the items fit your body type and personality.
Start paying closer attention to prices -- you will be surprised at how easy it is to save and still be fashionable.
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