Here at Reality Chic, we are always trying to make it easier for you to save. We understand that as twenty-somethings, our closets are restricted to our tighter-than-a-lycra-bodysuit budget. As Reality Chic readers, you come to this site for that very reason. You want to look cute, trendy, fashionable, stylish, etc. etc. etc., and you don’t want to drop major cash to do it. But every now and then, there are those certain items that deserve the extra zeroes at the end of the price tag. And no, I’m not talking about that pair of 6 inch bright purple stilettos that you will wear all of once and then shove in the back of your closet (but yes, I do understand how awesome they are and how much you just havvvvvvvvvvvvve to have them). While I hate spending more than a few bucks on most anything, sometimes you just got a hand over the dough. Here’s a little tip guide for when you should stop hunting for that major bargain and just SPLURGE.
- If it’s a timeless piece and it fits you perfectly, go for it. How an item looks on you makes all the difference. In the long run, it’s better to rock an outfit and feel amazing in it each and every time, than save a few bucks and lose a bit of your confidence along the way.
- Consider the wearability of the item. How much use will you get out of the item in question? Say, for instance, you are a runner and run everyday. It’s worth buying the more expensive pair of sneakers from the running store than the discount pair at DSW or Marshalls. If you’ve been looking for the perfect white cardigan forever, and you find it for $50 more than you wanted to pay, but you need that cardigan and would wear it all the time, go for it. If, on the other hand, you just want that awesome but oh-so-pricey sequined top for that girls night out tonight…kiss it buh-bye and haul your bum to Forever 21.
- Along the same lines as the previous point: do you have a pair of $10 flats that you wear everyday and have been wearing everyday for the past 2 years? Are they literally ripping at the seams? You’re not in college anymore. It’s time for an upgrade. And just think, every time you slip into them in all their designer label glory, you’ll feel that much more special.
- If you live in a place with below freezing temps come November, it’s absolutely ok to splurge on a great sweater. You will wear the hell out of it, and it will keep you warm. So warm and so cozy. And comfortable. And looking cute. And come next winter, you will pull it out of your closet and wear it again feeling just as warm, just as cozy, just as comfy, and just as cute. You will not regret spending a lot of money on this fabulous sweater. Same goes for that amazingly resilient raincoat, or those Hunter rain boots that you know you want even though they are 10x the price of the ones at Target. There’s a lot to be said for durability and comfort.
- I addressed this last week, but good bras. Don’t pinch pennies on undergarments, or you’ll feel the pinch later. That’s not a metaphor. Unless you want cups to lose shape, underwires to poke out, straps to fall down, and the constant need to readjust, just invest in a few good bras and sports bras. The last thing you need is that added discomfort at the gym.
- If it’s been 6 weeks and you absolutely can’t get it out of your head. If you’ve been looking all over and have searched every website and still can’t find a suitable and more affordable replacement. If it was love at first sight and you can already imagine 5 outfits in your closet to wear with it. If you close your eyes and dream about it, and know that you could wear it season after season. If you imagine showing your future daughter this “vintage” piece for your youth and envision her marveling at how cool it is. In layman’s terms…if you want it that bad, and it will make you that happy, just buy the damn thing. Once in a while (keyword being ONCE, aka, very rarely), it’s ok to splurge on something you want without the guilt. You’ll be happy you did every time you see that special item in your closet.**
**It’s always best to inquire about the return policy, juuuuuuuuuuuuust in case.
After graduating from college in ’09, Allyson Barkan flew off to Greece to teach English Literature at a private high school and explore Greek and European culture for a year. Since returning stateside, she now works in Entertainment Public Relations in New York City. For travel advice, stray observations as a 20-something in the big city, and the occasional hilarious misadventure, follow Allyson atwww.allysonbarkan.com and on twitter at @aebarkan.