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When to Splurge and When to Save on Clothes

Where to Spend and Where to Save on Clothes- some clothes are worth investing in, others you're better off buying cheap but which ones are ok to skimp on?

When to Splurge and When to Save on Clothes

Piecing together a wardrobe on a budget can be tricky. It might seem like a silly, simple task but in reality there are a million different ways you can establish a wardrobe. The truth is that while quality in your clothing is an important factor, there are simply pieces that are not worth investing top dollar in.

So when should you save on clothes? The following articles of clothing and accessories are ones you should plan on buying as cheaply as possible…

Save On:

Tee shirts and tanks

There’s really no good reason to spend $50 on a t-shirt. Especially if the only reason it’s $50 is because it has a certain brand name printed on the front.  To paraphrase that Macklemore song… that’s just a waste. Tees are such simple garments, unless they are made of some type of exotic material like cashmere, a basic tee is just that: basic.  Save money and buy inexpensive tees that will be a simple staple you won’t break the bank to replace when it gets stretched out or when you accidentally dribble taco sauce all over it. Even the nicest tees will fall apart eventually- they aren’t designed for longevity, so it’s best not to invest a lot of money on them.


I’m not saying you can’t have a few “fun” pieces for special occasions or just to help you feel sexy, but your day to day underwear can be of the basic, inexpensive cotton variety. This goes for undershirts as well if you wear those. They take a beating and in my experience the more expensive the underwear, the more delicate it is and the faster it falls apart. Save the fun stuff for the special occasions and stick with the no frills version for the every day wear. There is one notable exception: Bras. Cheap bras don’t offer the same support as a quality bra. If you have a small chest you *might* get away with cheaper bras, but us busty girls need real support. Don’t go cheap on the girls!

Party clothes

As tempting as it might be to drop a chunk of money on that adorable dress for your cousin’s wedding, don’t. While you may try to justify it to yourself by saying you’ll wear it again, you most likely won’t. That’s the cold hard truth. #sorrynotsorry. Instead, invest in a killer little black dress and swap out some in expensive FAB accessories. This also goes for clothes you’ll wear clubbing (if that’s your thing)-the likelihood of damage is high, and the chances of it being worn again are low.


Unless we’re talking classic staples like a pearl necklace, accessory trends change SO quickly, it’s not worth investing a lot in a piece that will be dated less than a year from now. Stick with cute baubles that are on the cheaper side and feel less guilt about swapping them out when the trend dies out. And speaking of trends…

Fads and Trends

Unless you plan on holding onto those platform sandals from the 90s until they come back into style again, don’t spend a lot of money on fads. Chasing fads is a surefire way to blow your budget but if you absolutely MUST have that trendy piece, try to find a cheaper off-brand version. Save your investment for classic pieces that will never go out of style. And speaking of classic pieces…

Where to Spend and Where to Save on Clothes- some clothes are worth investing in, others you're better off buying cheap but which ones are ok to skimp on?

Splurge on:

So now that you know when to save on clothes, what are the pieces that are worthy of a quality investment?

  • Basic suits
  • Black dress pants
  • Shapewear
  • Bras
  • Classic shoes (take this from a person who has foot problems from wearing bad shoes at work all day!)
  • Jeans (a basic style and color in a classic fit will last a LONG time)

You might wonder why a frugal blog is advocating splurging on anything. Well life experience has told me some things shouldn’t be skimped on. Like when I bought cheap bras and the underwire broke and started stabbing me while I was at work so bad I had to pull it out. Or the years I have spent with horrible foot pain from wearing crappy shoes at work while standing all day. Or the time my jeans ripped right through the crotch because I bought cheap ones.

I learned long ago there are some things you just can’t buy the cheap versions. I have been through my share of cheap shoes, and now I have no problem paying for a $100 pair of Danskos or a $175 pair of Tieks ballet flats. Ok that’s not entirely true, I still cringe and break out into cold sweats from spending that much BUT I know that they are worth it not only because they last forever, but because the quality is important, and in the case of shoes, not having pain or injury is worth more than money can buy.

While we’re at it, you can check out these posts if you’re looking to find out what wardrobe essentials every woman must have in her closet and of course let’s not forget the importance of caring for those garments. Find out how to make your clothes last longer!

Anyway, that’s my list of when you should save on clothes and when you should splurge. What would you add to this list?




Friday 14th of July 2017

My favorite store (torrid) is quite expensive. I always wait for their annual sales or clearance sales to buy anything from them. Saves me quite a bit of money and heck if nothing ends up fitting, I resell for more than what I paid usually. LOL