Splurge or Save? Fashion Fad Reader Question


Yesterday I was emailed some photos by Katherine one of my lovely readers who wanted to know if she should save or spend on items.  Which would last years in her wardrobe, and which wouldn’t be worth the money.

The pictures she sent me were this skirt and dress.

One I advised to spend on the other to save on.  Which do you think?
The skirt is a great classic shape, in a neutral colour with some creative detail (which can make it a more outside of fashion trends) so this was definitely the keeper.
The dress is a fairly classic shape, but the pattern is of the season, and I notice that unless patterns are classic, such as stripes, checks, animal print, then they date really quickly.  Even florals, which always abound, date, as the floral of 5 years ago doesn’t resemble the floral of today. In fact I often find that I can date a garment in someone’s wardrobe from the style of the floral.   So this one would be the kind of garment that I’d only buy if it was at a great price and didn’t expect to keep it for years.
What do you splurge on and what do you save on?


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  • Save on 'fad' things like red jeans because I know I won't keep them – spend (when I find the right ones) on good classic shoes like loafers.

  • I obviously haven't been reading your blog for quite long enough yet Imogen – I would have said the other way around. But maybe that's just because I like the dress better than the skirt 😉

    At the moment there are a lot of tan, orange and brown clothes in the shops and I am desperately hoping that this is NOT a fashion that is going to be too recurring! Are others getting that or is that just here (NZ)?

    By the way, loving your blog 🙂

  • I uld also vote for the skirt – it has more possibility for combinations of different kinds, so it is better to have several skirts rather than several dresses. Besides the dress is only for summer and the skirt is "all-year-round" thing.

  • Skirt, for sure, because I am so practical! The dress is cute but I would not get so much wear out of it. I'd wait for it to go on super-sale!

  • I personally don't wear brown but if the skirt were grey or black 🙂

    Seriously though, how many times could you wear that dress before you start thinking "Man, I need something new before people think this is my only clothing…" The skirt can be re-invented so easily (especially if you sew a new top for it!)

  • Whenever I do splurge it's on accessories and sometimes shoes.
    I feel that if they are of good quality I can wear them forever as these tend to be classics.
    Also if they are good quality I can even make money out of them if I ever needed to, so I see them as investments.

  • I splurge on jewelry, bags or leather. You are so right about florals, and a big floral is very memorable, it will always be "that" dress. You can't change it much and sticking a sweater over the top breaks it up. I like a few big printed items but tire of them in a year or two.

    This is a dress to look for on sale.

  • I might choose the dress over the skirt IF I was going on a trip where it would be appropriate for many days: because I would be seeing new/different people every day and it would be "perfect" on every ocassion. That way I could ammortize the cost of the dress quickly, and it would have residual value thru selective wearings over the next maybe 2 years (until the print is passe). I have some novelty print pants (think Lily Pullitzer but not all pink) like that. Wore them a lot on a trip to AZ, and now get to wear them 2 or 3 times per summer.

  • Increasingly I splurge on jewelry and bags and good shoes. In this example I would have picked the skirt as well, and purchased the dress only if it was very inexpensive and it would get heavy wear this season, making it a reasonable wear and toss alternative.

    I do agree that florals date quickly but will also state that I will (and have) purchased a particularly noticeable large print if it is so perfectly me that I know I will wear it for a long time regardless of whether or not is dated. For this to be true I have to love the print for itself, regardless of fashion, and it has taken me decades to learn what works for me and what does not.

  • It's all about price divided by how many times you will where it. The dress is very cute but the lifetime will only be a summer or 2 before you have had enough of the print and are ready for a change.

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