Tuesday, April 9, 2013

save the best for...

investment style Here&Now
1 // 2 //
I have been on the search for the perfect pair of leopard flats for months. The pair of my dreams was from Madewell, over $100 & backordered until mid-summer. There were other pairs, cheaper pairs, that I could have had now, but they would have left me feeling empty inside, thinking of the perfect pair that I would never have.

So I took a big gulp & half of my March budget to "invest" in a pair of the most beautiful leopard flats you have ever seen.

& it got me thinking.... 

I have a favorite pen (stay with me here), I always use it & I don't need any other pens because this pen does it all for me. Sure 1 of my favorite pens costs as much as a whole box of cheap-o Bic pens, but this pen is the bees knees & it makes me happy.

So because I don't just impulse buy cheapy pens & hold out for my favorite $3 pen, I have less pens & am happier about my pen options.
(side note: I always manage to lose cheap pens, but my felt tip pens stay with me until they run dry... I think it's another sign)

Wait for it ... this pen is a metaphor for the way I have begun to think about clothes.
When I hold out & purchase only things that I LOVE (investment or not), I have less symptoms of the "gimme gimmes" when I am browsing on line & being tempted by the 10th Old Navy sale this month.

While waiting for the perfect piece to come along & saving up for a wardrobe investment might not be the most popular method for fashion bloggers, where fast fashion is King, this is the road that I have chosen to take.

Less quantity. More quality.

I am inspired by the high/low outfits of WhatWhitWore on Instagram & the repeated clothing that I see Blair of Atlantic-Pacific mix into her wardrobe season after season.

Will I still splurge on affordable Target sundresses & trendy Forever21 accessories? Yes ma'am!
But my new motto is "spend money as well as you can once, instead of three times poorly."
Saving the best for now, not last!

What do you spend well on once? 
Are you of the "invest in quality clothes to wear for years to come" camp?
Or purchase fast fashion to keep up with the trends & replace you closet every season?


  1. I love this post, Jessica! I have been rethinking my shopping strategies lately and have really been trying to buy quality, classic items rather than trendy, one-time-wear items. This is definitely hard to get used to but I agree with you that it is worth it when your closet is full of pieces that are remixable and will last multiple seasons. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. There is nothing better than that feeling of an item you've been waiting for and wanting for a long time, when you finally have it it's so special (and those shoes are beautiful!)


  3. I am right there with you sister! I used to buy a million shirts from H&M and Forever21, but would only wear them once. Started "investing" in classics and I wear them a million times. Love dividing expensive items by the amount of times I wore them...the proof is in the math!

  4. Love this! I've been feeling this way as well. The "gimme gimmes" is the perfect expression. Darn those sale emails!


  5. I tend to spend more money on items that I know are timeless and I will get more use out of. If I want something that's trendy "right now," I hit up Target or Old Navy so I don't feel badly about only getting a few wears out of it. It's definitely a balance!

    Fizz and Frosting

  6. I'm right there with you. I've been trying to focus on buying less in general and buy only the pieces that really compliment my closet & lifestyle, rather than just things that catch my fancy in the moment. I'm sure the flats will be well-worth the splurge!

  7. I've been trying to follow that exact same shopping mindset. I worked in a little boutique in MN where I was surrounded by lovely things all the time, and it was really hard not to take everything I wanted home with me. But, I quickly realized that by waiting to see which items I really loved and thought about all the time, and then only buying those items that I was much happier with my purchases. As a lady on a budget, buying things that you love and will keep wearing makes a much better use of your money.

  8. Oh my gosh Jess! I couldn't agree more!!! When I invest in my closet I see less gaps in my closet and thus when the J.Crew and Gap and Old Navy sales bombard me it's easy for me to take a pass. Like you said, I have less of the "gimmes" and more of the "mehs".

    For me I always invest in handbags. There are a lot of cute ones at Target that always catch my eye, but I know that I have such amazing purses at home that I have INVESTED in and that I love that it's easy for me to pass on them (mostly, sometimes still I cringe having to pass them up!).


  9. I try so hard to do this & most of the time I'm successful. But I have a drawer full of "good enough" jeans that I never wear (they fit OK when I tried them on & I reeeeeally needed a pair!). I'm definitely trying to be better because I've given away SO many things that were close to what I wanted but not quite right. Better to hold out for the good stuff! And good for you for learning this WAY earlier than I started to! :-)

  10. Such a good point, I'm always happier with my investment pieces than the cheap trendy ones I wear a few times and get sick of!


  11. I totally agree with you, and I have been working on that a lot this year as one of my resolutions. I have got in the habit of just deleting those tons of sale emails and only going into a store every once in a while. I can't buy if I can't see it!

  12. I'm trying really hard to switch over to that mentality... but it's hard!

  13. An easy way to switch to this mentality: have your significant other say "do you really need that?" every time you talk about buying something! I'm not kidding. It was annoying at first, but now I've trained myself to hear his voice in my head whenever I'm looking at something to buy. Sometimes I ignore it, but it has really helped.

    I am saving for a nice watch right now. I have a good one that I got for a steal on HauteLook several years but it's getting well-worn so I decided that a quality watch will be my investment piece for now!

  14. I've been trying to make this same transition in my shopping philosophy. It's so hard to resist something cute when it is on clearance, but I have to remind myself that I'd rather have one quality/versatile item than 10 cheap things that I never wear. It's hard to get used to the idea of spending a little more on something, but I'm getting there! I also just started keeping a list of things I want, to help remind me what I should be looking for when I shop, and hopefully avoid getting distracted by random sales!

  15. I'm a huge fan of buying quality clothes. Unless it's something trendy and then I opt for the less expensive route. I still have clothes from 12 years ago, because they were great/quality/a little more expensive pieces!


  16. You know what, I have a favorite pen too. And it was also $3. And it's purple. And I use it for my planner and for writing cards and it makes me so happy. But I agree, when it's a trendy item.. I usually buy the less expensive version. And when it's a timeless piece, I may opt to get a more expensive one because I know it will last me for years and I won't need any others or to replace it.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  17. I am right there with you on the pens...Sharpie Pens are my go to.

    I think I mix it up. If it's trendier I usually buy the Target item but if I know it's something I can wear a lot then I'll spend a little more. Or if it's something I love and know I'll wear all the time I'll buy multiples and get the most use of those...i.e. $8 Target pocket tees.

  18. Ok, curse you for linking those perfect leopard flats from Madewell because now I want them too.

    While it's fun to spend as little money as possible, it's totally worth it to splurge and get something that you absolutely love. And especially something as lovely as those flats. And your pen analogy makes total sense. I would rather have one good pen than a giant box full of crappy ones! I think for things that I know I will wear over and over again, I'll splurge on something that will last me longer, whereas for trendy stuff that I know I won't want to wear forever, those I feel fine buying from F21/Target/Old Navy :)

  19. Ugh, these are the perfect leopard flats and I need a new pair. These actually look EXACTLY like the pair I got from H&M, oh probably 5 years ago. I destroyed them when I studied abroad, but I wore them like nobody's business and I would probably do the same with these babies! I might have to get on that waiting list ;)

    And for the record, I love "expensive" pens too. So much in fact, I ordered them in bulk because ONE I take better notes with them and feel more productive. If I am getting more done at work because I spent $5 on a pen instead of $1, then it is totally worth it! So I understand the analogy completely! And while I'm a COMPLETE bargain shopper and believe you can still get quality at a lesser price, there are certain wardrobe staples and items that just cannot compare :)

  20. It's so fitting that you wrote about this today because I was staring at my leopard flats today and was thinking how I really need to upgrade them into a not fabric pair and while I think it's really difficult to just put like 2/3 of your budget towards 1 thing, it makes so much more sense. I haven't even walked into forever 21 in a while just because I know it's not a "smart" decision. Ugh, it's hard but we can do it, this whole making smart purchases thing!

  21. I love this post, Jessica! I used to be a buy three pens girl, but I've started transitioning into one awesome pen. Yes, I'm reusing your metaphor. Because I like it. I'm glad I'm not the only one discoving this, though!

  22. I 100% agree! I'm definitely more of an invest in quality!

  23. I love the pointy-toe flats -- and I have to agree. When I wait and buy something I absolutely love, I find that I spend less money. I bought a chambray shirt on impulse and really regretted it later when I saw so many that I liked better. Never again!

  24. Boardwalks & BoulevardsApril 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    I totally agree with you. I work hard to fight impulse "cheaper" purchases so that I can save my money for more expensive items that I know I will love forever, even if it means having "less" items in my wardrobe.

    The leopard flats you chose are perfect!

    - Kaitlyn

    Boardwalks & Boulevards

  25. You have a very valid point! I really need to look at certain pieces as "investments" instead of "wow, that's expensive!" I think you made the right choice with the shoes!


  26. We use those pens at work (the red ones are vital in the architecture office where I work) and I LOVE them! I got super exited when the 10 pack of colored ones were on sale at Staples recently. I totally see what you mean about spending money on stuff you want - like really want - and not just spending it on a cheap-o substitute. I need to start applying this to clothing because I always go for the cheaper version and usually regret not buying what I really want.

  27. I am on the look out for leopard flats, nice ones that is. There are a lot of not so great ones out there.

    And I'm SO obsessive about my pens! People make fun of me for it haha

  28. Here is my two cents, you know I love you, just wanted to say that before I began. I TRULY feel that Target, ON and F21 have just as good of quality as J.Crew, Madewell, etc....I shop. A LOT. I touch and feel and see, and I am confident in saying that my purchases from these lower priced stores are not poorer or less quality. I have had items from Target & f21 that have lasted years....it's how you take care of them. I think because of pricing, these stores have gotten the rep that it's not as good as higher priced retail stores. I am here to stand strongly and say that just because something costs more doesn't mean it's value and quality better. Again, I love you to pieces.....always!!! xoxo

  29. I have a few of those magical pieces from F21 & Target that have lasted years too, but unfortunately it is the exception in my experience. I also dream of being one of those chic Parisian ladies who have a minuscule capsule wardrobe & still manage to look fabulous at every occasion... might just be making the most of my tiny tiny itty bitty rental apartment closet situation that can only fit so much, so every piece better be phenom!

  30. I am currently wearing my Madewell leopard flats, and they are absolutely perfect. You made the right choice!


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