Shoes – When I see my friends buying cheap shoes I want to weep for them. I can feel the pain their feet will suffer every day for the next three months those shoes will last. Then we’ll be back in the store again for more cheap shoes, and the cycle continues. Shoes support your entire body and bear all of your weight. Wearing ill-fitting and poorly constructed shoes can have adverse effects on your posture and your overall health. Plus, the amount of wear-and-tear shoes endure means a cheap pair doesn’t last long. Spend a bit more on a sturdier pair and your feet and wallet will love you forever.
Blazers, Peacoats, Trenchcoats – Fitted coats are sharply tailored items that easily show cheap construction. Additionally, as with any outerwear, a lower cost can equal sacrificed durability. These are more items where buying much cheaper options can cost you more in the long run.
Supportive Underwear – To be blunt: anything holding up the ladies has to be high-quality. Your whole mood every day depends on it. Ill-fitting, rough underwear that doesn’t provide proper support will make you uncomfortable and therefore irritable as the day goes on. Aim to purchase underwear so comfortable that you forget you’re wearing it.
Purses – Your purse is like a trusted friend, with you through thick-and-thin, rain-or-shine. Most purses go through hell: being thrown around, jostled, and in general getting banged up. Yet again, pay more for an item with a longer life.
Jewelry – Let’s face it: you can get some great pieces at a Macy’s or New York & Company for 20 bucks, and most people won’t know the difference. Even better, costume jewelry, of which there are tons of cheap options, is always in.
Leather Belts – Another case where the less expensive alternatives found in department stores can be just as good as their more costly counterparts. I’ll take the time to mention here that the ole’ don’t-wear-black-shoes-with-brown-belts mantra is just that: old. Both are dark neutrals and mixing them can produce a more interesting look.
Fleece – Fleece jackets are the perfect option for looking polished while roughing it outdoors. We all covet North Face fleece jackets that feel like toasted silk on your skin, but cheaper alternatives feel almost as good. And look incredibly similar to boot. The most important thing to remember about fleece is to not get it near flames. Just trust me on that.
Blue Jeans – It is very possible to get durable and well-cut denim at a reasonable price. Levi’s and American Eagle brands sell affordable yet high-quality jeans. If you find a pair that you love, except the legs are too long, a tailor can easily hem them for around $10. Well worth it for a pair that otherwise make you look fantastic.
Sexy Underwear – Not to discount your very important sex life, but chances are you look just as sexy in that $10 lace panty as in the $50 one. The more expensive underwear certainly feels better on your skin, but the point is that your partner wants to get it off you quickly anyways! Handwash these items to extend their life span.
An exception: one way to increase your confidence during the day is to wear your best lingerie under your everyday clothes. You’ll feel a little naughty: no one but you knows what sexiness you’re sporting beneath that simple cardigan and modest work skirt. For this, I would spend a little more for higher-quality underwear. You have to deal with it all day, and that cheap lace panty you have will get itchy as the hours at the office roll by.
Versatile Party Dresses – For the thrifty gal, a night out is a vital time to relax and let her hair down. You’ll be putting these dresses through all kinds of potentially disastrous situations: drinks spilling, hors d’oeuvres falling, etc. Knowing these dresses will probably get stained, it’s not worth spending tons of money on something that could easily be ruined. Even if you don’t go out much, you’ll need a few dresses for variety, so spending a large amount on one high-quality item isn’t worth it for party dresses.