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Ask Lauren: Splurge vs Save Wardrobe Staples

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Q- I am from Australia and I love your style and your advice. I am in a dilemma at the moment and wanting to have a new wardrobe. I turn 30 this year and feel I need to start all over. 

I am just wondering what I need to buy that is more expensive on and what I can buy cheaply?

A- Ah, the big 3-0. You have left your 20s and are entering into a more mature era. I went through a similar thought pattern when I turned 30 – and then again when I turned 31, and 32, and 33. The bottom line is this: you are older and investing in a more grown-up wardrobe isn’t a bad idea.

Here is my list on what to splurge on and what to save on as you enter this new era in your fashion life.

Splurge

A great handbag: Go ahead and buy yourself a quality (and classic) designer bag. Nothing says put together like a nice handbag.

Classic black blazer: You’ll wear it ALL the time, so you may as well get a good one.

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Leather jacket: This piece is so versatile and if you invest in a good one you’ll have it for the rest of your life.

White button down shirt: I finally bought myself a good one and it was worth every penny.

One pair of designer shoes: Classic pumps are your best bet – Louboutins, Manolo Blahniks, or Prada are always a good choice.

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Chic pair of shades: Toss out your scratched up dime store shades and get a pair by Celine, Tom Ford, or Chanel instead.

Leather leggings: Leather leggings are the new denim. I have 5 pair and I don’t regret a singe one of those purchases.

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Denim: Cheap jeans just don’t cut it once you hit 30.

Save

Jewelry: You are still young enough to rock costume jewelry. Save the diamonds for the next stage of your wardrobe.

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Anything trendy: There are plenty of trends available to us 30-somethings but we should be limiting our trend intake and focusing more on our signature style.

Tee Shirts: T by Alexander Wang vs. Target? Eh, the difference isn’t worth the extra dollars if you are just starting on your investment wardrobe.

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Hosiery: Sure, Wolford is nice but at the end of the day H&M tights will do.

Belts: Save the expensive belts for another day. Truth be told my favorite belt is some piece of junk FREE belt that I got in college.

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Finally, I’d like to encourage you to shop smarter now that you are inching up on 30. I don’t know the shopping situation very well in Australia but I’d bet there is at least one designer discount store. Buy past season pieces to splurge and save at the same time. You will get a designer label for a fraction of the price. That’s what I do and I do it for my clients as well.

Hope this helps. Happy Shopping and Happy Birthday!

  • Cindi B.

    I’m in a similar situation, too! Thanks for the advice…do you think skinny jeans are going to stick around? I’m skinny and petite and looking for a good pair of jeans – any recommendations for my body type? What brands do you like to recommend that aren’t too expensive (but not cheap)?

    • http://www.laurenmessiah.com/ Lauren Messiah

      Skinny jeans are here to stay – so you are safe with those :) I always get jeans for my budget conscious clients at Nordstrom Rack – you can get premium brands for half off. I love J Brand and Rag and Bone for skinny/petites. Mother jeans are excellent too. I always find those brands at Nordstrom Rack.

      • Cindi B.

        Thanks so much for your response! I will definitely find a Nordstrom Rack soon and invest in some good jeans – can’t wait!