Today I'm sharing the fashion items I like to splurge on and those I like to save on to ensure that my closet is well-rounded and will last me for years to come. Before we hop into though, I want to make it clear that the monetary value behind what makes a splurge or steal is different for everyone and the most important thing is to always stay within your own personal financial restraints and never exceed your budget in the name of fashion. With that in mind, a "splurge" will be anything that requires a larger part of your fashion budget and a save is anything that requires less. Also, when it comes to building a timeless closet full of pieces that you can wear for years to come, I recommend always striving for the highest quality item that you can personally afford, buying natural fibers and materials, and then taking care of those items so that they last as long as possible. Doing this will help ensure that you spend your hard earned money only once and don't need to repurchase the same pair of shoes every year. If, instead of buying impulsively, you take your time to pick the perfect piece for your wardrobe (whether it's a splurge or save), and ensure that that item is well-made and you spend a little more when necessary, you will help reduce how frequently you need to buy things. Also, if you understand the pieces that are worth spending a little more on, you can spot a great deal and score some beautifully made "splurge" items at a steal price. I'm working on an entire series all about this so be on the lookout for that but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these saves and splurges.
Thank you so much for watching! xx Audrey
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WHAT I'M WEARING
Shirt: Brooks Brothers
Scarf: ABC Carpet & Home (old)
Blazer: J.Crew (old)
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Welcome to Audrey À La Mode and thank you for stopping by! I'm Audrey, a Charleston based minimalist, antique collector and stripe lover. Through this site, I share my love for simplicity and my journey of doing more with less.
From tips on how to build a classic, minimal, year-round wardrobe (starting with just 10 pieces!), to beauty, travel and more, my goal is to inspire you to live life to the fullest.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement. All opinions are always my own and everything has purchased by me unless otherwise stated with * or c/o. Some affiliate links may be used above.
For me personally, the only jewelry I use to accessorize my looks is earrings and necklaces. Nearly everything I have in my collection is a statement piece, but they all range from small and dainty to bold but still chic. I'll also share that the only things I've really splurged on over the years is clothing items, but I only have 3 pieces in that category as of right now: a v-neck dress tank, a teal statement shirt with lace on the neck/chest, and a brown leather jacket. Splurging is something I only do on the rare occasion. :)
To make a few of my favorite pieces of costume Jewelry last and not tarnish I use good clear nail polish to coat it. If you take your jewelry off daily you shouldn’t have a problem with it rubbing off.
High fashion is like art, if it wasn’t connected to anything it would just be a painting for example. The good thing about that is that it doesn’t need to be Chanel to be a “proper” handbag. I love your channel!
Audrey, I'm late in commenting, but you are an absolute delight! I've been watching forever, but never spoke up until now. Just wanted to say hello and to thank you for your time and channel :^) All the best to you! Carol
I used to splurge on Tops for work, eg Silk blouses. I stopped that completely. Because Tops need to be washed after one day of wearing (unless coats or jeans for example) they get washed all the time, I spill something on it, I sweat in summer.. even expensive tops wear out qickly. I would never again spend so much money on tops. And actually, the cheaper (but still quality) stuff is great too. And I don't feel bad when they are in such heavy rotation.
I do splurge on quality jeans, outerwear, shoes and jewellery. I love statement jewellery, wear it all the time and have them for years already, they still look brand new. I never ever buy cheap costume jewellery. I did once or twice, and it broke after two weeks or looses the shine, stones fall out etc. And most of that kind of 'jewellery' looks really cheap, too. Does nothing to elevate the outfit. I prefer to wear my few expensive earrings all the time.
I’m soon to be 73 and have learned so much! I think Audrey’s style is timeless, so I’m sure there are a lot of much younger women who follow her religiously! I feel young when I follow these principles. AND more like myself!
Audrey, love your videos! They are helpful and to the point! Would you have one episode to talk about color palate of the wardrobe to match skin tones? Sometimes I’ve found that there are only a few colors I like to wear but I tend to over-buy when it comes to colors. 😂😂 The things I like to splurge on are well fit shirts and good quality scarfs or wraps.
I would love to hear your price points on trousers, slacks, and pants. I do not have many pairs of nice trousers just because I'm waiting to invest in something that fits well, but if purchasing something to have it tailored is a more economical option, I'm all for it!
I always buy clothing of good quality, though not much of my wardrobe is what I'd call designer clothing. I have a few good leather bags and some very nice costume jewelry that I wear a lot. I splurged (my husband did, anyway!) on some very nice diamond studs for my birthday, and I have to wear earrings with at least 14 karat gold posts, so I tend to have just a few of those type of earrings. I never buy cheap shoes--years ago I owned three pairs of Ferragamos, and I used to resole them over and over. I was a flight attendant, and they were great for walking through the airport. Also Coach shoes and Cole Hahn make shoes that you can just put on the first day and wear all day. The biggest thing for me is buying from stores where I know the clothes will fit my petite frame, and usually buying on sale, if possible. Love those Chanel shoes! Great videos, Audrey. New subscriber!
Love your classy style Audrey, I'm 62, and love looking put together always myself. You are so well spoken, bravo, I love to check your style to keep up to date.. Especially, the travel tips are always great for me, I'm getting better at it every time. Thank You!
For me, splurging on shoes and underwear are definitely worth it. Even when I was a broke college student I still saved up to buy one great pair of shoes, instead of my classmates who bought a new pair of cheap shoes everytime they got a paycheck. I just get blisters so fast, and I want to be able to walk all day in my shoes without my feet hurting. And as a woman with a G cup, I definitely know the value of a good bra. What is absolutely not worth it for me is handbags. I have had great value and longevity from cheap handbags, while I have had expensive leather bags break in the first year. My current favorite handbag is one I got for 20 bucks, and I have been carrying it around daily for 5 years and it still looks great.
After watching this video a second time, I find myself gravitating to taupe. And corduroy jackets, which works for me at this stage of my career, as it is business casual, and I can put it on over a paint-spattered T-shirt, and it looks artsy, yet professional. I like jackets a lot!
I think you just saved me. I’m frugal, take care of my clothes, they don’t wear out so I’m feeling like a hoarder. That was background for what is happening right now. I’m curating my closet and I just invested in some well made clothes and shoes. Well done, right? Except I’m agonizing about returning half of them because I ordered 2 sandals yet 4 arrived and that happened right after I had just bought 2 new pairs. Am I splurging to keep all of them? Do I listen to my frugal self and run back to the store before my bill is even due to return them or half of them? I barely have any shoes compared to the average female. I also didn’t own a LBD, now I have two. I also bought 3 pairs of great fitting pants in high-end fabrics and price tags. I have the basics now and plenty of lounge wear because I work from home. I’m agonizing about these higher prices than I’m used to. One pair of pants is 100% silk. My new blazer is great. I didn’t have one right now. I think your video is saying, “peace, and keep these well made things” but what if I never wear them? How many sandals can I wear at the same time? Help?
This is a wonderful video, Audrey! These are concepts my mother taught me WAAAY back in the sixties and seventies and I have taught them to my own daughters, as well (now adults). It is a good thing to see the younger generations embracing quality over quantity, and the overall process of building a proper wardrobe rather than mindlessly spending and discarding. I really do enjoy your videos. Thanks!
I love your videos. Wish you I'd had this advice in my early 20s! The only thing I disagree with in this video is the costume jewellery thing. Anything made of a low quality metal (especially gold toned pieces) should be avoided. They let off a really horrible smell. Not a lot of people notice it, but I do and it turns my stomach! I think its embarrassing knowing that other people may be able to smell how cheap your jewellery is!
I agree with most of what you said. Handbags are the exception. I think someone would be getting a much better quality handbag from a handmade Etsy dealer (there are lots) than a designer bag. The mark up on handbags are 13x cost, because it makes people perceive their value higher. You can get better custom quality from some awesome sellers online. Don't buy designer handbags they are a rip off, not a splurge. Love the rest of the ideas!!!
Hello Audrey, these days the fashion industry trends to less expensive, poorer quality, man made fabrics and construction in clothes production. Where can we shop to get the higher quality clothes made with natural fibers? Thanks
I splurged on an Unstainable white tee (it was $35) that doesn't hold sweat or smells and is coffee, wine, and deodorant stain proof. I'm going to end up having to get two more of them just to keep them in rotation, but since it solves all the problems I traditionally have with t-shirts (and is machine washable), I considered it worth the money.
Hello Audrey, congratulations for your channel is definitley a pleasure to watch your videos. Can I ask you for an advise? We are opening a Hamburgers restaurant by the street and i wonder what would be The best uniform we can use for having a nice look that provide our clients a sense of good quality food restaurant since it is. Thank you for your time and very useful advices. Greetings from Monterrey, Mexico.
I love all yoor tips and videos. What do you suggest to do if I tend to lose or gain weight every year. I mean I can be size m in february and gain weight and become L in november and Vice versa. how should I build a long lasting wardrobe with not high end but really good quality items. I don’t care about brands I want good quality.thank you
Dear Audrey, I’m a huge fan! I have a tip for you, though. 1) buy a fabulous costume piece (all metal) 2) send it to Artisan Plating, get it plated in gold or other fine metal. Looks great, lasts for decades! I’m allergic to 14K gold, and have to use 18K gold (which I can’t afford). So I get jewelry I love and can wear daily without spending a fortune. 😀
Thank you !! Loved this video ! I do watch a lot of fashion vloggers but there s something about your voice that keeps me hooked on till the end !! 👍🏻 I love splurging on jewellery and great trousers and jeans.. I will save up for some good shoes now !!
I am new here. Really like your videos. Especially you use pre-loved bags, not having too much makeup and tell people not to go into debt . Many down-to-earth methods for people like me for real life. Thanks for sharing.
Audrey, I am also from SC and totally agree with you on saving when buying white T Shirts! In fact. each season I buy two nor three inexpensive, colorful cotton T Shirts for casual wear. They usually last 2 seasons before needing to be retired. This way I don't spend too much and always have comfortable T Shirts in the trending colors.
Good morning from Northern California,
I have a question? How tall are you?
I love the scarf look, but have always thought that short people should not cover up their neck, as it makes them look shorter. Is that true?
But you look fantastic in scarfs, so I wondered about your height.
I am 5'2"
Audrey, I absolutely love your content! I agree with everything you said here. I do have a question for you as a past bra-fitting specialist... Is there a particular brand or brands that you recommend as higher quality? I know the choice is a personal one, but as with all things, certain brands can be better average choices than others. I was wondering your thoughts? I have no idea where to begin my search for some upgrades in this department...
Audrey, your style is so classic and preppy. I absolutely love ❤️ this video! I like to splurge on watches that look nice with my wedding ring. I tend to save on t-shirts as well...especially white tees because they tend to yellow under the arm due to deodorant. I live in Florida, and the heat and humidity can tend ruin tees very quickly.
Thanks Audrey. I've made notes on this and some of your other videos because they're so helpful. I would add good quality leather belts to the splurge category. Mine have lasted years but they were definitely investment purchases!
Can't wait for the capsule jewellery video Audrey! I am holding off sorting my jewellery until I see it! Another thing I like to splurge on is a good quality pair of sunglasses. If I know I spent a little more on them, I take really good care of them. But if they were $10 I find myself being careless and just tossing them into my bag. By spending a lot on a pair of Ray Bans I've had them for over six years.
As other people have said, you are such a pleasure to watch, you're so articulate and the tone of your voice is incredibly soothing. You should narrate audiobooks :)
Blazers/jackets/coats (it's cold in London!)
Pashmina scarves (as hijab)
Silk scarves (for formal functions)
Bags (but mostly on sale or eBay)
Shirts (but have to be well made)
Light weight scarves for hotter weather
I don't wear jewellery anymore (except for a few gold items family gift me over the years as is traditional for Pakistani girls!). I used to have a huge collection of costume jewellery that in hindsight were a poor investment. Along with these, I sold all my trend driven clothes, shoes, and bags at boot sale markets and made £300. I put this towards a bike! I wish I had learnt your life lessons before i wasted so much money on clothes that are just for the season. My life is so much better now that I have fewer things that are well made.
Audrey, I'm very much looking forward to the videos you've mentioned!
Wonderfully helpful, Audrey! Great tips to go by. I find that a good splurge for me is a high quality, well-fitting pair of jeans, and like you, a good save is on t-shirts. Looking forward to your upcoming videos!
A fantastic video with useful information. I love how you don't frivolously spend and cherish classic pieces. I do think it is important to ensure that your diamonds that are conflict free and not "blood diamonds." My little studs are Canadian.
Audrey, this was a great tutorial! Reminding & teaching what to look for and what’s important to save & splurge for. My splurges are on shoes...well made with good arch support, and unfortunately not pointy toed or high heeled any more (I’m pushing 75). I’m still on the look out for some good quality purses, I currently have one my husband got me two Christmases ago. I hate to spend big bucks on a purse that’s expensive & has someone else’s name or initials all over it....I would like to find one with subtle class. I also love blazers & have a nice collection of them. Now looking for a well fitting white, long sleeved blouse, the ones I’ve seen at upper end stores are very expensive, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet to get one. Find even pricey clothes in the department stores not well made, thrown together, horrid materials & prints. So it’s taking a little longer than I thought it would to put together a classic wardrobe for a retired lady who still wants to look good every day. Thanks for all your input....it helps to know there are other women who still enjoy looking good. All the best!
Hi Audrey, I found your channel a few days ago and am really enjoying the content. You are so easy to listen to and your advise is spot-on. Great videos. I like what you've done to your hair, are you still doing your natural hair routine? I think my hair texture is similar to yours x
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