3 Closet Staples to Buy for Less (and 4 Worth Saving Up for)
Here's what will keep your look on trend for 2013—and what will keep you looking stylish through 2023.
Save on: The Conversation-Sparking Necklace
By their very nature, oversize necklaces catch attention. They're the fail-safe item that can keep party small talk going even after everyone has run out of comments about the weather and the pigs in the blanket. Still you might not want to make the same statement at every gathering, which is why it's great to have a go-to necklace that you can wear, put away and take out again—without the "But I spent so much on it that I should
wear it!" guilt.
Baublebar's Gold Foliage necklace—with its two-tone pendants—works with silver or gold accessories, making it a versatile, affordable and every-so-often party option.
Splurge on: The Go-Anywhere Jacket
No matter how many coats you own, we all long for the one that's casual enough to wear on weekends, polished enough to walk into the office in, and comfortable enough that you can—and have—fallen asleep wearing it. This jacket's in it for the long haul, so it's worth saving up for a timeless style in a sturdy material, like this MICHAEL Michael Kors number. The camel color works year-round, and the cut is fitted enough that it's flattering, not boxy.
Save on: The Blouse You Wear for Major Meetings
Call it the Mad Men
factor, but peplum tops have been popping up in just about every store. They're a flirty-yet-professional antidote to that old office standby—the buttondown—and they can fake an hourglass shape almost as well as full-body shapewear. Plus, at just $10, you have no excuse not to try the trend (especially in a head-turning color, like this fuchsia version).
Splurge on: The Movie-Star-Worthy Sunglasses
For many of us, shopping for sunglasses ranks right up there with buying the perfect bathing suit: We test, scrunch our noses, try another, furrow our brows—and 86 pairs later, we sound like a cross between Some e-cards
and a Cathy
comic strip. It pays to stick with a classic—these rounded cat eyes from Ralph Lauren are made of impact-resistant plastic, so they're less likely to warp over time, and the oversize, rounded shape flatters most face shapes. Plus, your investment comes with added protection: a hard leather carrying case that'll help keep your sunglasses scratch-free when they're jostling around in your purse.
Save on: The Classic, Non-Schlumpy Tee
A basic white tee will never go out of style. You can
snag a more stylish and affordable take on the look, though, if you look for a few features: (a) a looser neckline, such as a scoop or V-neck; (b) a fitted cut, like the curved-in waist and rounded hem of this tee; and (c) a playful print.
Splurge on: The Always-Flattering Jeans
The great pancake-butt of 1992 (thanks, high-waisted jeans!). The overflowing muffin tops of 2004 (whose idea was ultra-low-rise anyway?). In a few years, who knows what we'll be saying about skinny or boyfriend cuts, but one thing's for sure: Every woman needs a pair of jeans she can look great in—from every angle. Fitted, bootcut jeans in a dark wash do just that, which is why they're worth splurging on. This NYDJ style is understated in every way, so you won't look dated if you're tagged wearing them in a Facebook photo five years from now.
Splurge on: The Monday-to-Friday Heel That Doesn't Hurt
If you only own one pair of work heels, this is the pair. Not only does the nude color go with virtually every outfit, but it also lengthens the line of your leg, making your legs look longer and slimmer. Even more important than the look, though, is the fit. A low heel—about two inches—gives you a little lift without crunching your toes (or making your calves feel like they spent all day on a Stairmaster). Also, this Cole Haan pair features Nike Air technology, which is designed to absorb the shock from every step. We're willing to save up for heels that feel just as great at 6 p.m. as they did at 6 a.m.
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