smart spending

When to spend & when to save on clothes

Save while looking suave
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Save while looking suave

In a classic episode of "The Simpsons," Marge finds a pink Chanel suit at an outlet store.

It's her ticket into the ritzy country club, but being on a budget she decides to alter the outfit on a weekly basis into new designs until it unravels all together at the sewing machine.

A lot of consumers these days can sympathize with Marge Simpson's plight as they try to stretch their fashion budgets.

As the economy plays with recessionary waters like a sunbather who can't decide whether to get in or out of the swimming pool, many consumers are prolonging purchasing that new power suit for the upcoming interview, the trendy cocktail dress or even the new winter coat.

Some men don't dare button the business suit purchased two years -- and 10 pounds -- ago. The female middle manager crosses her fingers walking to the office, fearing the 2-year-old heels she's wearing will snap like her other trusty pair did last week.

But must-need fashion can be had at a budget, experts say. It takes patience. It takes a plan. Here are some tips on how to update your wardrobe, and make it last by saving where you can and splurging for quality.


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