smart spending

When to spend and when to save on clothes

Back to basics
Back to basics © Elenathewise - Fotolia.com

Back to basics

When it comes to saving on fashion, experts say splurge on the basics that never go out of style, don't get suckered in by trendy brands or en vogue styles, and always -- always -- seek quality.

For women, this translates into spending cash on that little black dress, and for men, splurging on at least one custom-made suit.

In the business world, men are often judged by their shoes while women are judged on their handbags.

Men need to stay away from the gum-soled shoes and splurge for a good pair of shoes that can be repaired and be kept polished. Women can go with one or two good pairs of pumps but can save money on the trendy shoes that come and go with each passing fashion season.

"My rule of thumb for saving and splurging is: I always ask myself how many seasons am I going to wear that for," says Nikki Novo, a writer whose fashion articles have been published in Allure magazine and on NBC.com.

Novo says she's willing to pay for a good pair of slacks or that little black dress. "Anything that has a solid color and has a classic silhouette," she says. As for the flavor of the season, such as loud graphic prints and the cute little dress or skirt, she'll go to a Target or Forever 21.

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