smart spending

When to spend & when to save on clothes

Accessories vs. necessities
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Accessories vs. necessities

For women, they have to think about what accessories they can save on and which necessities to splurge on.

For men and women, follow the rule of thumb for handbags when it comes to belts. Buy one made of quality leather and not plastic. "You don't want them puckering," Novo says.

And go costume on jewelry, McNeal says. "Rhinestone studs, you can fake it with that," she says.

Watches are a little more complicated, especially in the business world, McNeal and Novo agree. While a Rolex may not be within one's price range, a good mid-range watch should complement a professional look.

When it comes to underwear, McNeal says men should stick with the big-box stores like Target or Kmart. They can skip the Calvin Klein underwear. The significant others in their lives are just happy if they are clean and without holes.

The same goes for women with items such as girdles and hose, which will run whether they cost $40 or come three to a pack.

But McNeal says it's important for women to have quality lingerie, especially bras that fit properly. "It looks good, and you feel good on the inside," she says.

While women can splurge on lingerie, it's best to skip the top-of-the-line workout clothes. McNeal says not to become a gym queen and even suggests buying workout gear in the boys' section of big-box or department stores if you can.


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