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When to spend and when to save on clothes

Colorful handbags and shoes on display © Adisa/

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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 totally unravels 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 continues its slow and uneven recovery, 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 fashion necessities can be purchased on 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.