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5-year budget plan - advice? thoughts?

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If you’re buying trendy styles, you may not like the blouses in five years. If you’re going with classic styles, you won’t need 30. Are you certain you’ll just be wearing jeans and blouses five years from now? If it were me, I’d set money aside for a good suit and an amazing coat, and perhaps a nice bag every year. 

 

After five years though, you'd actually be better off with a few Hermes scarves and a high quality ring or two, rather than a closet full of blouses. Easier to get back money on those investments too, should you ever need it. 

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Originally Posted by Uglystick View Post
 

I want to build a nice wardrobe within the next 5 years.  My budget is $4,000 + tax every year.  I don't want to get dresses since I don't really wear dresses generally and I would prefer to get tops rather than pants/skirts (I already have a few pairs of jeans that would be able to go with more tops).  The blouses that I buy tend to cost around $700.

 

I'd prefer to invest more in the tops themselves instead of accessories.  My budget does allow for some accessories (I think) but for example I don't want to buy a scarf and then buy a shirt I'm not too crazy about just to go with the scarf; I want the emphasis to be on clothes that I enjoy wearing.

 

So I guess right now I'm pondering where accessories would fit into my budget.  I could buy 5 blouses a year with $500 to spare and I think it would be a nice touch to get a piece of jewelry for Christmas.  Or I could just get clothing.  It depends where I want to end up 5 years from now, with 25 blouses or 30 ish.  Sometimes looking at jewelry makes me very emotional so I feel like I have to think with my head and not with my heart.  I don't want to just go with the flow because I don't want to let 5 years pass and all I have is a bunch of rings and scarves to show for it.


You could do what I do and shop at discount stores :) But really... Saks Off 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus Last Call amazing deals on everything from accessories to shoes to clothing... If "last season" isn't really your thing... you could scope out some local thrift shops. Trust me... you can find some amazing pieces if you are just willing to look. I like to buy a mix of new and old for my wardrobe. It really helps cut costs and you can find some really unique things.

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Personally, I would start to build a wardrobe, not just have blouses. You want pieces you can mix and match. First bottoms. Jeans you should have 2-3 pairs at least. If jeans are what you primarily wear I'd get 7-10. You want a classic dressy dark wash for sure and then with the other two pairs you can get funky washes or distress and trendy cuts. A nice pair of black jeans could be a good addition too. You should have one pair of trousers, black, navy, white or grey. This will be nice incase you have something more dressy coming up, and they can be styled with the right top for a night out or a date. Trousers are not the frumpy business person pant they used to be! They come in a wide range of fits: high med or low rises; and skinny, straight, boot cut and wide leg cuts. If you are a skirt person, a nice classic pencil skirt would be good and then maybe a flowy material skirt. You could even be daring and get it in a print, like stripes or floral. If you like the look of maxi's you can always grab one of those as well. Next are your tops. I personally won't shell out big money on tops because they don't last as long. Big money is for bottoms and jackets (structure pieces). You should get some cheaper camis and tees (black and white for sure, and maybe a colour that's your go to). You should have a classic white button up Oxford style shirt and if you like the look of chambray, an Oxford chambray top as well. These can be good to wear over top some blouses as well as underneath a nice v-neck sweater, or on their own. I even will pair the chambray with a floral dress in the summer. The rest of the tops you buy can be as fun as you want. I'd also get a few cardigans in neutral colours to go with the tops for when it's too chilly or an occasion where bare shoulders aren't appropriate. As well a nicely made v-neck sweater (or boat or crew, whichever you prefer) is a good staple item as well, I'd get this in the colour you look best in :) Next would be jackets. You should get a blazer. They go with everything. I love wearing skinny jeans, a v neck cotton tee, a statement scarf and flats or heels. It's so easy to make your outfits look put together. I'd also get a denim jacket because they are a super casual way to finish an outfit. A dress, jean jacket and cute wedges? Nice date night outfit! If you live in a cold climate, a wool jacket is a must. If not you should be fine with your Burberry. A future investment piece to look into would be a classic leather style jacket (obviously synthetic for you). Lastly dresses. I know you said you don't wear them but I'd still get at least one. I suggest a sheath style dress in black. This will be versatile. Good for funerals, weddings, cocktails, interviews etc, as long was you wear the appropriate accessories and layering pieces. Its just a classic, your own LBD just in case :) This is a lot of clothing to buy, but it is worth it. If you only bought 700 dollar blouses, you'd get maybe 4-5 a year with a 4000 dollar budget. I think if you would be willing to buy less expensive clothes it could stretch a lot further and you could have a really versatile wardrobe. I'm not saying go to Forever21 and Walmart haha, I'm thinking more Loft Anne Taylor, J. Crew, Club Monaco, Michael Kors, etc which will have tops for about 100ish dollars. And even do what the poster above mentioned, look for bargains! In addition to those places, there's also Nordstrom Rack online. As well if you ever go back to the states, go to the amazing outlet malls. I love clothes! I'm a fan of bargains, and honestly love cheap places like forever21, but also love more expensive brands but can't always afford the luxury. I get all my Michael Kors, J. Crew, Tahari, etc from outlets, bargain hunting and overstock retailers like Winners/Marshells/TJMaxx. I didn't even touch on shoes but let me know if you want to hear my thoughts, I realize this is a novel now! haha I also don't mind making a few polyvore clothes scrapbook pages if you'd like visuals and see how outfits can come together. I'll make them if you like, let me know :)

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Check out the blog Putting Me Together. Audrey has a great style at an affordable price point (which you can always adjust to your own preferences), but the big thing is she teaches you to make a remix-able wardrobe, so you're not stuck wearing certain things in only one way. It's literally my favorite style blog EVER.

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I agree with another poster who said you should try out discounted designer stores suck as Saks Off 5th and Nordstrom Rack.  I've found some great designer pieces for way less.  This would allow you to buy a lot more within your budget.

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Originally Posted by kotoko View Post
 

Check out the blog Putting Me Together. Audrey has a great style at an affordable price point (which you can always adjust to your own preferences), but the big thing is she teaches you to make a remix-able wardrobe, so you're not stuck wearing certain things in only one way. It's literally my favorite style blog EVER.

Love this blog! Thank you :) 

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