Save or Splurge: Summer Fashion To Invest In (Or Not)

We know it can be difficult to justify buying one expensive seasonal item after another. Not only is it costly, but your closest can become crammed with pricey, overly-trendy pieces that you may not wear again. When it comes to building your wardrobe, it’s best to think with the “quality over quantity” mentality. Some pieces are definitely worth investing in while others aren’t really worth the extra coin.  So, whether you’re looking for a trendy piece or a summer staple, here are the items worth you hard earned cash -or not.

Crop Tops

The perfect piece to pair with a high-waisted bottom, a crop top is both a classic closet item and a summer season staple.  You can keep it simple with a loose, graphic t-shirt style or add a whole new texture by choosing a unique stand-out fabric.

Splurge or Save? Save.

Crop tops are great, but unless you live in an area where the weather is warm all year-round, you’ll only be wearing these a few times a year.  Instead of spending your fashion budget on one high-quality top, buy a few cheaper ones so you have options throughout the season.  So long as you take care of them, you’ll find that they’ll last you longer than expected.

Lace Dresses

If there’s any piece that just screams warm weather, it’s a lace sundress.  No matter the color, length, or style, adding lace to any piece gives it a boho chic vibe perfect for warm weather.

Splurge or Save? Splurge!

Lace is a delicate and expensive-to-make fabric, so it’s not surprising that there is “good lace” and “bad lace” available for purchase.  Bad lace is a lot easier to spot, thanks to its thin, scratchy feeling and poor design patterns.  Good lace is soft, looks sturdy, and generally has a few intricate design elements. Even if it’s just an accent on your dress, it’s worth spending more for good lace so your dress lasts longer.


Swimwear trends seem to be ever changing and even quality suits can get stretched out after one season, so buying swimsuits can be a little tricky. So, what is a girl to do when it comes to buying swimwear?

Splurge or save? Save, but not too much.

In our experience, mid-priced ($100 and under) swimwear seems to be the sweet spot. Because most swimwear (despite quality and price range) tends to break down after a season or two, simply due to sun exposure, chlorine, salt water etc. Most suits, no matter how well they’re made, are lucky to get past 2 years, so it’s best not to spend too much on swimwear. In other words, a $300 swimsuit is really not a good investment. Instead, opt for swimwear that is $100 or less all in (including bikinis). On the opposite end of the spectrum is cheap, fast fashion swimwear which tends to stretch out quickly and barely make it one season, so skip those tempting cheap suits. They may look cute, but they’ll end up costing you more when they fall apart quickly.


A quality handbag can be an integral part of your ensemble.  Whether you love a simple clutch, a hobo bag, or a structured satchel, handbag quality varies greatly and cheap bags often look cheap and fall apart quickly.

Splurge or Save? Splurge!

Handbags are an item worth spending a little more on and it’s better to have quality over quantity -especially when you know you’ll be using it over and over. A quality, well-cared for handbag can last several seasons, so it pays for itself vs. buying cheap bags that may fall apart and may only last one season.


Whether you love wedges, flip flops, strappy styles or flats, sandals are a staple for summer. Most of us buy new pairs each summer, depending on the style. Flip flops usually only last a summer or two, while wedges and heels tend to last a little longer, depending on the quality.

Splurge or save? Both.

There are some sandals worth investing in and some that are not. In other words, spending $50 on a pair of rubber flip flops is silly (no matter what the brand is). However, a nice pair of wedges or strappy sandals are definitely worth spending a little more on and will also last longer.

Silk Tops

A classic wardrobe staple that adds sophistication to any outfit, a silk top is perfect for warm weather (and for layering in the colder months).  If you frequently need your looks to go from day to night, this is the piece to help you get there.

Splurge or Save? Splurge!

When you’re buying silk, buy the real thing – not a polyester substitute.  Silk fabric is more than just the natural sheen it comes with – the fabric breathes a lot better than its cheaper counterpart, which can feel hot and sticky no matter the weather.  Also, silk looks incredible in solid colors, so you’ll be able to pair your tank with tons of other pieces in your closet.


What would summer be without sunglasses? It seems that every summer there’s a reason to buy a new pair of shades – a new frame color, a new style you’re dying to try, etc. – but is it worth it to buy a new pair every season?

Splurge or Save? Save, unless…

If you find a trendy, season-specific pair, spend less. However, if you find a pair that you know you’ll wear on a year-round basis, splurge.  Ideally, you should pay more for a classic style that has UV ray protection.  So long as you can pair them with a majority of the items in your closet, they’re worth investing in. Just remember to wear them!



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Alexandra Wilson

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).

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