On Quality Street

When it comes to shopping, do you choose quantity over quality, or vice versa? I’m always conflicted. When I’m in the preparation phase of shopping (for example, before I have birthday money to spend) I imagine buying one or two “special” pieces (i.e. a nice top from J. Crew or some jewelry from Anthropologie). However, during the action phase (when I have the birthday money in my hands) the power of the bargain always triumphs. That's what happened when I spotted this vest at Gap on sale for $5.

White button-up: Forever 21 (similar); blue print vest: Gap; jeans: Old Navy (similar); black flat sandals: BC Footwear, endless.com (same style in pewter)

Sure, J. Crew is dreamy. But when I’m browsing their site, those pesky wheels in my head start turning, and I wonder if I really need to pay $79.50 for a cotton shirt. I mean, is the quality really $65 better than the one I got at Old Navy? That’s not a rhetorical question; I’ve never paid eighty bucks for a shirt so I honestly don’t know. 

The only compromise I can come up with is to shop the sales at quality, middle-of-the-road stores like Gap and Loft, and to look for brands like J. Crew and Anthro at thrift stores. Do you have any strategies for buying quality pieces on a budget?

Song: Quality Street by Van Morrison

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