Thanks to fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 and Cotton On, it's easy to look good without spending beyond your means. That's not to say there aren't times when it's totally worth dropping a little extra dough on fashion.
With that in mind, here are some guidelines to help you figure out when dropping your hard-earned cash is actually worth it.
If you want your blue jeans to have a high-end designer look, the simpler and more minimal they are, the better. That means no excessive whiskering or fading, no high-contrast stitching, and no embellished back packets.
Splurge: Fancy Pants
If you are going to go for a printed, studded, crystalized, or embroidered denim look, you really should consider spending a little extra on it, because more often than not, cheap embellishments on denim just look cheap.
Save: Lingerie for Him
Most dudes would rather just see you naked and even if they do appreciate a little lingerie from time to time, 99% of them can't tell the difference between cheap underwear and expensive ones anyway.
Splurge: The Perfect Fit
A bra that lifts and supports you properly is invaluable, especially if you've got a larger chest. Yes, there are inexpensive bras out there that offer great support, but every woman is different, and it's worth expanding your search beyond the department-store-staples to find the perfect bra for you.
Save: Basic Black Leggings
Black leggings are black leggings are black leggings. Anyone who says different is just trying to sell you an overpriced pair of black leggings.
Splurge: Running Shoes
Proper ankle and arch support can be pricey, but it's a hell of a lot better than an injury.
Save: Formal Gowns
If you're the kind of person who doesn't like to repeat formal looks, save yourself a little money, and either rent your dresses or buy simple ones that you can transform from one occasion to the next with different accessories.
A little black dress is the most important item in your wardrobe and totally worth splurging on when you find one you love because you'll probably end up wearing it a lot. It doesn't even have to be black.
Save: Interview Outfits
Don't go into debt before you even have a job. Buy cheap stuff and take it to a tailor to have it fitted. You just need to look clean, polished, and professional.
Splurge: Things You Can Also Wear on the Weekend
Versatility is always worth spending a little extra.
Save: If You Walk a Lot
Don't buy into that bullshit about a great pair of basic black pumps is "worth the investment." They're not. So many cheap stores make "classic" heels that look and feel just as good as designer ones, but you can actually afford to replace them when they start to wear out.
Splurge: "Wow" Shoes
When a shoe is so stunning and ornately detailed that it's almost like a piece of wearable art, that's when you drop the big bucks.
Save: Narrow Belts
The kind of basic leather belts you wear with trousers at the office look almost exactly the same whether you spend P350 or P1,000. Just stick to simple, minimal hardware and no one will ever know the difference.
Splurge: Outfit-Making Waist Belts
A beautiful, high-quality belt is like a piece of jewelry and can transform even the most mundane outfit into something completely amazing.
Save: String Bikinis
When you think about it, it's a little crazy to drop big bucks on a couple fabric triangles held together by pieces of string. Maybe if the print is really amazing.
Splurge: Swimsuits that Don't Look Like Swimsuits
It's worth spending a little extra on a bikini that doubles as a crop top or a one-piece that also works as a bodysuit.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor changes have been implemented by Cosmo.ph editors.