Cheap Chic: Blouse
This peasant top is a steal since it's meant to be loose and flowy. (Translation: You're not paying a premium for fit.)
$25, Old Navy Gauzy Embroidered Peasant Top, 800-653-6289 for stores
Smart Spender: Blouse
Detailed seams, like a nipped waist or double-ruffled collar, mean a top is slimming. We'll pay for that.
$40, Sleeveless Ruffle Top, anntaylorloft.com
Cheap Chic: Bracelet
To keep low-priced accessories looking great for longer than a season, dab a little rubbing alcohol on metal pieces.
$55, Linea Pelle Washed Italian Leather Double Wrap Bracelet, amrag.com
Smart Spender: Bracelet
When investing in jewelry, look for high-quality materials (soft, not stiff, leather), sewn-on details and care instructions.
$105, Screw Bracelet, ccskye.com
Cheap Chic: Bag
To ensure an inexpensive bag will last, check that the lining is well-stitched (give it a few light tugs) and that the zippers or clasps function properly.
$8, Merona Crocodile Double Buckle Open Clutch, target.com
Smart Spender: Bag
This clutch's hinges stretch far across its base: a mark of durability.
$135, Abas Montecatini Full Frame Clutch, piperlime.com for colors
Cheap Chic: Jeans
Stick to dark shades that aren't prewashed -- you'll get more wears before the color fades.
$20, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Totally Slimming At Waist Bootcut, walmart.com
Smart Spender: Jeans
Pricier jeans often have reinforced stitching so they won't lose their shape over time. A dark wash in a straight leg or boot cut is timeless.
$179, J Brand Love Story in Dark Vintage, jbrandjeans.com
Cheap Chic: Shoes
Bargain shoes usually have an unforgiving fit. Be sure the material doesn't squish toes or dig into your upper heel. When in doubt, go up a size.
$55, Apt. 9 Kendal Dress Heels, kohls.com
Smart Spender: Shoes
Designer pairs often have less material at the toes and heels, so your foot can expand naturally.
$90, Himel Shoe, aldoshoes.com