Entry level items

I know we all hear how we should buy quality over quantity.  I have found that I need to baby step my way.  Sometimes I’ve bought an expensive, quality item and just not worn it.  Either it wasn’t suited to my lifestyle or didn’t work well with my existing wardrobe.  Sometimes a ‘starter’ item is in order.

I had a situation last summer where I started with a $7 Alloy white tank top, considered a $20 H&M one (that I ended up returning) before I jumped on a $130 BCBG version (on sale at $108).  I needed to dip my toe in first before plunking down the cash.  I actually just recently shortened the straps on the BCBG to make it fit all that much better and I love it more than ever.  Wore it last week, layered under a cropped, open knit sweater.

I find myself in a similar place right now with silky button fronts.  I did the $20 versions to start (again Alloy and also a Costco one) and put them through their paces.  The next step was a bright blue from Nordstrom at about $70.

All of these, quite honestly, were starter versions of the Equipment signature blouse.  Searching online today I found one I think I might get.  I went into my closet and measured and tried on these entry level versions.  The purple is terrible material and a bit too small across the shoulders.  The black, by contrast, is a bit too big and overwhelms me.  The blue is maybe a tad long, but a good fit otherwise.  Armed with this info, I’m passing along the first two and going to replace both with an Equipment in a dark grey.

It may cost more in the long run this way, but I’m more assured of getting actual wear out of my $$ once I’ve tried the starter versions out, and seen what does and does not work, fit wise, fabric wise, etc.  I don’t consider the $45 or so dollars spent between the first 2 tops wasted in any way.  Indeed, it’s almost research!  And someone else will benefit from my learning curve in a new to them blouse.

Do you gradually step up when trying a new direction in your style, or do you go all in with ‘the’ item at the start?

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6 thoughts on “Entry level items

  1. If you can find something at a lower price point to try out a new look, it’s a good idea. I did the same thing with the silky button front – bought one with a great discount at Ann Taylor and found I haven’t worn it as much as I thought I would. The fit is not perfect so I’m not sure if that’s what’s influenced the lack of wear, vs the actual style. In any case, I haven’t purchased any more (although I too keep eyeing the Equipment version).

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    • That’s a good point about wondering whether the fit might be impacting how much you wear the item or if it’s just not as versatile as imagined when buying.

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  2. You can’t go wrong with the Equipment one, if it fits. I have a 25 year old Equipment blouse hanging next to a 4 year old one, and it is still in great condition! The fabric and fit are still good too, not replaced like so many favorites with cheaper, thinner fabric. Good Luck!

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  3. Thanks! I was pretty sure the quality would be there on an Equipment, I just had to figure out if I would actually wear the style shirt first! I got a Parker (split sleeve) in washed black and think the cold shoulder effect is just enough to make it more exciting than a button front blouse for me and my style.

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  4. I think buying just one of a particular style/item to try makes sense. Lower price points are great before going all in, but if something isn’t quite right, that would affect my wear and not really constitute a fair trial.

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