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Even if you keep to a strict clothing budget, you can (and should!) justify spending more on certain items, for their quality and timeless style. Investing in a few quality pieces could actually save you money over the long haul. Here, ten pieces that are worth every penny:
1. A sturdy leather tote. Pick one in a wearable shade (black, tan, gray, red, or orange) that works with your whole wardrobe. A tote can be used for work, weekends -- even the gym.
2. Basic black loafers. A classic style, loafers always look polished and go with both skirts and pants.
3. A cashmere sweater. Think of it as a blanket you can curl up in on cold winter days. Look for a high-ply cashmere (it's the thickest and warmest).
4. Diamond studs. Cubic zirconias can look great, but real diamonds -- even when small -- sparkle best.
5. A cashmere or wool coat. If properly taken care of, a cashmere or wool coat can last countless seasons. Buy a mid-length one that falls between mid-thigh and knees. It's the most versatile.
6. Seamless bras. No matter how expensive your clothes, they'll look lumpy and too-small if worn with the wrong bra. Shop around for a seamless version that gives you the support you need, then stock up.
7. Great jeans. There's a reason celebrities spend over $100 on a pair of jeans: They know that the pair that makes your derriere look terrific is worth it! Spend a Saturday trying different pairs until you find one that works for your body.
8. A leather jacket. This season, bombers are in style; a more classic, belted version is a wise buy, too.
9. One great dress. It doesn't have to be black, it just has to make you feel confident and look stunning. Choose one that's appropriate for work, but can also be dressed up for nighttime.
10. A professional suit. It makes you look instantly polished and requires nearly zero thought on a busy morning.