This post may contain affiliate links; see site footer for more details.
I always promised myself I wouldn’t be a style blogger. Why? Because I can’t relate to it. Seeing pretty photography with expensive clothes and pretty much nothing else (I mean, I saw a “popular” blogger’s “blog post” the other day with 4 total sentences…) just isn’t relatable to me. Growing up, we had very limited means, and my clothing used to come from the Walmart clearance rack. And that was (and heck, totally is), absolutely okay, because it taught me to become savvy with style + $$$. If I wanted to look hella cute for school, I needed to be able to mix and match like a wiz and create expensive-looking ensembles for under $30 head to toe. Now, I’m fortunate enough to be able to splurge on pretty things here and there. At Wharton and UPenn, it’s an interesting cultural blend socioeconomically speaking. There are “the rich kids” whose parents paid in full and have a private weekend yacht for “study getaways,” and there are the kids on nearly full scholarship for being the brainiacs in smaller, more rural communities back home. Regardless of which side o’ the fence you came from, the resounding vibe was one of personal style; you wanted to “look the part” on your terms. For me, that meant figuring out a few closet staples that I’d consider “splurge-worthy.” Ain’t nobody got time (or, really, dollah bills) for a designer wardrobe on a college budget. But, I knew I was entering a period of life where I’d want to start graduating certain pieces for other, more quality counterparts. “Treat yo’self” couldn’t ring more true, especially as means of “reward” for acing an exam or nailing a presentation.
So, in the spirit of “treat yo’self” (didja catch my “Treat yo’self Thursday” goody on yesterday’s Snapchat??), I picked out and am sharing my top 10 splurge-worthy pieces that I’d say are 100% worth it for every girl’s wardrobe. These hold whether you’re in college looking for that one splurgable goody for an internship or interview, or a graduate searching for Christmas wishlist items already. Because y’all are #ambitious. 😉
I fell victim to buying a whole buncha cheap white tees…and they all discolored and fell apart within a season. Not. Cool. So I picked up this long sleeve classic during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I had spent $17 on it, which is probably not a splurge to many, but it was definitely more than the $6 tees I was picking up left and right from Target or Forever 21! It’s ridiculously soft and clearly made well, so I’m hoping this bad boy lasts me at least a year of heavy use.
Everyday casual sneakers
It feels like everybody and their mother is grabbing Adidas nowadays…what happened?! I’ll tell ya what happened: everyone got their wits about them. These sneaks are the most comfy casual kicks, and they’re versatile as heck. I bought ’em myself because I can wear them with literally any outfit (sans a ball gown, but even that would probably look cute). I’ve had quite a few PR meetings this summer where I’d be traveling, and I was getting a bit sick of wearing flats and packing heels and ending the day sore. So these babies take the cake – they’re cute AND comfortable enough for all day wear.
Bright leather bag
Bright colors aren’t typically staples, but this case is different. If you lovelovelove brights in your closet, instead of getting a cheap trend bag, a more classic material and shape lends itself to more timeless seasonal wear. This bag tho, y’all. This bag is a solid piece o’ leather. It’s made SO well, I’m obsessed with the two-tone pink-and-orange creamsicle effect, and the three-pocket setup is clutch for separating essentials from bigger, clunkier pieces. I’ve been keeping all of my keys and lip balm on one outter pocket and my phone and sunnies on the other side to prevent scratching, and my wallet, lotions, and other big thangs get the center pocket console. It comes in a gorgeous cognac color, too – perfect for any neutral lovahs in the house!
If you’re gonna wear any jewelry, at least something in your arsenal needs to be a classy, timeless gem. This David Yurman is a limited edition aluminum bracelet that’s not nearly the splurge that other David Yurman pieces would be, but it’s just as gorgeous. I’ve been wearing it every single day, all day, because it literally works with anything – day or night! The pewter color of mine works for that versatility factor, but the aluminum collection has a whole slue of fun colors, and stacking is encouraged. 😉
You saw these fierce babies here and loveloveloved, and they’re back again. If you’re going to splurge on a shoe, make sure it’s going to make a statement. Leopard is my fave print, and block heels are generally more wearable than stiletto. Plus, I feel like a total badass wearing them. And feeling like a confident #queen in your shoes? Yesplease. That + the fact that they match errrr’thang in my closet means it’s a worthy splurge in my book.
Same rules as a classic tee – pieces that you wear 24/7 are splurge worthy, hands down. I live in chambray…it’s like throwing on sweats for me. A no brainer, easy peasy, mix and matchable, and just plain classic. This chambray I’m rockin’ was a splurge at Urban Outfitters a few years ago, and it STILL looks brand new. But this chambray is from the cupcakes and cashmere line, so you *know* it’s worth the $$$.
A gorgeous Kate Spade watch was a no-brainer splurge for me. If you’re a watch-wearer, you know it’s a pretty big deal. You were your watch every day with every outfit, and all can see it. A high quality, classy pick stands the test of time and season. J bought me this gorgeous babe for Christmas and I’ve worn it every day since! Two-tone metal is good for everyday wear, too, because it works whether you’re rocking silver or gold for the rest o’ your accessorizing.
LBJ – Little Black Jumpsuit
I SO WISH my exact jumpsuit was still in stock…but I bought it probably 2-3 years ago at this point. Hands down, I’d say this is my one best piece if I absolutely had to choose. It’s a total power piece, and I’ve worn it for everything from days in the office at internships, actual interviews, presentations in school, PR meetings in New York…literally everything. It’s made SO DANG WELL and just looks so good on multiple body types, and it trumps a basic, boring suit without losing any formality. Mine was from the LOFT for about $60-70 on sale, and I was so nervous to purchase at the time, but present and future Erica has thanked past Erica countless times for making the splurge. Splurge worthy? Without a doubt. Shopping tip: Look for a jumpsuit that has a bit of structure to up the formal factor. The pleats on the front chest and the tied waist are classy and figure-flattering and make yo’ legs look miles long. #bless
My trench is Michael Kors, and I had found it at Burlington for way less than otherwise. Trench coats are that instantly professional piece, whether it’s for rain or sunshine. I don’t wear this one in the rain because I’d rather wear my slicker for a thunderstorm, but it’s the perfect punch of color for transitioning into fall.
Whether you’re still a collegiette or working gal, you know the importance of a do-it-all kinda work bag. It’s gotta hold your computer, all purse essentials, the occasional pair o’ flats, a drink…basically, your life. This Dagne Dover bag is a bit on the heavy side (and since I have a clunkier PC laptop, you definitely feel it), but the brand is known for the pocketed separation within. #worthit
ALSO, for any of my Philly girls in da house (hollah!), a new David Yurman storefront just opened in the King of Prussia Mall, aka heaven. I had the opportunity to visit not too long ago, and let me tell you…what an experience. The store manager, Lindsey, is an absolute peach, and you will undoubtedly leave wanting every single piece in the store. #sorrynotsorry. When you stop in, ask her to show you her favorite 3.1 carat diamond ring. (If you’re lucky, she might let you try it on. 😉 ) The storefront also incorporates so much of the story behind the brand, so you really get the full experience – it’s gorgeous!
Other exact pieces that I’m wearing are shoppable through this lil’ handy dandy widget right here:
And the other thing every working girl needs? A great computer to fill the great work bag. I teamed up with some other fabulous bloggers to bring you a Back-to-School giveaway, complete with a MacBook Air + some other goodies along the way (including Kate Spade!) 😉 .