Clothing Items I Will and Won't Spend Money On
As a working actor, I don't make a lot of money. Therefore, I've had to get very good at prioritizing which clothes items are worth spending money on and which aren't. So, here they are:
Things Worth Spending Money On
1) Shoes. You wear them every day, in all kind of conditions, including to your job. For example, when I worked in a show in the Alaskan wilderness, I invested in some knee high Hunter boots because the cheaper Sam Edelman ankle boots that I brought with me literally broke halfway through my contract. I can think of many other similar examples to this. For actors, I think quality sneakers are also essential for rehearsals. Generally speaking, my rule is that if I have to wear a pair of shoes for my job, standing in them for hours each day, I'm willing to splurge a little bit more, also because of the cost per wear I'm getting. If I could only splurge on one clothing/accessory item, it would be shoes.
2) Bags/wallet/backpack. Again, you use them every day, and in my experience if they're poor quality, they're more likely to rip, which becomes extremely problematic if important belongings are falling out. For example, when I was a sophomore in college, I asked for a North Face backpack for Christmas, and I just used it for two months on my first touring show. It does have a rip in the cupholder, but other than that it's still going strong!
3) Jackets/winter down coat. With that being said, I've found some great denim jackets at thrift stores, but considering that the quality of a winter coat will impact how warm it keeps you (and therefore how much it protects you from catching a cold), I do think it's worth investing in something more high quality. With that being said, I don't own a Canada Goose jacket, nor do I intend to. But there's plenty of discount stores like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack where you can get a high quality jacket for a reasonable price.
4) Good quality non sports bras. For us ladies with larger chests, you know what I'm talking about :) Having the right bra makes all the difference in my experience in terms of how my clothes look and feel.
Things I Will Not Spend More Than 30$ On:
1) Sports bras/underwear/socks. I've had lots of success getting these things at TJ Maxx for usually about 10-15 bucks
2) T-shirts/camis. These are so ubiquitous that it's easy to find them extremely discounted. I get most of my t shirts at Goodwill, Marshalls or TJ Maxx
3) Sunglasses. I always get mine for no more than 15 dollars at TJ Maxx
4) Certain makeup products: a. Mascara. Since it expires after 3-6 months, I always get mine at the drugstore.
b. Lipstick/lip gloss. I always get this at the drugstore or TJ Maxx.
c. Eyeliner. I swear by drugstore or TJ Maxx eyeliner. I once got a solid Clinique eyeliner at TJ Maxx for 8 dollars that lasted me like two years
5) Accessories (hats, gloves, etc.) simply because if you're anything like me, these are the easiest things to lose. This way, if they do get lost, I'm not devastated by losing tons of money
7) Fancy dresses. I just don't wear them frequently enough to justify spending a ton of money on them
8) High heels-ditto. Plus, high heels can occasionally break or get damaged since they are essentially glorified stilts. I don't want to spend a ton of money on a pair of shoes that might break or not last me very long.
9) Shorts. Since I live in Boston, I can only wear them for approximately two months out of the year, so the cost per wear of them isn't good.
Things Sometimes Worth Spending Money On:
1) High quality jeans, since many people like myself who don't work in the corporate world wear them on a weekly basis.
2) If you're like me and you have sensitive skin, it can be worth testing out things like foundation or eyeshadow before committing to purchasing them.
I hope this list helps some other babes on a budget :)