Personal finance/frugal sites abound with comprehensive lists of the Save vs Splurge variety. I do have some personal guidelines myself and would like to share them – actually, my splurge is not an actual splurge, more like “choose well, buy good brands but find cheap ways to get them”. eBay in this matter is a good friend of mine! No need to ever break the bank.
cotton tops: save
jeans: splurge – cheap jeans often are a sloppy fit, hems get “wrinkled” soon, the cotton is thin
wool sweaters: splurge – I’m extra-picky about winter sweaters, since I can’t stand itchy wool but also synthetics, also in blends; so I just own a limited number of sweaters and cardigans in cashmere and merinos which are lovely and last years
bra: splurge – small or big, your breasts deserve to be held and shaped by the best bras! A good one really makes the difference even under a simple T-shirt (wink wink)… and lasts long
socks: save – hell, some of my best socks were bought at the supermarket
shoes: splurge – it’s a given, no? I’ve had my share of hurt, bleeding feet, something that can ruin anybody’s day. Not just flats and heels, but also cheap sneakers can hold bad surprises
makeup brushes: splurge – try applying powders using the softest and thickest brushes and see
hair brushes: save – I don’t think those overpriced, luxury brushes really make the difference. Or do they?
body lotions etc: splurge – no need to explain my cosmetic choices again
scrub: save – or do it yourself with salt and body lotion/oils!
umbrellas: who knows? I’ve had fancy umbrellas which broke soon, fancy umbrellas lasting forever, cheap umbrellas of poor quality, cheap umbrellas which just were indestructible…
eyeglasses: splurge – I’m not fond of designer stuff, but designer frames are just another world, and since eyeglasses have to stay on my face during all my waking hours, they better be the best