They are on the front line of fashion, shopping the looks we end up wearing before we even know we want to wear them. But boutique owners and managers also know where to spend and where to save — and they’re sharing their secrets with us. Only problem? They don’t all agree. Read on!
Whitney Avishar, owner of Pink Hanger
SPLURGE: Whitney Avishar says, “I always splurge on denim and the perfect white t-shirt; your go-to items should be well-made so that they can go the distance. My favorite tees right now are made by Feel the Piece.”
SAVE: “The one thing I usually try to spend less on is costume jewelry,” Whitney shares. “There are so many great, well-crafted pieces out there that you really don’t need to break the bank on statement items. Mila Rose and Melvin by Jess are two amazing local designers who create eye-popping jewelry without a heart-clutching price tag.”
Randi Pund, stylist
SAVE: Randi Pund is a longtime stylist who works with a handful of Charlotte boutiques. She says she saves her money when it comes to tees, because she lives in them – and buys a lot of them. “J Crew makes my favorite one, so I stock up when they have a sale.”
SPLURGE: She says she loves to splurge on a good pair of shoes. “I probably do that because I always pick my outfits starting with my feet first. The right shoe can turn your day around!”
Veronica Hlifka, store manager of Bevello
SAVE: Not to sound like a broken record here, but Veronica Hlifka also loves her basic tees and insists you can definitely get a good deal on them. She swears by Z Supply shirts that are just $45. And she always goes cheap when it comes to her sunnies. “I love the Quay sunglasses, and they are only $60!”
SPLURGE: She splurges on denim and shoes, saying, “A nice pair of denim changes your life. And shoes complete the outfit — your feet deserve to be pampered!”
Tracy Auten, owner of J.T. Posh
SPLURGE: At this upscale consignment boutique, they know a thing or two about saving money. (You can find pre-owned Tory Burch, Prada, Hermes and more.) Owner Tracy Auten says she always splurges on denim and handbags.
SAVE: Tracy advises to save your cash when it comes to seasonal trends.
Hope Nicolls of Boris and Natasha
SPLURGE: Hope Nicolls has spent 19 years at Charlotte’s original vintage clothing store and says she splurges on vintage jewelry. “I am obsessed! I think jewelry is a great investment, the value endures. If you buy it wisely, it’s timeless.”
SAVE: As far as going cheap, she admits, “I don’t buy any new clothes — all my clothes are either from my store or another vintage shop because I like the process of treasure hunting. To me a vintage YSL piece is so much better than a new one.”
Jill Sloan Pluene, owner of Sloan
SPLURGE: The owner of this upscale SouthPark staple says she splurges on any classic pieces like fur vests or jackets, leather pants, good cashmere, well-made Italian shoes … “and novel denim is a must!”
SAVE: She pinches pennies when it comes to basics like tees (sensing a pattern here?!), button-downs and evening shoes because, she points out, “You can never wear them more than once!”
Hailey Wether of K LA
SPLURGE: Hailey Wether of trendy K LA boutique says, “I like to splurge on new ankle boots for the fall or a leather jacket – and I buy new ones every single year!”
SAVE: She continues, “I never spend a lot of money on my denim. I have some designer brands I like, but I always end up wearing the cheaper ones.”
Carrie Barker and Sarah Baucom of Girl Tribe
SPLURGE: It started as an online group meant to empower women, but now Carrie Barker and Sarah Baucom produce the biggest pop up around. (Their most recent one had more than 60 women-owned boutiques all under one roof!) Now Girl Tribe also has a boutique of just plain fun girly stuff. Carrie says, “We always splurge on the perfect fitting tees.” (Hint Hint: They sell great ones with women-positive sayings.)
SAVE: “We save on our famous CLT hats,” Carrie adds. “This is something that gets miles of wear and can take you from the gym to the carpool lane, or be a cool addition to a casual Saturday brunch ensemble.”
There you have it — advice from the experts. Happy shopping, wherever — and however — you spend your money!
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