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How to decide when to spend a small fortune on a fashion flex

Let’s talk about standing out. To do that requires confidence, a keen eye, and some big fits. But how and when should you decide to flex those fashion muscles and open up your wallet? There's always going to be more to buy and more to spend, so determining the perfect time to spring for that dream blazer, a new pair of kicks, those headphones you’ve had your eye on, or a designer tee is essential for staying out of financial distress.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding when to splurge on that fashion flex.

Basics first

Before you walk into a store, throw down that credit card, and go on a single-item spending spree, make sure you have your bases covered. That means in your closet and your checking account. Closet first: The best fashion flex in the world will go nowhere if you don't have anything to pair with the purchase. You'll want to have a sense of your style, what works and what doesn't on your body type, and how your newest prize will fit into your existing basics.

When it comes to the actual cash outlay, don't get over your skis. If it comes to rent or fashion, choose the former, budget templates can help you save and pay for both.

Set up a goal 

If you don't get a holiday bonus or another type of big cash infusion - that's fine. You can still get those threads you've been eyeing. It just might take a bit more time. Set up a goal and start saving.

This could be an adult piggy bank, a separate account— high-interest savings account , anyone?—or just watching your regular checking account accrue until it’s time to buy. The important thing is to put a little money away regularly, and then go for it when you feel comfortable that you have enough.

When a windfall comes...

You work hard. You deserve to reward yourself if and when that hard work pays off and you score a bonus. Maybe don't spend that entire check on one item of clothing—but, if you can swing it, there's no harm in taking a bit of that hard-earned cash and letting loose. (And, look, if you really want to spend it all, go for it. But that will mean some belt-tightening elsewhere.)

Out with the old, in with the new

The thing about clothes is that you can only wear one piece at a time—and trends come and go. Before you throw down a huge outlay of cash for your new flex, take stock of what you already own and see if there's anything you can part with. And by that, we mean sell.

Take photos (good ones, please!) and put your stuff up for sale on one of the many third-party resale sites. You'll make space in your closet and score a bit of extra cash. Or hit up the local vintage store and sell your wares. Some places will give you more money in store credit than dollars, so consider that option if the flex you desire is sitting in their window.

Be confident in your budget

Regardless of what you decide to buy, you want to make sure your finances are in great shape so that you can splurge without regrets. Consider a budgeting strategy like the 50-30-20 method or the pay yourself philosophy to build a nest egg you can use for the purchase. A fashion flex is about looking fly, not drifting into debt. But saving doesn’t have to be scary. Set a financial goal and start splurging.

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