Splurge vs Save- Ladies Who Lunch In Neutrals

By request, I have an upscale outfit for an attorney who meets with high-level clients and needs to dress the part. These looks remind me of an elegant outfit for joining friends for lunch in the city, dinner out, visiting a museum, etc. It’s comprised of neutral classics with a polished vibe.


A great camel coat is timeless, so I started there. I love them over everything from a great pair of jeans to a pretty dress. These are both warm-based, but there are plenty in the taupe family with cool undertones. A black cashmere crewneck and ivory skirt are versatile pieces you can easily mix with the rest of your wardrobe.



I added black riding boots, a lady-like top-handled purse, pearl earrings, and a leopard print scarf that ties the colors together. With this combo, classic red lipstick seemed natural.


The save outfit comes in at around $824, and the splurge is closer to $2,118. Could you tell which was which? What tipped you off?

This was the first time my husband guessed wrong :).

Thanks for reading, and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.



  1. I liked the simple design of the bag and coat lapel. I would change to a Stuart Weitzman Yuliana boot. I love the skirt$$.

  2. I guessed correctly this time, started with the purse. Really like the outfit, but with the warm weather we live in I would probably use the coat only a few times. However, the rest of the outfit is worth taking a look at. Thanks for the save/spurge post, really appreciate it. The best always.

    1. I’m glad you like these posts.

  3. I am enjoying this splurge or save feature so much! What fun! The purse gave it away for me this time, but such a find! I’m thinking of it in a few colors for gifts. I am allergic to wool, so if you ever notice some optional sweaters close to cashmere looks, I would love to see them featured.

    1. I’ll keep an eye out for non wool ones. You’re not alone in not being able to wear it.

  4. Personally am not a fan of ‘wrap’ garments’ in fact recently donated the last piece I actually own that was an off white (baby) Alpaca ‘n Wool blend midi length coat but kept its (real) fox collar. (I just found its weight too heavy and was a nuisance getting into and out of vehicles.) On that note; with the exception of the camel coat (which I am on the hunt for, I actually like the double collar detail on the low end one ) and the leather boots (mine are a black suede that I pair with a suede shoulder bag) I do have almost identical pieces that have given me years of wear without looking outdated so do feel you are spot on with your suggestions as can be worn for an elevated look or one that is more casual. Oh, I did guess the high end one because of the boots but being the fabric junkie that I am; one thing I really do miss is feeling and checking the fabric weave when shoping online. -Brenda-

    1. The feel of a fabric is really important to me too.

  5. I guesed wrong! I actually prefer the save coat with the design detail of double lapel; however, when I saw the blue splurge coat it took my breath away!
    Dream on though, I don’t need a wool coat in S.Tx and it certainly wouln’t be a
    camel tone (which would wash me out). Love these Save or Splurge episodes.
    Btw…I hate not being able to feel the fabrics and textures of items online!
    Thanks Jennifer for put these together.

    1. @ MK: I see we may 🤔 alike re shopping online. So funny as we I honestly did’nt see what you posted.

  6. The handbag was the tipoff for me. Well done, though.

  7. I too love the camel coat look also. Just goes with everything.
    The splurge coat fell very nicely. That was my clue but, I would try the save one on to see if it fit well and save a bit for more things.

    1. They’re both gorgeous and you’re idea is so smart, Lin

  8. Great outfits, Jennifer. I love both, but the boots helped me pick out the splurge. I have an winter white long skirt I have not worn in years. Think I will get it out! It is one with knife pleats, so I will need to get it cleaned and pressed. Thanks for the tips👏

    1. It sounds gorgeous!

  9. These are beautiful outfits – swoon. I was on the fence but like your husband guessed wrong. From my experience with meetings like this, I would replace the boots with classy pumps – business women have legs. I would love to have seen what you suggest. Also, in real life but outside the scope of SorS, more gold jewelry (e.g. at least 1 bracelet and a discrete necklace) are required.

    1. Heels of any kind can be hard for many women to wear, unfortunately.

  10. Fran Russell says:

    I’ve been looking for a camel wrap coat for this winter and was THRILLED to see the Ellie Tahari wrap coat you featured on a super sale. Easy to order and all sizes available..
    Since it’s a final sale, keeping my fingers crossed! Thank you, Jennifer!

    1. It’s a beauty!! I hope it works for you, Fran. It was originally the splurge until I found the other coat. 😁

  11. This was a hard one at first glance. The coat, boots and handbag gave it away for me. I simply love this outfit. I could put this together right now from my closet. But I don’t have the skirt but I would wear black slacks or a straight line skirt.

    1. Awesome! I am in the hunt for a cooler based camel/taupe coat. I love the look.

  12. The coat was also the giveaway for me. The lower priced one is beautiful, but the double lapels seem trendy rather than classic.

  13. Like your husband, this is the first time I got it wrong. Both are lovely outfits in neutrals that I love and use, but the outfit is too dressy for my lifestyle. It looks perfect for a professional such as the lady who requested the look.

    1. Agreed. I would love to have this lifestyle but mine is more casual.

  14. Francesca B says:

    I guessed the splurge one correctly by the scarf: the detail of the tassels and the pattern seemed classier! Lovely outfits:) l wish l could wear red lipstick but it always looks too harsh on me and makes me look older than 58. Who wants that ! Happy hump day Jennifer !

    1. Red is too harsh in me too. Dark rose looks red against my complexion so that’s my best option.

  15. I guessed right- simply by the boots. The rest was a toss up. Either way, a great looking outfit!

  16. Georgia Heather Chow says:

    Love them both, so classic. While the splurge outfit is pricey, the save outfit is also not in my budget wheelhouse. One can dream though!

    1. Hopefully these will also provide some ideas for ladies to shop their closets.

  17. Love this type of post. I guessed correctly. The coat gave it away for me. The ‘SAVE’ outfit is still pricey for a lot of folks but it does show that you can be stylish on more budget friendly options.

  18. I guessed correctly. For me it was the coat, boots and purse. Sigh…it was also the outfit I preferred.

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