Monday Musings: Splurge or Save and I Need Your Opinion

Happy Monday, ladies. I’ve got a mish-mash of things on my mind this week, and I’d really like to hear your input.


These price comparison posts are always popular with you ladies, so today, I thought we’d do one with fall outfits in mind.

Temperatures may not be dropping in your neck of the woods anytime soon, but stores have all their merchandise marked down to prepare for fall arrivals.

Much of the autumn fashion we see first involves faux or real leather, booties, wool coats and jackets, and richer neutrals. Western booties are a big trend again this fall, so today’s look offers two options. Paisley is a popular print year-round, but especially in the fall.

The save outfit comes in at $426, and the splurge is around $7,165. Can you tell just by looking which outfit costs less? Was there one item that gave it away for you?

Tiny Try-On

Last week I tried on a ton of things at the Nordstrom sale, and most are already sold out. Here are the few that still have some stock:

I tried this knit blazer on in three of the five colors it comes in and several sizes. It’s a fun casual piece for fall in a fabric that resembles sweatshirt fleece. It does not close, so you just wear it open as a third layer. These fabulous jeans have been selling out and getting restocked for several days and seem currently in stock now. I sized up in the tee and could have gone up to a large because it has a very slim fit.

It’s hard to go wrong with a leopard print top for fall. Vince Camuto makes a great one in a nice silky-feeling fabric you could dress up or down. The pants are a rich chocolate brown which I’m seeing lots of for fall. They have stretch and could take you to work or dress down with a sweater and flats. This fringe cardigan is super soft and runs quite large, so I suggest you size down. It did come in brown, but that sold out fast, and they have black in stock.

Sadly these jeans sold out after I bought them. They fit so well, I love the brand. This pair is very similar. I love to see the return of raglan sleeves, which I find much more flattering on most women. This wool and cashmere v-neck sweater comes in three gorgeous colors and is still in stock.

Here’s the knit jacket in navy, which is probably my fav on me. I’m wearing it over the cotton button-up I shared here. These Kut From The Kloth jeans are a nice rich wash with a flare that will look great over booties this fall. I’m so happy to see flare legs continue because they flatter most figures and help make our legs look longer when worn over a tiny heel

This cashmere blend coat is a lovely burgundy shade for fall. It’s not lined and clearly states that in the description. It’s perfect for fall and places where the winters are milder. It runs large, so I would size down. I bought this cashmere sweater in this shade. I love it!

I love fashion and style, but I believe there’s more to a well styled life than just what you wear. I like to share lifestyle topics and all things that help us age in the healthiest way possible. As I plan my content for late summer and fall, I’d love to know what topics surrounding healthy aging, fashion, beauty, skincare, etc. that you’d like to see more of. Please share in the comments.

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


  1. The handbag (its clasp) and classic tailored coat (though I prefer the camel color of the ‘save’ one) plus a closer observation of the top with its pin-tucking and covered buttons were the ‘splurge’ indicators to me. As to a suggestion for posts; perhaps model a few pieces showing various ways how to wear/style them. In other words, similar to what is done in a capsule wardrobe. This could also include mixing high and low ends, new garments with old etc. -Brenda-

  2. Hello Jennifer,
    I enjoy your fashion posts very much. I would like to suggest an occasional post on health especially one warning women about the steep decline in hormones post menopause, the dangers of too little vitamin D and the onset of osteoporosis. Maybe this is too technical a subject, but most women are lacking in vitamin D and have no idea.

    1. That’s a great idea. I know Vit D is so important!

  3. The blouse was the giveaway for me. The red blouse did not go well with the colors of the outfit while the muted colors of the pricier outfit looked really classy and fitting.

  4. I enjoy the splurge or save posts – I don’t always guess correctly, but it’s fun to compare – a great way to train my eyes!
    I would love some posts on how to dress for fall when the new colors aren’t ones that look good on you. Thanks for your blog, Jennifer!

  5. I love natural fibers.
    Merino anything
    Quality shoes
    Travel in a tiny suitcase outfits
    Summer coloring outfits

  6. I enjoy all of your posts. The skincare ones are not as interesting to me.
    Would love a post on necklines — they can make or break your look. I remember when I used to go to a coffee shop all the time, and the women had to wear t shirts with a high crew neck. One day I ran into one of the women on her day off and she had on a v neck top. She looked like a whole different person! So much prettier on her.

    Also it might be good to see a post on alterations. An inch can sometimes make a difference on a skirt length, or pants too. Maybe a before and after thing with a tailor’s advice? I used to sew, so I know there are some little tweaks that can help you look your best. I often raise the shoulder of a garment a tiny bit — or use a 1/4″ shoulder pad — and it makes a bigger difference than you’d expect.

    Love your travel and packing posts! I haven’t been able to travel for several years, for various reasons, and I am getting ready to go somewhere — anywhere — this fall. Your experienced tips are very helpful!

    Also — this might require readers’ input — which brands tend to run long? Or petite-friendly? Or always tight in the sleeves?

    One of the other comments mentioned previously worn clothing. I’ve been enjoying thredUp — my secret thrill is finding the same garment that I have been wearing but is worn out, or a jacket that I had a couple of years ago and would love to have again! The amount of items can be daunting, but they have good filters. My go-to is to select all colors except black, and that saves a lot of time. Except if I want black, lol.

    1. Great ideas, Delia. I will try to do more packing posts too

  7. Hi Jennifer, I don’t know if this is a broad enough topic for everyone to be interested in… I have trouble finding cute WIDE shoes, boots, booties. As I’ve gained weight the last few years my feet have gotten wider too. Thank you menopause, LOL. Would this be a topic you’d be able to turn into a post? Thanks for your blog!

    1. It’s a great topic! Narrow too. So few of us are average anymore and we all want great footwear.

  8. That was an easy pick for me. The splurge outfit just looked classy. BTW I love those glasses on you.

    1. Thanks Diane. They’re an old frame.

      1. Never ever would I pay close to $4000 for a plain leather bag. There are too many lovely leather bags for much less.
        I thought both outfits had attractive pieces
        Maybe a mashup of the 2 would be best for me.
        No a fan of faux leather pants or the leggings. Think a lovely trouser would also work with these outfits.

  9. Hi Jennifer – picking out which outfit was spend vs splurge – what gave it away for me was the blouse.
    As far as other topics to cover – I recently got new glasses which means that now I can really see the wrinkles on my face, especially under my eyes! I’ve never used retinol but I would like to find out more about it’s use for sensitive skin or other wrinkle treatments – I’ve been trying to research this myself and I am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information online! My apologies if you have already covered this topic!

    1. Lol, but not fun! My wrinkles seem to show more if I try to wear contacts. This are great ideas for posts.

  10. I think you already do a great job covering a variety of topics. I always enjoy your Monday Musings and reading comments and suggestions from your community regarding books, skin care, hair or any other topic you have brought up. The personal safety conversation last week was a real eye opener. And as Robin mentioned, I would enjoy seeing more of your everyday outfits. A while ago you mentioned that you were re-evaluating your style and I’m wondering how that is progressing. I’ve noticed my style taste has changed from last summer when I was adding a lot of bright colours but now I want a more refined, sophisticated look.
    As for the Splurge or Save, it was the coat that was the giveaway for me – it looks like a classic, cashmere/wool coat that will be in style forever.

    1. I think a lot of us were surpised at that post. I didn’t know how much I needed to know. I’m still working on my style and doing the same as you. Loving brighter but leaning toward soft neutrals. Taupes, cream, beige and gray. Fall will be fun!

  11. I thought it was difficult to decipher between the splurge and save today, only the bracelet gave it away. I’m not thrilled with large paisley prints on me especially with the save. However, I’m happy that western style booties are on trend this fall, as I find them very comfortable. Sadly items that I would have purchased at the Nordstrom sale were sold out for me too. Now about that Pearl necklace, love it. Did you add the enhancer? Thanks!

    1. It came with the enhancer. I’ll try to find one like to to link in the future.

  12. I am a natural fabric fan BUT I recently purchased a faux leather moto jacket which was half price. It’s black and pairs well with a white tee and jeans…I am loving the look. Just a fun piece…and I think fashion should be fun.
    I would like to see a feature post on a variety of flattering hairstyles for the over 60 age group. Also a health feature that might cover osteoporosis, dry skin and exercise outfits that might help those of us who want to look stylish and cute outfits for walking?
    A big ask I know but you are fashion savvy :-))

    Thank you,

    1. Great ideas Leslie. Bone health is sooo important as we age.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Fun post today!
    1. Outfit inspo – I am immediately drawn to each item on the right, except the pants. The coat and the handbag were the definite looks that called out splurge. Alas, my pockets are tooo small to afford these things.
    2. I ADORE the necklace you are wearing. You don’t mention it, so I assume it is yours.
    3. The last outfit is incredible. The color of the coat! I am not good at putting colors together, but the sweater and coat combination is smart and gorgeous. Unfortunately, as I no longer commute on public transport and work downtown and take nice long walks at lunch near the office, I rarely wear a coat-lengthed coat in NE winters. They are too bulky to war in the car for short trips with multiple stops. Also late career change to teaching – I park barely 100 steps from the school door.

    1. Yes, I’ve owned it for awhile, sorry.

  14. Loved all your Nordstrom finds! I’m wondering if any of these items might come to the Rack? Prices are so much better there. I can’t think of a lifestyle topic you haven’t covered here. You do such a great job.

    1. They might but it’s always a gamble they’ll have your size when and if they do.

  15. The handbag was the giveaway on the splurge outfit. But remarkably close! I’m not a fan of faux leather. It always looks like plastic to me, and it’s not comfortable to wear. Do you like it?

    1. I have a few pair but they’re the wider leg styles.

  16. I picked the Splurge outfit almost instantly. The tip off was the handbag, pants and definitely the coat. The coat looks like a beautiful, tailored, cashmere coat. The Splurge looks rich & classy. Always in style. Love the look!

  17. The cashmere sweater in lilac looks so good on you. Your face lights up with that color. As far as new content, I would like to see outfits using what you already have in your closet.

    1. Sounds good Robin. Thanks

  18. Good morning, Jennifer. Besides fashion, I am interested in healthy aging topics. How about a healthy aging book club? I read quite a few nonfiction books related to healthy aging. I bet other people do too.

    1. Echo that! I love to read and a book club on healthy aging sounds great.

    2. This is such a good idea! I can heartily recommend the book The Age Well Project (I got my copy used from Amazon, it’s a UK book). The ladies who wrote it met at the school gates years ago and both had cause to look into healthy aging, as one had a parent with Alzheimer’s and the other had breast cancer in the family. They also have a website of the same name and you can sign up for the newsletter. The book (and website) covers a wide range of topics with lots of ideas for healthy living as we age. Highly recommended!

      1. That sounds really fun! Thanks for sharing it Patricia

  19. I LOVE fall fashion, so your post today was a real treat. Thank you!
    I read and enjoy your blog every day and will continue to do so. Could you work in some posts on these topics?:
    1. Building a sustainable wardrobe. I’m trying to swap out environmentally damaging materials for earth friendlier options such as organic cotton, lyocell, modal, wool, hemp, linen, down and silk. It’s a long process. In this effort, I’m trying to only purchase clothes in these materials. It’s harder than I thought it would be. Posts with “all earth friendly” outfits would inspire me.
    2. Feature recycled and repurposed products. More brands are remaking and reselling their used products. Eileen Fisher has done this for some time. Nic and Zoe has joined the party. Coach offers some really cool remakes of their used bags. I’d enjoy a post featuring an upcycled item or two.
    3. On beauty, ask readers to list a product (or products) that they never run out of. With so many options, it would be helpful to know what products your readers purchase on repeat and why.
    That’s it. Keep up the good work.

    1. Those are wonderful ideas! I love them. Thanks Susan

    2. The splurge outfit is beautiful but I too would never spend that kind of money for one outfit.
      I would like to know about exercise to relieve aches and pains. I am 73 and seem to wake up with parts of my body needing an “oil can”.
      Thanks for great blogs always.

      1. Lol, I hear you Lin!

  20. How about tips on shopping at quality thrift stores and consignment shops? Or dressing room diaries at a few more moderate- end shops. I do enjoy the Kohl’s segments.

    1. I’ve never had any luck at consignment shops but I’ll see what I can do Mary.

  21. Love the splurge or save! Recognised the save from the handbag, which I already have in a wish list for fall!
    Would like some advice regarding best sunscreen for the body that is not “sport” (aka waterproof). Need one for everyday for arms and find waterproof too lol hot to wear.

    1. I don’t differentiate between face or body sunscreen unless it’s tinted. Many of mine are water resistant. I like the Australian Gold brand.

  22. It is show hard to think about fall with our very warm temps in South Carolina.

  23. The coat and the paisley top were the giveaways for me. 🙂

  24. Oh I really prefer the splurge pieces here with the exception of the jacket ( I like both jackets equally). I think the handbag and the blouse/faux leather pants did it for me.
    However I do not spend over seven thousand dollars on any one outfit- ever! But if I were that wealthy I would definitely choose the splurge selection.

    1. Happy Monday Paulette

  25. This is always such a fun post. The tailoring on the coat was my first clue. Also I could spot which bracelet was real gold. I cannot imagine paying over 3 grand for a bag. But then I can’t imagine spending 300 for one. I’m a small purse woman so large bags have no attraction for me. I bought 2 of the one-button knit jackets and was very pleased with them especially for the price. They will come in handy when the weather cools off.

    1. I loved that little jacket

    2. I have the faux leather pants from Veronica Beard so I knew immediately what the splurge was. I was a little hesitant, but I was curious and knew I could return. I am definitely keeping these pants and ordered the matching blazer. Say what you will about faux leather, but these pants are so luxurious, gorgeous, comfortable and of the highest quality. Love them!

      1. That’s great to know!

  26. The pleather pants look slightly worse on the budget model. If you traded those out for dark jeans, white jeans or black tailored pants, either outfit would work.

  27. Jill from Detroit says:

    In the Splurge or Save display the bracelet was the giveaway for me. Splurge has a very nice clasp , the kind you put on expensive jewelry. The coat is also much more classic. What gave me trouble was the purse in Save. it looks like expensive leather in the picture. May have to order it to see if it really looks that good in person!

    1. Interesting! I didn’t zero in on the clasp. Good catch.

  28. Pat Patterson says:

    Good morning Jennifer
    I like the outfits you . As for the splurge outfit, is with the long coat, I see quality in that whole look

  29. Everything looks beautiful except for the three short blazer/jackets.

  30. It’s funny you say that about raglan sleeves. You’ve said that you have broad shoulders, so it makes sense. A strong shoulder in clothes is much more flattering on me, so I generally don’t consider anything with raglan sleeves, they’re a disaster on me – although I did like and purchase the Eileen Fisher merino with raglan sleeves during the Anniversary Sale. That one probably works because it has a boat neck.

    1. Jeanne–I am the same way. I have narrow shoulders and do better with a set-in sleeve. (Although I have hated the cutsy puffed up ones–they always look like someone didn’t know how to do it properly.) The structure balances me. The boat neck may do something similar for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *