Shopbop’s Best Slight-Splurges

Feb 29, 2024

Recently, I decided to stop buying so much fast fashion. True, some of my favorite pants and dresses came from Old Navy and H&M, and there’s nothing wrong with snagging a deal on something you’ll really wear. But I’m moving into spring with a new shopping mentality.

When pregnant with Sloane, I gained 30lbs, which (because I almost died) fell off pretty quickly. The problem was, I never started working out again after she was born. And once I started working a full-time lawyering gig, it didn’t take long to start gaining weight. When that happened, I started spending too much money on lower-priced clothing, telling myself that this weight was just temporary. And while I still believe that’s true, I am reminded that I can tailor nicer clothes to fit my body if/when I do lose the weight.

So for the spring, I intend to buy nicer pieces that I’ll still want to wear a year or more from now, and simply tailor them to fit when the time comes. And that’s how I ended up at Shopbop, shuffling through hundreds of gorgeous, fashion forward pieces. Here are some of my favorites.

This ALC Remy Dress ($695) is perfect for a spring wedding.  It would also make a great dress to wear to work in summer with a white blazer.

This Pistola Denim Mallory Sweater ($158) has a really unique shape.  I love the light mocha color and the chunkier knit.  This looks great with white denim (as you can see), I’d also try it over sheath dresses.

This Brinker & Eliza necklace ($148) has a really unique look to it.  The darker stone feels moody and modern.  It would look incredible with a crewneck, lightweight sweater.

This Joe’s Jeans striped top ($128) has a unique shape.  I love how easy it would be to pair this with jeans or trousers to wear a t-shirt that looks like you’re wearing a blouse.

A cool pair of sandals can really spruce up last summer’s dresses.  These Anca sandals from Intentionally Blank ($179) are unique and cool and easy to wear.

Have an outdoor wedding to attend this summer?  This Elisamama Anike dress ($380) is a great look.  Would also be fabulous on a tropical trip.

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  1. W says:

    Everything is overpriced

  2. Rachel says:

    Can you talk about how much you’re willing to spend on tailoring for things? For example, I recently dropped a size and my old blazers look ridiculous. But I’m finding it hard to spend $60 to do major tailoring on an Ann Taylor blazer that I probably spent $120 on originally. Or do you only tailor more expensive pieces of clothing and just give up on the ill-fitting cheaper pieces?

    • Sara says:

      I can’t speak for Abra, but when I dropped my Covid weight gain, I took just a few pieces that I had purchased during that time and loved – a coat, a blazer, a dress – and had my tailor re-work those. It’s definitely expensive, but if the item is irreplaceable (and you can’t find the item you love in a size smaller on Poshmark) it might be worth it.

    • katel says:

      +1 to Sara’s comment. Another way to think about alterations is to compare to the cost of replacing – $50-60 to make something you love fit you is less than $120-$175 to replace it.
      Solid garments with simple seams will be easier to alter/cost less

    • Belle says:

      For me, it depends on the piece. I wouldn’t spend $60 to tailor a $198 blazer, unless I really loved the blazer. My dark green Ann Taylor suit, I would tailor. A basic black, I wouldn’t. I would look for a new-to-me or NWT blazer on postmark. I recently bought a few dresses I already own in larger sizes.

  3. Anne says:

    I really appreciate your blog and content but I think the title of this post was a little misleading to me. A dress for $380 is more than a slight splurge to me (nevermind $695!). I appreciate buying clothes that are better quality, that make you feel good, but I think there must be a little more of a middle ground between old navy and quite that expensive. Admittedly, it is an area I am finding hard to navigate.

  4. Lucy says:

    Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s not “fast fashion.” For example, that necklace is costume jewelry and the t-shirt is polyester. I am all for making better and more sustainable fashion choices, but that doesn’t mean more expensive is better. It’s just overpriced.

    • Jill says:

      So true. So much clothing is polyester now, regardless of the price point.

    • Allison says:

      100% I have a $100 sweatshirt from Nordstrom that I bought 18 months ago that is ready for the bin because it’s pilly and stretched out and a ~$20 cotton poplin shirt dress I bought from Walmart (of all places) maybe 15 years ago that still looks great and I wear at least a handful of times each summer. You really have to look at each piece individually and consider more than the price tag or brand.

    • Belle says:

      Nearly everything sold now has some synthetic in it. Quality isn’t just about what’s in the fabric. It’s about the ply of the fabric, the quality of the thread being used, the way it’s sewn, etc. An Oscar de la Renta dress might be made with the same poly-cotton blend as an H&M dress on paper, but everything else is different. And unless you’re spending hundreds/thousands on solid gold jewelry, everything by that definition is costume.

  5. Nadine says:

    I’m personally trying to limit my purchase of new garments to give items a year, which I’ve heard is the limit of what the planet can sustain. For me avoiding fast fashion means buying secondhand online frequently and simply buying fewer new items (but still at GAP and similar retailers) altogether rather than buying higher-end clothing.

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