Smart Investments

28 tips, tricks and timesavers well worth the splurge

Fancy

1. IN THE BAG

A chic, high-quality handbag keeps your on-the-go life all in one place without sacrificing style (bet you can?t see the crumpled to-do lists we?re carrying in here). Look to neutral hues with subtle details, like expandability (for schlepping your laptop) and convertible crossbody straps (for desk-to-dinner appeal).

MICHAEL Michael Kors leather tote ($360)

2. ON-DEMAND BLOOMS

Having a trusty go-to florist in your back pocket is essential for navigating just about every event life throws at you. (Kid?s teacher?s birthday? Last-minute housewarming party? What about a ?Sorry I had to cancel our happy-hour date again? bouquet?) Keep this number on speed dial--trust us.

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3. EVERYDAY NECESSITIES

The sleek LBD, the classic trench coat, the picture-perfect hair color. Sure, they?re investments, but in the long run, they?re so worth it. Keep your dress and trench flawless with regular trips to the cleaners, and maintain your golden locks with EverPure Blonde shampoo and conditioner from L?Oréal Paris. Because fabulous style is priceless.

4. FEELINGS NEUTRAL

Goes-with-anything sandals are worth their weight in gold when you consider their sheer usefulness. Go casual with white denim over the weekend, try them with a sundress for brunch or pair them with something fancier (wedding season is right around the corner, after all).

Stuart Weitzman sandals ($415)

5. ON POINT

Ditch the dull-bladed cheapies for a set of good stainless steel knives. You?ll slice and dice cleanly through delicate herbs and produce, preserving your food?s freshness and appeal. Keep the knives sharp (here?s how) and they?ll last for years and years.

Wüstof Classic 7-piece knife block set ($300)

6. BEST FOOT FORWARD

If you splurge on pricey leather boots and heels (and you should), keep them in top form by buddying up with a reliable cobbler. Preventive care (like weather-proofing and salt-stain removal) can be done at home, but bring fine footwear in ASAP when telltale signs of wear and tear emerge. Toe-tip patching and replacing worn-out soles should be left to a pro.

M. Gemi booties ($228)

7. WELL ADORNED

Trendy baubles and statement-making stones come and go, but you?ll reach for your understated nameplate necklace time and again. This definitive piece adds the finishing touch to any ensemble, making it the workhorse of your accessory arsenal.

Jane Basch Designs cutout nameplate necklace ($148)

8. HOME HELPER

Sign up for an automatic bimonthly home-product delivery service; It?s economical and efficient. The Honest Company?s nontoxic products cost less than some grocery-store versions they arrive right at your door and the packaging is some of the prettiest we?ve seen.

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9. LOVE YOUR LOCKS

You drop something akin to a weekend beach getaway at the salon to get perfectly toned tresses. To keep that color bright and brilliant in between hair appointments, lather up at home with a sulfate-free shampoo, like the EverPure collection by L?Oréal Paris.

10. HOLY SHEET

Coordinate all of your domestic linens into one color palette (think whites, grays and pale blues) to easily mix and match. Having plush towels and mega-thread-count sheets in similar hues means you can toss them all in the wash together without any color bleeding.

Frette bath sheet ($150)

11. SMARTER STORAGE

The renovation-free way to add more storage (and tidiness) to your closet? Invest in a convertible storage system that lets you easily switch out some of the pieces in mere minutes for an instant refresh. When you can see your wardrobe in its entirety, you can better visualize what you actually need--and don?t. It?s a win-win.

TRX

12. ON-THE-FLY FITNESS

The TRX home suspension trainer gives you a total-body workout anytime and anywhere, is super-light and packable, and delivers real-time exercises via your mobile device. If it?s good enough for Navy SEALs, it?s good enough for us.

TRX Home Suspension Trainer ($200)

13. CLEAN SWEEP

Once the temp is consistently above 60 degrees, gather up your winter coats, sweaters and woolens and schlep them all to the dry cleaner. Yes, it?s a pretty pricey endeavor in one fell swoop, but everything comes back fresh, nicely wrapped and ready to be ceremoniously shoved into the back of your closet.

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14. KEEP IT COLORFUL

So you splurged on luxury linens, premium denim and Hollywood-caliber hair color. Luckily, fabric color upkeep is no big deal with a few simple household hacks (hello, vinegar) and regular maintenance. Thankfully L?Oréal Paris?s EverPure shampoo is here to protect your locks with a sulfate-free formula that prevents dulling and fading.

15. THE WRITE STUFF

Call us old-fashioned, but there?s just something so satisfying about sending a beautiful handwritten note. Having a stack of thick, high-quality personalized cards around makes it a breeze to send a quick thank-you for that last-minute dinner invite or a thoughtful ?get well soon? to a coworker.

Minnie & Emma Palm Beach notecards ($68)

16. BEYOND BASIC

It?s worth splurging on a few well-fitting, soft cotton T-shirts, because you will reach for them over and over (and over and over). Find a brand, size and style you love, and scoop it up in every neutral: white, gray, black and navy.

Splendid tee ($100)

17. HYDROTHERAPY

Daily hydration goals are no biggie when you have a bottle that you actually want to carry with you. Pony up for a nice BPA-free glass container to make hitting that eight-glasses-per-day mark a breeze.

Bkr water bottle ($30)

18. GET YOUR KICKS

You reach for your kind-of-ugly ?commuting shoes? at least five times a week, so why not upgrade to a pair of chic slip-ons? Perennially cool with more structure and style than ballet flats, loafers go with everything from trousers and jeans to skirts and dresses. You might even skip the under-the-desk heel swap at the office.

Del Toro velvet skull slippers ($325)

19. LUXE LOUNGER

If you?re not crushing Netflix in bed (another case for a really good mattress), then you?re probably logging some serious sofa hours. Bite the bullet and invest in a neutral-hued piece that will complement your style (and provide countless naps) for years to come.

Design Within Reach Reid sectional sofa ($7,725)

20. FIRST-CLASS UPGRADE

So you can?t shell out big bucks for a Louis Vuitton trunk at the moment (we feel your pain), but you can still travel with something more elegant than that ratty stained luggage set you got at graduation. Opt for a few lightweight yet sturdy pieces, and don?t be shy about bold colors and patterns.

Ted Baker London hard shell suitcase ($448)

21. RAIN SUPREME

How does your garden grow? With the help of recycled rainwater, we hope. Rain barrels collect the precious drops and reduce your dependency on municipal water sources. Connect a hose and conveniently nourish your blooms and greens without wasting clean water. Essential and timely, considering our drought-stricken friends out west.

Rescue terra cotta rain barrel kit ($199)

22. MOBILE MINDFULNESS

Whether you have five minutes in between appointments or a 15-minute lunch break, investing in your sanity is undeniably smart. And, of course, there?s an app for that: Pick one that works for you--guided meditations, sleep aids and soothing soundscapes are all available--and tune in as necessary.

23. LIGHT IT UP

If you haven?t yet swapped out your incandescent bulbs for LED versions, what are you waiting for? These energy-efficient lights last 20 times longer, save you big money on your electric bills, are free of mercury, keep their cool and provide a soft, natural glow. Bright idea.

Ikea Ledare LED bulb ($7)

24. SLUMBER PARTY

Honestly, if you don?t recognize how important a good night?s sleep is by now, we can?t help you with much else in life. When you consider that 60 percent of us aren?t getting good-enough z?s and how it dramatically affects everyday life, you understand that buying a quality mattress means investing in your physical, mental and emotional health, making it worth every penny.

Tempur-Pedic queen mattress set ($1,999)

25. KITCHEN LIFESAVER

Four words: Le Creuset Dutch oven. You will have this iconic cast-iron piece forever and ever, and it makes absolutely everything from pad thai to pizza to chicken soup.

Le Creuset 4½-quart Dutch oven ($280)

26. GET SOME SUPPORT

Go for a proper fitting and invest in several versatile, functional bras. Too timid to bare it all to the lingerie-store specialist? Take a fit quiz for some online recs. Trust: A good bra will change your wardrobe, your posture, your confidence...The list goes on and on.

Stella McCartney balconet bra ($70)

27. THAT?S A WRAP

Just ask Lenny: Nothing is more luxurious than engulfing your neck in a statement scarf. Reach for your timeless knit to put a finishing touch on any outfit, in any season.

A Peace Treaty scarf ($60)

28. CHIC SNEAKS

Consider the sneaker: All-purpose trainers are worth any amount, especially a properly fitting pair that helps keep you injury-free for the long haul. What?s more, ?athleisure? is so on trend. Swap out your old pair and get ready to live in some new kicks.

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit ($120)