High/low shopping keeps your wardrobe fresh without breaking your piggy bank. Recent news of Nordstrom welcoming Topshop to its floors and Neiman Marcus partnering with Target to release a holiday collection are glaring signals of retailers' cognizance of shoppers' need for value and bargains. Brand equity aside, these partnerships will provide high/low shopping in one place so how does one go about high/low shopping in Nordstrom, Neimans or across the myriad of stores one visits?

WHEN TO BUY HIGH: The high end pieces in your wardrobe should be classics that will endure from season to season. They are essentials that you will wear frequently (with few exceptions). They may also be pieces of art that you foresee transcending a trend. I recently advised a client to choose sheath dresses with a twist; I recommended dresses by Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto from their Spring/Summer 2012 collections as examples. Why? The sheath silhouette is timeless and flattering on her frame. She wanted to incorporate more colors into her wardrobe and she already does a good job of using accessories. Use of graphic prints are trendy now, but these particular dresses are so special that she can wear them through her 30s and well into her 60s and they will still resonate as beautiful, exquisite and unique. Moreover, they are quality pieces that can and will last that long. More examples of items to buy high:
photos from l to r: top row: Armani Collezioni suit, Michael Kors  classic, versatile camel sheath dress, Zac Posen cocktail dress @ Neiman Marcus, Burberry trench @ Burberry, Etro coat @ MyTheresa, Peter Pilotto sheath dress photo courtesy of style.com, Roland Mouret summer white sheath dress @ Neiman Marcus, Jean-Michel Cazabat pump @ shopbop, Valextra work tote @ Barneys, Mary Katrantzou photo courtesy of style.com

WHEN TO BUY LOW: Set aside fewer dollars for purchase of trendy pieces that will last a season or two. For example, while we are all gaga for neon this summer, we're not likely to be wearing neon everything in 2 years. Buy your neon jeans, purses, etc. at low price points. Above, I mention purchasing frequently worn essentials on the low end with few exceptions. A couple exceptions, in my opinion, are the white t-shirt, cotton button down and the jean. Some may want to strike me down after that statement, but the reality is one white t-shirt is NOT worth hundreds of dollars. I don't care what it's made of or the brand name stamped or stitched onto it. AND white t-shirts wear quickly when worn frequently. The same goes for white collared shirts. Because you are likely wearing the collared shirt to work, go to Banana Republic or J.Crew for items with some staying power. Don't waste your money on anything more expensive. Oh the blue jean; I've bought high and low. Jean styles change frequently--from level of distress, washes, pocket sizes, to cut. In my opinion it makes more sense to spend a bit less. However, if you find a designer brand that never fails you-purchase 1 or 2 pairs as your staples and wear them until they can go no more.

Finally, my past Look a Like posts embody the high/low spirt so check them out HERE.

Articles on Nordstrom/Topshop and Neiman Marcus/Target pairings HERE and HERE.

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