Fashion Over 50: How Would You Spend $5000?

This Eileen FIsher jacket is new to my closet…I fell in love with it at the EF fashion show I recently attended.  I have about four white jackets hanging in my closet, all purchased in search of the white jacket which would be “the one.”  But when I put this one on, I knew immediately my search was over.  It is worth the investment to me because I will wear it often and the cost per wear will be low.

Why do I love it so much….here are the reasons:  1. The longer length  2. The bone color is not really white (I am actually not a huge fan of white white) I prefer the creamy options 3.  The Tencel®/Lyocell/spandex/rayon fabric is wonderful, light, and machine wahable.   I decided to get the jacket I loved, and take the others to consignment.  I have found the one I want to dance with.  Today I am wearing it with Eileen Fisher pants, an older Coldwater Creek tank top, an older Coldwater Creek bracelet, a necklace purchased at a local boutique, and my very comfortable stylish Rockport flats.

So, here is what I want to ask you today….if Stacy and Clinton renewed What Not To Wear and showed up at your doorstep with $5000 to only be spent on your wardrobe, how would you spend it??   How would you balance quanitity over quality…would you want to shop in New York or in your hometown…how much would be accessories vs. clothing??  Knowing what you know now about yourself…how would you spend the $5000??

Sometimes we are faced with quality vs. quantitiy decisions…I went with the EF coat and I am glad I did.  But it is not always easy…

Please tell us your thoughts…how would you spend the money…and then ….



  1. Do I HAVE to spend the 5k on clothes? Other than some new foundation garments, socks & PJ’s there’s nothing I really want or need. I know those aren’t going to break the bank. LOL
    BUT I do need new flooring in my little mobile home & 5 k would supply that.

  2. First, I would purge the things I am not wearing. Then the money would go to quality basics. Pencil skirt, perfectly fitted slacks, several blazers, dress, classic pumps. It anything was left, I’d fill in with tops to mix and match with those pieces. Also perfect jeans. Definitely quality over quantity. I’m at the end of a purge currently, and these are actually my fashion goals for the future! Your jacket is beautiful, and a perfect shade of white. I prefer creamy over optic also! You can wear that with so many things. I need to do the consignment thing. I get lazy there and just donate!

  3. Yes…you have to spend the entire amount on your wardrobe, Becca. This is an exercise in thinking about what you wear. It would get some nice PJS though! LOL

  4. This jacket is amazing, Susan. And machine washable were the words that made the final decision!!

  5. Sounds like this is a great plan, Karen. Consignment has put some nice spending money in my pocket and helps assuage the guilt of having too much in the closet. I highly recommend finding one where you like to support the shop as well.

  6. Ok I’ll get rid of everything except my leather jackets, boots & handbags.
    1) 6 prs of Jeans that fit perfectly mid rise in dark wash, aqua, deep rose, moss, tan & black.
    2) 3 prs of dress slacks black, navy & gray
    3) 5 prs of comfortable shoes
    4) 9 tops to coordinate with the Jean & slacks
    5) 2 winter PJs
    6) 3 summer PJs
    7) foundation garments
    8) 2 longer tunic sweaters in navy & cream
    9) 1 black leather handbag
    Shop locally get more bang for my $$

  7. WOW! Very specific…love how you did this Becca…and I support Shopping Local!

  8. Oh I’d love $1,000 dollars to spend on clothes. As a Senior with a fixed income I don’t spend a lot on clothes, less than $400 a year. That’s shoes, pjs, undies and sweaters and clothing. So if I had $5,000 I’d really be at a loss to know what all to buy.

    But I do know I would want a variety of good shoes (Easy Spirit), and couple of good coats and about 5 or 6 cardigans to begin with. I’d want a few dresses and skirts and tops and some casual jackets to wear with Jeans and I would want to buy some very good jeans. The rest I would spend on nice tops and purses. Maybe one cute hat.

  9. I think many of us are right there with you, Sue…on a budget and dreaming of this…it would be so much fun. Thanks for Commenting…

  10. I would like to shop in my home town to make the money go further. I would wear anything they put together for me including the jewelry, bags, shoes and other accessories. I loved that show and learned so from Clinton and Stacy.

  11. I know…wish it was still around. But, if they wearn’t with you, Nina…do you know how you would spend the money?

  12. I didn’t have to think twice….an LV Speedy handbag, a substantial pair of gold post earrings, and the remainder spent on my favorite designer Eileen Fisher, but I would probably look for the clothing items at a sale price. To me that’s part of the thrill of the hunt. Lol.

  13. Having $5,000 that I had to spend on clothing only would be like a dream come true for me! I would immediately head down south to my favorite mall in L.A. and go crazy! I would look for knockout shoes in Nordstroms and maybe a chic trench coat. I would head over to Macy’s to look for beautiful but affordable pieces that I can’t find at my local Macy’s. I would splurge on some wonderful sexy lingerie in a trendy little boutique and maybe a new swimsuit. If I had any money left I would head back home and spend it at Chico’s where they have some absolutely beautiful spring apparel right now with lovely accessories to match!

  14. I love your specifics, Kathy! You made me want to go shopping in all of those places! Thanks!

  15. $5000 is more than I spend on clothing in several years, so to have it to spend all at once would be quite overwhelming! I’m a careful shopper as opposed to an impulsive one, so it would probably take me awhile to spend it all. Though I’d love to shop New York or somewhere else exotic, unless I could spend part of the money on airfare and accommodations, I would shop close to home. I would begin with a good bra fitting and a few high quality bras. I’d want to get that over with first because I hate bra shopping and I know that good foundation pieces are essential to everything else fitting well. Good quality shoes and boots would also be on my list and I’d spend whatever it takes to get a good comfortable pair of leather soled dancing shoes, something I’ve already been looking for for awhile. I would also buy a couple of great looking, versatile handbags; ones that won’t go out of style in a hurry. I’m in the market for a new winter coat, so that would definitely be something I’d look for. After that, I’d shop for quality basics that fit what I refer to as my classy casual wardrobe… jeans, tops, sweaters, jackets, and perhaps a couple of dresses. Once I’d made these selections, hopefully there would be a little left over to add some interesting accessories to coordinate with them.

  16. #1- wide width/wide calf boots, flats, tennis shoes and sandals
    #2- Classic style pants and jeans
    #3- undergarments & Pjs #4- Tailoring of pants
    #5- tops & cardigans
    #6- classic jackets
    #7- winter coat
    #9- leather bag
    #10- classic earrings & necklaces
    I would treat my feet to the best shoes & I am NOT a shoe person — have narrow heels & need wide toebox, LOL. Oh, I’d wear New Balance tennis shoes shopping for all this stuff. That way, my feet would be happy & I could keep smiling!!

  17. I would invest in some fantastic fabrics! LOL I have an impossible time finding pants in the right length. Although I’m 5’7″+/-, my torso is an average length and my legs and arms are long. This leaves me with tops that are too short in the sleeves and pants that are “high waters”! Tall sizes are too long in the crotch area and make me feel like I’m “sagging”. Being plus size doesn’t help either so, in order to get a proper fit, I just about have to make my own clothing. The $5000 would buy a ton of fabric to add to my already overflowing stash! If I can’t spend it all on fabric, I would probably end up spending it on shoes, bags and accessories.

  18. Wow that’s more $$ than I spend in several years! But I’d shop locally and go to Macys and Nordstrom ( ok not exactly local but close by!). I’d buy foundation garments, a beautiful jacket like yours and a couple of tailored blazers, really nice jeans and dressier pants. Nice fitting blouses or shirts- not knit tops- to wear with them. Then I’d look for a couple of nice dresses that had some sleeves, and a short Burberry coat for rainy days. I’d buy really good comfy leather shoes- heels and flats, and new sneaks too. I’m probably at my limit but there’s always a Patricia Nash bag if I had any leftover!

  19. It might be a lot…but it would be very high quality too! ThanKs for adding your new perspective, Pauline!

  20. I would chose quality over quantity. At this season in my life, my clothes last longer. I would likely purchase a short classic trench coat, slacks that fit really well, shoes that are stylish & comfortable, a pair of boots that are practical & stylish, a couple of season spanning jackets, & some fun accessories. If I had money leftover, maybe a lightweight sweater in an unusual color & a classic shirt or two.

  21. Thanks Becky! I would love to have a good quality trench coat…thanks for sharing!

  22. I would focus on a color curated wardrobe with the foundation being black pants of various kinds and very, very good and unaffordable jeans that make my butt look amazing … um acceptable (there’s only so much fantasy built into this post :). A couple of Brahmin handbags (I have a few but love them and could use a few more in classic but different colors) and then a real statement, spendy designer bag, likely St Lauent. Extremely classic design and black leather, so as to last me the rest of my life. Leopard and black shoes in slingback and flats. An Hermes scarf because I’ve always wanted one, and it would levitate all the black basics. A few flowy, open, classic cardigans in silks and cashmere, in bright solid colors with mix and match cotton tanks and tees (fast fashion would be fine for these … I like solids and stripes, not prints). I have a lot of beautiful beaded jewelry because I make it, so my last bit of money could be used for a few really fun, fast fashion beach bags, cover ups, hats and even more scarves (I have over a hundred, but what the heck …).

  23. Love reading your comment, Linda. It resonated with me in several areas…including the jeans! and Hermes scarf…

  24. Hmmmmm,you really got me thinking here.
    I would definitely invest in:
    some quality cashmere knitwear(cardigans and jumpers),
    a knee length woollen cashmere coat,
    some French Kande jewellery,
    a Georg Jensen silver watch,
    some silk blouses/tops,
    more jeans
    and if there was money left over I’d buy some quality loafers in navy and black.

  25. My first purchase would be an assortment of shoes. I have very wide feet and it is difficult for me to find comfortable shoes that are stylish without breaking the bank. So shoes and boots would be a big splurge for me! I’d also purchase a quality winter coat and parka. After that, hmmm. Beautiful lingerie, fun handbag or two, and a few staple pieces. This was fun, Pam!

  26. 1. Full length custom red fox fur. I do not like being cold.
    2. Would you wear it Part 4 outfit – I loved that one!
    3. All new lingerie.
    4. Little black dress and all the accessories to go with it.
    5. All new shoes – winter boots, comfortable walking shoes, summer sandals, running shoes.
    6. NYDJ.
    7. Sweaters for winter and summer.
    And, I’m probably out of money … but this was fun!

  27. Really enjoyed this post and all the comments. Amazing how so many of us have similar taste or “wish fors”

    You have mentioned several times that you take your no longer wanted or needed clothing items to resale shops in San Antonio. I have quite a few no longer wanted or needed good pieces, some never worn with price tags still hanging that I want to resale. Can you recommend some of the places that you have used.

    $5,000 to spend on inventory for my closet- what a dream.

    First, good jewelry that my grandchildren would be proud to inherit. Such as French Kande, Rocki Gorman, statement pieces from high end boutiques.

    Second, some more Brahmin bags, especially one or two of the new round bags in the new Spring pastel colors.

    Third, stylish and high quality shoes and boots that would make my wide feet and ugly toes look good and be comfortable to wear all day.

    Fourth, Good quality and good fit tailored blazers to wear with jeans and for dress. Blazers that would be exciting to wear forever.

    Fifth, as long as Chico continues offering them and as long as they continue being good quality, each of Chico’s no iron blouses as they come out each new season.

    The rest if any left, I would add the needed basics to my wardrobe, as weeding out the no longer wanted pieces or something new that comes out. I would concentrate only adding to my wardrobe with high quality rather than quantity.

    So many of your statement jewelry pieces, I would love to have in my jewelry collection.

    If you can, please recommend resale shops in San Antonio. Thanks

  28. Thanks for reminding me, Esther…I need a couple of those no-iron blouses! Happy to recommend my friend Marilyn Caskey, owner of Garment Exchange on Brookhollow and 281N. That is my favorite, but I also have used Clothes Mentor…several locations in SA. Tell Marilyn I said HI!

  29. I’d do my best with the brands I like most and would buy full outfits with shoes and accessories without concern for only sale items. Jackets and shoes, especially.

  30. I’d buy shoes that can accommodate orthotics; they’re hard to find and decent looking ones are really expensive

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