Sometimes it makes sense to spend money on quality. For example, buying cheap, replaceable clothes may actually cost more in the long run. At the same time, if you're buying an "investment piece", you want to consider the cost beyond price: higher quality items usually require more maintenance. Photo by Emily May.
For example, I try to buy quality clothing that lasts, but if those items require dry cleaning, I've noticed I don't really wear them. (Mitch Hedberg had a great joke about this: "This shirt says 'dry clean only', which means it's dirty.") Those clothes are made to last, but they're still a waste of money for me, because they just sit in my closet.
Whether it's a fancy top or nice furniture, you want to consider the upkeep your "investment piece" requires, because upkeep takes time and effort. And not only that, dry cleaning actually costs money, too. So you'll spend even more over time.
Apartment Therapy puts it this way:
Don't buy an investment piece before you're ready to take care of it...The key to investing in things is that you need and expect them to last a long time. So you should be ready to take care of them. Investing is a mature thing to do for any form of the word; caring for a pair of leather boots or a wooden table is no exception.
This isn't to say you should go back to buying crap over quality. You just want to consider the maintenance when you do buy quality. I still try to buy nice stuff, but not if I have to spend a lot of time taking care of it.
For more on this concept, head to Apartment Therapy's full post. They offer a few suggestions for making an investment piece worthwhile.
What Everybody Ought to Know About Splurging on Investment Pieces [Apartment Therapy]