As you know, I try to be really intentional about my purchases. This wasn't always the case, but I've learned through trial and error and noting when things never got worn and why. I really loved this Diane von Furstenberg top when I first saw it, but I took my time buying it.
Here's what sold me: I love this drapy shape. Even when (you'll notice I didn't say "if") I fluctuate in weight, it'll never not fit. The shape isn't trendy (like all the high-low stuff that's going on this season, for example), so it won't go out of style anytime soon. It's high quality. I am not a huge fan of florals, but I do like graphic, geometric prints, and this is a nice combination of the two.
One of the biggest reasons why I knew it would be a good buy was its versatility. I can wear it to work, for dressy events (above), and on the weekend (below).
It's also one of those pieces that I can go to when I'm not sure what to wear, and I always feel good in it.
About the nitty-gritty budget details: I put a sale alert on it on every site it was available through www.shopstyle.com and waited for an alert to tell me it was on sale. Then, I went through ebates.com and got cash back by going through that site. The top originally retailed somewhere around $250 and by using all these sites, I paid about $106. It's certainly been a worthwhile purchase for me!