Asplurge is not a binge. The indulgent purchase is a well-thought-out one. It can fall into two categories: a conversation piece -- such as the zebra-striped shearling boot by Miss Trish of Capri, suggests Marlene Aldaba, owner of Hu's Shoes in Georgetown. Or it can be an investment piece, like Laurence Dacade crocodile and brown-suede pumps. Or whatever. Bag, coat, rug, watch.

A splurge, unlike a binge, makes us feel darn good.

"I won't always buy things as soon as I see them," says Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, a youth marketing and communications agency. "If you keep thinking, thinking and thinking about something, then you say, 'I have to go buy it.' "

For Wells this season, it was a $600 Andrea Brueckner bag. "I'm, like, obsessed with her bags," she says of the Canadian designer. "You can wear a Target T-shirt and flip-flops and jeans with it and it looks amazing."

After all, a splurge should be something with a long shelf life. "When you're splurging -- unless you're Anna Wintour -- you have to think about how versatile a piece is going to be," Wells says. Can it be worn with much of your closet?

A splurge -- in all its luxurious pleasure -- can be as simple as a pair of faux eyelashes. Diffusion lines (Marc by Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney for H&M) allow us our own economic definitions of splurge -- our own level of reality when the credit card bill arrives.

-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond

Shu Uemura Masquerade feather lashes, $20 at