Three years ago I decided to try and limit my more frivolous purchases. Items that weren’t well made, wouldn’t last more than a season, weren’t right for my body type or were too trendy for someone in their late 20s. I decided to start dressing for my body type and investing in pieces that I would love for more than a year. I wrote myself a list of pieces I needed to have in my closet and have slowly ticked away at it. More fun? I made similar lists for both my roommates so they could chip away at them, too! It’s a great guide to shopping so when you’re out you’re not buying just for the sake of buying.
These items included:
- The perfect black blazer. I got mine at the Helmut Lang sample sale two years ago – I still wear it regularly.
- Silk button downs in black and ivory. My black is from Equipment and so versatile and soft and in a flatter fit with the front pockets. My ivory is from Everlane and is a better price point without sacrificing quality.
- A black bag I’ll never tire of. My Sophie Hulme Zip-Top Bowling Bag was just the ticket- more below.
- A leather jacket. After years of wanting one, I finally splurged on my dream leather jacket this year. See it styled here.
- Boots / Booties. Stop buying uncomfortable, cheap shoes! You won’t end up wearing them or they’ll get worn down. Buy fewer pair and focus on quality over quantity. Wear them over and over again like I do these.
- Denim that makes you feel good – in a variety of washes. When I discovered Rag & Bone denim, I was a convert. Expensive jeans, they are but when I put them on I feel slimmer and more confident. And that’s a feeling I’m happy to pay for. Plus, I am a jeans girl in the long run. I wear them all.the.time. Paying up for denim that isn’t a challenge to put on in the morning is an A+ in my book.
- Sunglasses that are flattering. Don’t just buy sunglasses because they are what everyone else is wearing. Go to a department store and try on loads of styles – regardless of label – and take pictures of yourself in them. Revisit the photos later and determine what you find to be most flattering.
- Classic black pumps. I actually have a pair I love from Zara but they are suede so they won’t be in my life for probably more than a couple of years. These Christian Louboutins are of course a splurge yet are stunningly simple & timeless but I also recommend these Kate Spade pumps that are much more affordable (and her heels are very comfortable I can attest.)
- A nice watch. This watch is trendy but I’ve had mine since 2007 and I still wear it nearly daily. Having a good timepiece makes a statement that you’re put together and professional and if you don’t have one you love enough to wear every day, trade up.
I should caveat that it wasn’t until my late 20s that I not only realized the value of investment pieces, but also began to earn enough money that afforded me the opportunity to save up for expensive purchases. None of the items mentioned here are worth going into debt over BUT they are worth setting aside some dollars every week so that when you save up enough you’ve earned the purchase that you’ll love for years to come.
And with that long winded upfront, I give you my Winter Investment Pieces…
Well-made Sweaters: Years ago I stopped buying sweaters from Zara because they only lasted one season before either having threads fall apart or becoming so pilled that they were rendered unwearable. Now I invest in sweaters that I know will be worn year after year. They cost more but in the end when bought in timeless colors and shapes – it is worth it. My favorites are Vince (this one is a gorgeous color and I have this one that I wear weekly) and Equipment (this one is my favorite and has been styled here, here and here.) Everlane also makes really affordable and wonderful quality ones – both cashmere and chunky knits (styled here).
A Great Coat: I know coats in black and gray are boring but what I’ve found is you won’t tire of them. I’ve had my J.Crew stadium coat in black for nearly 3 years now. And I bought this one for this year to mix things up. Favorites available right now include this one (love the hood trim!) and this one.
Nice Winter Accessories: I love the winter accessories I’ve gotten from Club Monaco over the years. They hold up well in the weather and through constant use. I love this one for the subtle glamour, these look so cozy and I adore a good chunky knit infinity scarf.
Boots: Don’t buy boots that are going to fall apart after one winter. Buy well-made ones that will work in your wardrobe with lots of outfits. The Rag & Bone Newbury boots are at the top of my list for recommendations. They are so comfortable (I do a 30 minute walk to work in them with no issues) and go just as well with denim as they do skirts. And the Stuart Weitzman 5050s are also a great investment option.
A Classic Bag: Investing in my Sophie Hulme bag last January was one of my best purchases (first seen here) as mentioned above. I use it every week, travel with it and love that it isn’t a bag you see everywhere. Sophie Hulme’s designs are classic and very well made and this tote (shown above) is a timeless shape with beautiful hardware.
A Red Bag: Nothing adds a perfect pop amidst a sea of gray and black in the winter like a red bag. I love mine and have styled it here and here. The mini Pashli (shown) is a great option and I also love this bag and this bag.
I hope you find this helpful! If you have any shopping related questions or want advice on investment options, always feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org! xx