May 3, 2012
A while back when I asked for feedback on posts you’d like to see on the blog, someone mentioned that I should do a segment on pieces worth investing in, which I thought was a brilliant idea! I decided to split it up into 2 posts, one for apparel and one for accessories. I read an article in Lucky magazine once that listed 100 items that every women should have in their closet at some point in their lives. Between you and me, that sounds a bit excessive, so I’ve nailed it down to 8 of the key apparel pieces I personally would love to invest in.
In terms of price point, it’s all relative to your own personal budget, so I’m not going to say how much an investment piece really costs/should cost because it varies from individual to individual. In fact I’m not going to even link the brands in the pieces listed because that’s not the point. The point is the style, not who makes it and how much it costs. For me personally, I start to hyperventilate and get major guilt when I think about spending anything close to the $300 per piece range, so I’d say just for generalizations, the J. Crew realm is where I’m investing in, maybe dabbling in Theory or T by Alexander Wang. But not much more.
The point to consider when buying “investment” pieces is that you are making an investment, so you are going for a) quality in materials and construction b) fit and c) the timelessness of the silhouette. Those three things are what’s most important when you’re spending outside of your normal comfort zone. Where the garment is produced often has a lot to do with quality as well, but that’s more important to some than others so I won’t really go there. Brand names and labeling aside, you can in fact see and feel the difference in quality when you pay more. It’s the age old adage, you get what you pay for. If you continue to proceed with the same mentality of bargain shopping when buying investment pieces, you aren’t really investing. So shall we begin by looking at my personal list?
1. A belted trench coat – trenches have been around for decades now and aside from a new fresh color or an added detail, the styling of them never really changes and continues to be a true classic. The thing I always admire about a woman in a trench is the appearance of instant sophistication and class. And not to mention there’s something just inherently sexy about trenches. Sure they hide half of your body, but there’s always that mystery of what’s underneath. The belt is crucial as well. Might as well just be wearing a parka without a belt on your trench.
2. A black blazer – think of the blazer as the new cardigan. It’s been around for years and has long been a staple in the workplace, but there are so many stylish and updated ways to wear a blazer now that you don’t have to limit it just to work anymore. It’s the instant way to make a jeans and t-shirt look pulled together and chic. Pay attention to fit and construction here and look for some sort of a lightweight wool/twill.
3.-4. A white button up (or taupe) – again, a button up in the right cut is sexy, not stuffy and every woman should have it in their closet. Dress it up, dress it down, wear it layered or just on its own, the white button down is the most versatile piece you could have in your closet.
5. A cashmere sweater – I’m not much of a sweater person so I never really got the obsession with cashmere, but after buying my first grey cashmere v-neck last fall, I do in fact get it now. It’s soft, it’s lightweight, but still has the ability to keep you warm, not hot, and it breathes like a dream, making it feel fresh on an almost continual basis, meaning it’s almost maintenance free. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I wore my cashmere sweater once for a whole week and I never had to even consider getting it cleaned.
6. An all purpose dress – Every woman should have a go-t0 dress in their closet that they can wear to a casual lunch or a nice dinner. While it’s debatable that one single dress can carry you from the beach to ballroom, you can have a dress cover 9/10 occasions that the average woman needs to attend. Go for a simple, yet elegant silhouette in a solid color (doesn’t have to be black), just avoid a wild print because those are more memorable. A simple, solid colored dress is like a chameleon and can change its looks with the right accessories and environment.
7. Quality denim – For me this is debatable, but I’ve included it because many friends mentioned it. For a few years I got caught up in the designer denim craze and owned a few pairs, but the last couple of years I’ve been reconsidering how much I should really be investing in denim. Sure, the skinny pant doesn’t change much, but color, fit, and wash change every season and it’s hard to keep up. I’ll leave this one up to you guys.
8. Cigarette pants – A few readers and friends didn’t know what cigarette pants were when I posted my list on Instagram, and all they are are just a slim fitting, slightly cropped pant. Think Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. Why include this in my list? Well because they are a truly classic silhouette that doesn’t change from season to season, and can be worn a myriad of ways. With a flat and cashmere sweater, you’re instantly channeling Audrey. With a heel and a white button up shirt, you look sexy and sophisticated. Unlike say a regular wide leg or boot cut trouser, that has more limited options, cigarette pants are versatile and a true classic.
If you have these pieces in your closet, you’re set for anything. If you buy the best quality you can afford, y0u’ll also have them to enjoy for many, many years to come. My accessories list will be out next week. In the mean time, what are some of the items you’d add or delete to this list. And what do you think is the most you’d spend on an investment piece?
P.S. My comment system had been wacky for the past 2 weeks, not leaving me able to reply to individual comments. But it’s been fixed so we can start the conversation now and it will be easier to maintain!