how I shop for investment pieces
Building that perfect wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. Curating a closet that speaks your personality and that will transcend trends and years will take time and frankly money. It’s a balancing act between priorities, your monthly clothing budget and fashion trends. In my twenties I was buying in for most of the trends with little filter which led to an overflowing closet of “nothing to wear”. In my thirties I’ve been more concerned about maintaining a lean closet and choose pieces carefully. As soon as I notice that an item is not on regular rotation, I either gift it, donate it or sell it.
So, how do you actually get to that closet of timeless and quality pieces?
ditch the trends
Ask yourself: “Can I think of at least three different outfits to pair this piece with?” If the answer is yes, then you’ll know that garment or accessory won’t be a one hit wonder. Also, think about whether it’s realistic to wear that piece five years from now?
Versatility is key. If you can wear that top year round with several different looks, the cost per wear will be much lower making the investment more rewarding.
take your time
Ever needed a perfect white silk blouse for an upcoming interview, but you couldn’t find the right one? Finally you gave up and compromised? It happened to me one too many times. I put myself under pressure and ended up with items I did not like. I think it’s essential that you give yourself enough time to shop around to find great quality and of course a great deal! Buying an investment piece doesn’t mean you have to pay a small fortune.
less is more
When shopping for investment pieces, quality over quantity is key. I’ve found over the years that it is smarter (and cheaper) investing in a black handbag once rather than buying two or three “semi-expensive” ones. You get so much more value for your money.
prepare for upkeep
Silk and cashmere will need special care. You have to pay attention how to store, launder and dry them the right way to get as much wear out of them as possible. I ruined a cashmere pullover many years ago. I decided to wash it and the thing that came out of the washer might have fit my five year old self.
Investing in leather shoes will pay off big time! I have leather shoes from 15 years ago that are still in great shape. When I buy leather shoes I always take them to my shoemaker first and have him add a protecting sole. It gives your shoes so many more years.
Photos by Rick Robillard