I often get questions from friends and readers alike, asking me to cover what I consider investment pieces – expensive clothing and accessories that aren’t a waste of money. And while most of the usual “investment” pieces aren’t really that great of an investment if you are looking to make a monetary return, in my opinion, sometimes it pays to spend a little (or even a lot) more on something that will make you happy for a long time, something of superior quality and craftsmanship, something that you could eventually pass down to your grandchildren. So if you are looking to buy something of substance, here are my top 5 pieces worth splurging on, and brands to invest in.
1. Quality Bag
A great quality bag is a must-have for any (and every) working woman out there. Unlike men, we really do need a place to stash our wallet/lipstick/compact/iPad/iPhone/book/snacks/keys/life…A woman’s bag is something that gets used day after day, so why not make it a great one? A timeless high-quality bag is definitely my number one investment piece to consider. Yes, a cheaper one would certainly do the job, but if you consider cost-per-wear (total price paid divided by the number of times the item is used), even a pricey purse could be affordable. If you love your bag, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll wear it everywhere and with everything. And given the quality of your investment, you’ll have it for years to come instead of being used up and thrown out like a cheaper version.
If you are going to make the leap and buy an expensive bag, you should consider its longevity. You don’t want to buy a super-trendy piece, only to realize that it’s totally passé three months later. Invest in a classic shape, and a solid colour. It doesn’t have to be “boring” black (although black is the most versatile), but make sure to pick a colour that you could pair with a few things in your wardrobe, and one that would make you smile too.
Brands To Invest In: Chanel, Prada, Balenciaga, Hermès, YSL
Whether it be a luxurious timepiece, or a pair of in-your-face of sunnies, every woman should have a statement accessory to make her outfits pop. Investing in a piece of jewelry, or an accessory that will surely become an heirloom some day down the road is much better than spending the same amount of money on a pile of fast fashion baubles that will break or become discoloured after a couple of uses.
One of my fave pieces in my jewellery box is a turquoise YSL Arty ring. Every time I wear it, I get compliments left and right, and I have yet to find an outfit I couldn’t spice up with that pretty cocktail ring. Same goes for my classic Chanel brooch – so far, I’ve pinned it to my blazers, shirts, and sweaters, but it can also be worn as a necklace, and a faux belt buckle. Don’t you wish your mom or grandma passed down something like that to you?
Brands To Invest In: Cartier, Tiffany and Co, Chanel, Prada, YSL
More after the jump!
3. Timeless Jacket
If there’s one item that has lasting power – it’s a well-made, well-tailored coat. Be it a ladylike Burberry trench, or a tough-chick Balenciaga leather jacket, some things never go out of style, which is why splurging on one isn’t a bad idea. Personally, I live in my leather moto jackets. The cut flatters my figure, the style suits my personality, and frankly, I think they go with everything! So when I bought a beautiful but pricey Mikhael Kale moto (on sale!), I didn’t regret spending more than I would at Zara. Why? Because I’ll have it for years and will wear it all the time, making cost per wear negligible. Plus, it is really well-made, compared to its fast-fashion counterparts.
Brands To Invest In: Burberry, Acne, Balenciaga, Prada, VAWK, Mackage
4. Classic Pumps
As much as I love funky shoes, in the long run, a pair of statement shoes that you’ll sport twice a year will cost a lot more than a pair of perfect black pumps that you’ll wear all the time. Of course, the perfect pump doesn’t have to be black, red is another classic colour that will stand the test of time, and so is beige. If you hate the idea of a “boring” pair of pumps, buy a pair with fun design elements, but one that will still look great with most things in your wardrobe (Valentino Rockstud are both fun and classic all at the same time).
Colours and design aside, the most important thing to consider when buying an “investment” pair of shoes is comfort. You have to make sure that those perfect shoes are wearable as well as pretty. There’s nothing that will tank the worth of an investment piece faster than discomfort. Because if that pair of shoes is killing your feet, you probably won’t wear them all too often, and sitting pretty on a shelf does not an investment piece make. Before fully committing to that classic pump, make sure to test it out at home on a carpet, and if the shoes feel comfy enough, remove the price tags and take those babies out for a spin!
Brands To Invest In: Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Charlotte Olympia, Valentino, Ron White
5. Kick-ass Jeans
I don’t know about you, but I wear jeans A LOT. Not as often as I did in college, but they are definitely my go-tos for both lazy weekends, and casual (but smart) looks. And while there’s nothing wrong with more affordable pairs, if you’ve ever put on a pair of premium denim skinnies, you know how awesome great jeans can make you feel. To get the most bang for your buck, pick a pair in a darker wash, with minimal distressing, and a shape that flatters (skinny, flare, bootcut – whatever looks best on you).
Brands To Invest In: Rag and Bone, J Brand, Levi’s, Seven For All Mankind
And there you have it – my top 5 pieces to splurge on. So tell me, what are your dream investment pieces? Share in the comments.