12 Feb 2015

Investment Dressing: The Strategy #2 And Coco Chanel

charlotte casiraghi, the little black jacket book, chanel, investment dressing, vicki archer

Investment dressing and the strategy behind it is something that I try and work towards.

Is it an age thing or have I simply wised up?

As a rule I would say that I pay more for each major piece but I buy less.

diane kruger, the little black jacket book, chanel, investment dressing, vicki archer

My strategy is to mix and match the price points of fashion. I invest in the long term, like a blue chip.

Each season, to stay with trends, I will add garments to my wardrobe that are relatively inexpensive knowing that they will probably not see more than a few seasons wear. I won’t invest heavily in these. They will be worn frequenty and worn together with an investment piece. I don’t spend a great deal of time mulling over the decisions; if it looks good and the pricepoint is reasonable then I’m in.

Fashion that is easy come, easy go.

the little black jacket book, chanel, investment dressing, vicki archeranna wintour, the little black jacket book, chanel, investment dressing, vicki archer

Investment pieces are a different story and with these I do strategise. I take my time and think about the quality, the fit and the timeless factor. An investment piece must be timeless. Timeless, in that they stand the test of time and timeless in that they will wear well and last forever.

The Cropped jacket à la Coco Chanel are one of my key investment pieces.

On a cost per wear basis I must be well into the black. A cropped jacket works for me when a blazer feels too official or too casual. A beautiful cropped jacket, with embellishement, fashioned from tweed or classicly simple, is something I would wear at least once or twice a week. Trends race up and down the catwalks but this style is never out of date. The key is how the jacket is worn.

This season I have been wearing the cropped jacket with a long white grandpa style shirt underneath, or the black turtleneck. Together with the leather pixies, flats or heels it’s an easy look. The cropped jacket also works beautifully with jeans or over feminine dresses as Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld styled for The Little Black Jacket book.

diane kruger, the little black jacket book, chanel, investment dressing, vicki archer

Many of my cropped jackets have been designed by St John. Beautiful pieces that endure and work well in my wardrobe. Distinguishable but not too distictive; well cut and flattering with a slight emphasis on the waist.

Nordstrom have invited me to curate the St John Collection again for this coming season, I couldn’t focus on anything but the cropped jacket.

Investment dressing: Tick.

Wise strategy: Tick.


Button Up

milano knit   //   bead embellished milano  //  diagonal chevron  //  salt and pepper tweed knit

novelty eyelash shantung silk  //  twilled knit with georgette trim  //  inlay knit with fringe trim  //  punto riso knit

investment dressing, the strategy #1

images from the little black jacket book by karl lagerfeld and carine roitfeld

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Anita Rivera

I SO AGREE! I have two cropped black wool jackets, wore one of them yesterday with a gorgeous black skirt that resembles the first photo. Did I ever feel stylish, and age was not even a factor…it was ageless, and it made ME feel classic, with no number attached, but a style. I weeded out my closed a few months ago, and I am much happier with less but better quality clothing that I too can mix and match. Your tips are so wise, and putting on an outfit these days has not lost its appeal, but has become more fun. Paring down, getting the right look out of your looks is what is essential.

Have a super day dearest Vicki! Anita


I love this concept of “ageless”… When I look at what my girls wear these days, there is so much crossover… :)
Weeding out the closet… always so therapeutic… I think we should chat about that… :)

Anita Rivera

Good morning, Vicki! Yes, a good article from you on weeding out the closet would be fun. I learned so much by doing that this winter break. Now my closet is easier to get into, but so much more interesting as I have some choice pieces to convert with a scarf, a pearl necklace or an entirely different set of boots or shoes.

Enjoy your weekend! Anita

Our French Oasis

Great post. I invest always in top quality jeans that fit really well. Jeans can be dressed up or down, worn with flats or heels, they can take us pretty much anywhere with the right accessories. With a cropped jacket they look fantastic, but they must fit well – these are definitely my splurge item – with five children I need to go from casual to smart and back again quickly and with relative ease!!!

Mimi Gregor

With my petite frame, I find that the classic, boxy, Chanel-style jacket makes me look shorter and wider — not a look I want to affect. I need tailored jackets with vertical lines and not much frou-frou.

I, too, have far fewer items in my wardrobe than I did when I was younger, but they are of a much better quality. I think it is a result of growing wiser — something that usually occurs with age, but not necessarily. Some of us learn from our mistakes, and some of us repeat them ad infinitum. I think that wisdom is learning from them. (Extra points for learning from other people’s mistakes!)

Loretta Turner

I agree 100%, I call it making a good purchase! I wish I could say that I own that little cropped jacket by Chanel but I have yet to be able to do so, it is still my dream my goal. It will last forever and always be in style. Thanks for sharing.


Vicki first of all I have always loved St. John and they have really stepped up their game to be more current and appeal to a younger group as well. My basics, ie turtlenecks and jeans are usually my less expensive classic pieces to mix and match! Thanks Vicki!!

The Arts by Karena


It takes time, effort & intelligence to understand what looks “right”, and is worth investing in. I’ve made more than a few mistakes along the way and truthfully I’ll make a few more that need discarding (another difficult process for me to learn) but learning to spot stuff that I wear with joy has been worth every painful discard along the way.


Years ago I visited Hong Kong with a wonderful, fashionable friend of the family who insisted that I have at least one Chanel style suit made by her favorite tailor. She chose the fabric and had them copy her Chanel suit. I ended up having another jacket made because it was so flattering and classic. I still have the jackets because they were made so well and recently gave them to my daughter who just started her career.


So true Vicki! Last winter I invested in a black leather cropped jacket. It has a zip front and quilt stitch detail on the sleeve cuffs and around the hemline. I cannot believe how much I wore it! With jeans (although I’m not a ‘jeans’ person to wear them every day) with skirts and opaque tights and flats, with a silk dress to go out for dinner, with EVERYTHING! Funny thing is, about 15 years ago I purchased a similar style in a wool blend gabardine which has a leather trim and have worn it almost to bits. So obviously all the correct elements were there for both jackets. Timeless, ageless, classic. The ultimate smart addition to the wardrobe!


Vicki I love this! I recently decided to focus more on investment pieces during my time living in NYC last year. It’s so easy to be lured in by the cheap goodies…(so fun and sparkly!) and a few each season of course is fine… but doesn’t it just feel so fab and spoily purchasing a piece that costs a little more, that you know will last and last. I felt this way about a Ralph Lauren shirt recently, it was more than I would normally spend, but I decided to invest… As you said, if we’re talking cost per wear, I am sure I would have actually made money on it by now lol!!

Enjoy your weekend beautiful Vicki!

Nat xo

sylvia faye

Classic has always been best and suit most body types which a wardrobe can be built upon. As a former fashion and colour consultant I always told my clients to know their seasonal colour, their body type and they would not find expensive ‘lollypops’ in their wardrobe. Is going trendy, be the first to use them as they flare high like a rocket and drop even faster than they went up.
My motto is “Always dress like a lady and you will be treated like a lady.” Men wish to wear the pants and love women in dresses and skirts, not mini or tight ones, but flowing and lovely ones. This always turns their heads and they say “These are the marrying kinds; n’est ce pas?”
Love short jackets as my body is shortwasted but my sister was shorter than I and looked best in longer fitted jackets….which my body type didnot suit.
Love your posts,

Segreto Secrets

The Chanel cropped jacket is one of the most iconic pieces of clothing in history- absolute classic!
Segreto Finishes


Love this post. Years ago I justified paying a large price for a jacket and trousers by figuring out how much it would cost per wearing. Wore them for years! One time an intern in our office commented that she never saw me wear the same thing twice, and I always looked so great. I just smiled and said thanks. Little did she know. Careful purchases, not made in haste, always pay for themselves. Even though I am now retired I still put so much thought into what I purchase and I think I always look pretty great.


I love your posts – always such good sense with a little added whimsy!

I have a few LBJ’s at various price levels. Unfortunately not Chanel although even as a pensioner, that still tops my wish list! The one that most replicates Chanel is from M&S. Perfect fit, always looks brilliant…unfortunately it is instantly recognisable for what it is and where it came from. It hangs in my wardrobe ready to be brought out again at some time in the future when others have long given up wearing theirs…at which time I expect to be newly chic! On the other hand…if I come into some money I shall buy a true Chanel little cropped black jacket and someone rooting through a charity shop somewhere will benefit from my look-alike!

You can’t beat the best clothes…and I truly love your blog!…


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