Let’s state the obvious today.
Investment dressing is what we need to consider.
Not every piece should be an investment because no wardrobe works with “all stars and no chorus line” but a 70/30 ratio is about right. I invest in the keepers and play with the trends and one season wonders. Not every garment has to be an expensive purchase but neither should all items be throwaway.
The skill is in knowing where to spend and where to save; what to mix with what.
An all expenses top-to-designer outfit is neither a good look or worthy of investment but a beautiful jacket worn with a casual pair of jeans is. The jeans can save the dollars and the jacket spend them. The same with a less than exclusive dress; pair it with a fabulous 3/4 coat and whether it cost $50 or $500 is irrelevant.
What about shoes and handbags?
The same applies a well-crafted handbag, which will set us back looks perfect with our sneakers or less than designer slippers. Our straw basket is gorgeous with a streamlined pair of Manolo’s.
So much of our style revolves around the mixing and matching. That’s the hard part.
I start with the investments I know are sound and apply my cost per wear strategy. Investment dressing can take the wind at “checkout” but if I look with wide eyes in my cupboards, the strategy does work. Pieces, well crafted and well made will last and at this stage, the styles I wear don’t change massively. If I wear the cute khaki jacket with my tuxedo pants (which did set me back) and a jersey tee, it balances out.
Where to start?
Start where you feel most confident.
Invest in what you know you love and will wear. If there is any doubt, don’t.
Understand working life and playtime requirements. I can be guilty of investing in work wear but ignoring the casual components; that’s why we started writing, Weekend Wardrobe, to find great alternatives from the Monday through Friday life.
Buy and try. An investment piece needs consideration; don’t rush the decision. Try similar alternatives and make sure it really fits the criteria. For example, with dresses, I try on several to make sure my purchase is the very best for me. It’s easy to buy online and try them on in the comfort of our own bedroom with a familiar mirror and all the accessories we need. Returning has never been easier and such an aid to investment dressing.
Fitting rooms and I have never been the best of friends.
An investment means something different to each of us and we won’t necessarily agree. For me I invest across the wardrobe spectrum, for other women, it will be shoes and bags all the way. Dressing styles change, as do our intentions. I no longer invest in cashmere wool sweaters; the cashmere is not the same and the difference between price points makes no sense.
Don’t be afraid to invest when the time comes. I don’t agree with buying what we don’t need or can’t afford but I do believe once the commitment is made we should enjoy. A good investment will reap a return; fashion is no different.
We can all make bad investments; don’t be put off.
No one is exempt and the smart woman learns from her mistakes and makes better decisions from it.
Investment dressing is all about the know how. xv
Yes, I Think I Would
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image, brie larson, camilla akrans for porter magazine 2017