Getting dressed every day is a spend.
My wardrobe philosophy is one that I like to think spends and saves. There are pieces I spend on and those I save on. At VA we thought it would be a good idea to talk through where we should spend our budget and where we should make savings.
I think we all agree that head-to-toe designer is not the signature style we are looking for. We want to be original, unique and true to ourselves. How we dress does not come down to finances alone; how we dress is about working with what we know. Seeing “influencers” dressed top-to-toe in the latest from one fashion house or another is not my interpretation of personal style and nor do I find it inspiring or clever. Wonderful style requires thought and precision, a deep understanding of fashion and the ability to mix and match in an interesting way. The women I admire have all kinds of different looks – some dress quirky, some dress conservatively and some have one item that says, “them”. It might be glasses or shoes or it may be a style of clothing but whatever their style, it’s theirs alone. It’s easy to buy matching everything; working it out for us takes time and trouble.
My girls are the masters of where to save and where to spend.
They look unique in their styles and dress very differently, yet I appreciate and like both of their fashion eyes. One works in a conservative financial office and the other runs a start-up so without even trying they are going to be wearing very different items from the fashion spectrum. They know when to spend on investment pieces and when to go light on trends. They interpret personal fashion, much like we do, because they want to own it and not the other way around.
Spending comes down to investment dressing and for this, I apply my cost-per-wear philosophy. It works. There are some items that require greater budgets and allow us to make savings on the rest. Handbags and shoes are the wardrobe essentials we tend to invest in, perhaps sunglasses are another. With the trend towards casual shoes it is possible to save on footwear but if more traditional footwear is your go, then investing wisely is clever. Anyone who bought a Gucci loafer way back when Tom Ford hit the big time, would be hands down a winner in my cost-per-wear scenario. Handbags are another one to be cautious with. A handbag is a financial commitment so I prefer to spend on a classic shape and save with cheaper styles that may last one season only. There is always a clever way to, “get the look”.
One place I love to save is on “black”.
There are so many black tees, black dresses and black pants that talk the talk and walk the walk. A blazer is another matter – a well-cut blazer worn over a pair of inexpensive black pants and an easy tee is a very workable way to save. The same can be said for winter coats. An investment in a good winter coat can be thrown over many less pricey pieces and elevate them to a different level.
Where to spend? Where to save? We will have it covered for you in the coming months. xv
images, margaret howell s/s2018 gierdre dukauskaite by alasdair mclellan