“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.” – Carrie Bradshaw
As you know, I am refining my style. I have taken stock of my wardrobe and cleared out things that are ill-fitting, worn out and just plain unwearable. Gone are all of the clothing items that are now too big, too small, and some beloved pieces that are totally dead (RIP knit leggings full of holes!!).
I reassessed my style also. I work in an office, I go out with my friends a lot for dinners and laughs at lounges, and usually have a few events each year that require formal dresses. I have been thinking more and more of investing in a few quality pieces that I know I will have for life. Back to the closet to figure out what I should pour my money into.
I noticed a few holes in my closet: no tall black boots, not one suit, a shortage of formal dresses and no good black handbags large enough for my daily essentials (including the kitchen sink). My black Longchamp bag is dead and too casual, and the others are all clutches. I prioritized what I needed and determined that black boots and good black handbag and an urgent necessity – you know, like oxygen and water *side glance*. The suit and formal dress acquisition could wait for now.
Now, let’s think about what constitutes an investment piece. An “investment” is defined by Oxford Dictionary as the action or process of investing money for profit or result. There are a few clothing items that definitely increase in value over time…the first coming to mind is the revered Hermès Birkin bag. For instance, in 2001, a classic Birkin 35cm in Togo leather cost US$4000. They now retail for over $10,000!
While this particular accessory could be thought of as a financial investment, others simply provide a different type of return. A classic black Ralph Lauren suit may not appreciate over time, but some may find its cost per wear ratio invaluable ($800 expenditure worn 80 times = $10 per wear).
My wishlist of investment pieces would include a great watch, more delicate 18K gold jewelry that can be worn with everything, a perfectly tailored white button down shirt, a Burberry trench coat, Malo cashmere sweaters in beige, grey and black, Manolo Blahnik nude pumps*, and a black, fine quality wool coat made.
Cartier 18K gold Ballon Bleu Watch
Emma Watson in Burberry’s classic trench
Thomas Mason for J. Crew sheer, white button-down shirt
While it pains me greatly to buy an accessory or article of clothing that costs more than a mortgage payment, if you wear it consistently for years, it could be very worth it. For me, only a few things fall into this category – a Cartier Ballon Bleu watch, a Chanel medium flap bag and classic jewelry of any sort…like a strand of perfect white Mikimoto pearls.
What are some investment pieces on your wishlist?
*I specify Manolo Blahnik over Christian Louboutin because as much as I love Loubs, that red sole DOES NOT go with everything, ladies.