You don’t need to spend a small fortune to build a killer wardrobe. You only need to follow a few simple rules.
Today’s post will walk you through the process of identifying which items are worth your hard earned cash and provide you with my latest recommendations for assembling your wardrobe like a pro.
What qualifies as an “investment” piece
When it comes to investment pieces, there are very few items that you will want to spend big bucks on (unless you have an impressive wardrobe budget). Use the following guidelines to determine whether a piece is worth the hefty price tag.
Investment pieces are those wardrobe staples that meet the following criteria:
- Classic and timeless. This goes for style AND color. While a good pair of pants might be a classic wardrobe staple, buying them in magenta disqualifies them as timeless.
- Will last several seasons (or years!). We’re talking about quality here. This is not just the quality of the fabric, but also the quality of the construction. Loose hems, patterns that don’t align at the seams–these are the signs of poor construction. Cheap workmanship looks cheap. You’re not fooling anyone, here. Quality construction is worth the extra money in the way it fits, wears and looks, overall.
- Costs a little more than you might typically spend. This is the reason they are called “investment” pieces. They cost more, but they are worth their weight in gold, as far as wardrobe staples are concerned.
Now that you know what an investment piece is, let’s determine which articles you should select for your closet. There are only two basic rules to follow, but each is really important. Keep these in mind as you assess your closet and begin shopping.
Rule #1: Be realistic about your needs
1.Create a list of must-have items, based on your lifestyle.
Ask yourself: Where do I spend the majority of my time? If you work from home or spend a lot of time chasing after little ones, your must-have items will look very different from someone who works in a corporate atmosphere.
2. Identify staples by determining their true value.
Examples of wardrobe staples
- Work-wear staples: a nice pair of pants, a solid blazer, a pencil skirt, and a comfortable pair of shoes, each in neutral colors.
- Work-from-home or SAHM staples: a few “good pairs” of yoga pants, a classic pair of jeans, sneakers, flats, and a good pair of heels for date night.
Rule #2: Buy from reputable retailers
Since these investment pieces are going to cost you a pretty penny, you want to make sure that you buy them from a reputable store. There are two primary reasons for this.
- Consistency. Reputable retailers have a loyal following of customers who typically return because of the consistent quality of the products offered. This means that you can depend on them to carry quality items time and time again. Once you find a retailer or brand that you like, it will make shopping with them much easier the next time around because you will know how the clothes fit, which size you are for that brand and which of the brand’s colors are most flattering on you. Bonus: Since brands typically select a particular collection of colors to put out for their clothing line, their pieces typically pair well with one another–even from season to season–so there are many easy mix and match options available. This makes getting dressed in the morning that much easier!
- Quality guarantees. Most reputable retailers stand behind their products and are willing to replace any items that are faulty. Even the most reputable of retailers can have something go awry with a product. In the event that this happens, you’ll be able to bring the item back for a replacement or refund. This is a nice perk, especially since these items will cost you a pretty penny (remember: investment). I’ve brought back several pairs of shoes because the heel came loose or the sole started to separate (yes, I’m very hard on my shoes). I simply save the receipt in the shoe box and bring them back to the store, many times with no questions asked.
When to Save vs. Splurge
If you follow the above advice, you will be able to assemble your wardrobe like a pro. Here are my final tips for deciding when to save vs. when to splurge.
Items to spend less on:
- tops (you only wear them once a week, styles change so quickly). Check out my recent post that highlights an adorable (and really affordable!), off the shoulder top from SheIn.
- accessories (this is only a save item if it’s super trendy–tassel earrings, anyone?)
- things you purchase knowing you will throw them out (flip-flop sandals)
Items that are worth the investment:
(*some of these are wishlist items, but they are the first things on my birthday/holiday list each year!)
- anything leather: handbags, belts, shoes (Have you tried Cole Haan heels? Their insole technology is out of this world!)
- polarized sunglasses (Never skimp when it comes to your eyes. Polarized lenses are worth the extra cost. These are my go-to sunglasses.)
- premium denim (See my post about why premium denim is worth the investment.)
- coats and jackets (You wear them daily–and they are the first things people see. I happen to love this moto jacket!)
- items from designers I LOVE (Tory Burch has been a favorite of mine for some time now, and I’m willing to spend for her exceptional style and quality.)
The bottom line:
Splurge on items that will be worn most frequently and are the most versatile in your wardrobe. Save on items that are trendy, or of lesser quality.
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