Even if you are a die-hard saver rather than splurger when it comes to your wardrobe (I know I am!), there are certain pieces that may tempt you to reach for the Visa: the wear-them-everywhere boots, the forever bag, the winter coat and a few other wardrobe essentials.
An investment piece can instantly elevate your style: the right bag, for example, can add a polished finish to your look, and a sleek pair of boots can pull together an outfit in an instant. The details really do make the difference.
Another plus point: shopping for long-lasting fashion means that you’ll (hopefully) keep your purchases for longer, minimising the need to buy new stuff every season. Good for the planet AND your bank balance.
We take a closer look at the investment pieces that will take your style from so-so to spectacular.
Admit it: you love shopping for new, quirky bag designs, but end up tossing your essentials into the same oversized tote every day. Yeah, us too. So why not make sure that your everyday bag is the best that it can be? Recommendations: go for spacious (and even when you find it, don’t over-cram) and rain-proof. Choose a basic color that will allow you to match effortlessly. Lastly, go for a shape that will lend itself to both winter and summer, day and night.
Forget all those girls running around town in ballet flats in February (although HOW do you guys not get frostbite?) and opt for a chic pair of boots that will add effortless elegance to jeans, dresses and skirts, not to mention look good under a coat as well as a biker jacket. Whether you go over-the-knee or ankle, keep it comfortable: these shoes were, most definitely, made for walking.
Where to get them: Beyond Skin
, MooShoes, Will’s Vegan Shoes.
Oh, the woes of searching for the perfect vegan coat. On my end, I seriously envy those living in warm climates as they rarely have to face the dilemma of locating the perfect non-bulky, non-frumpy, non-wool coat. That is, after all, what you should be looking for in a coat: a sleek, streamlined silhouette and lasting appeal. But rather than relying on brands that substitute wool with chemical-laden materials, look to Vaute Couture’s eco-friendly options.
Hands up if you don’t have at least one pair of ‘favourite’ jeans. If not, I bet you’re currently looking for them. I recall that I once bought a pair of flares on sale online AND THEY FIT PERFECTLY. Which, I guarantee you, absolutely never happens. While there is nothing that I wish more than for you to replicate my luck, my advice would be to try on as many pairs as you can – the entire prerogative of jeans is to be well-fitting, and there really aren’t any shortcuts to that. Look up brands’ environmental practices before venturing to their shops – most eco brands have good breakdowns of their processes – or see our eco jeans guide here.
The biker jacket.
Oh, the joys of the in-between season. You know – the one when it’s not winter any more, but not quite spring yet. It’s too chilly to reach for the denim jacket, yet too warm to stay wrapped up in your faux fur. Solution? Biker, baby. This is the style that will add an apologetic touch of tough-luxe to everything from jeans to a floral dress. Choose quality faux leather – it shouldn’t feel too lightweight and never be shiny, not even the least. Look for matte, rich textures.
The shirt dress.
A one-stop style solution that easily pulls together a daytime look, the shirt dress is a wardrobe classic. Trust me – you’ll wear yours from morning to evening, so invest in a well-fitting style in a quality fabric. Wear it with everything from ballet flats to stilettos, or create an urban contrast with colourful sneakers. Our favourite styles come from UK brand Outsider – an eco-friendly label with serious style factor.
Dos and Don’ts
-to keep in mind when shopping investment pieces
DO try it on a million times, preferably with different items from your wardrobe. This can also be done when shopping online – make sure there are free returns.
DON’T buy something if the last size left isn’t yours. You’ll end up never wearing it.
DO ask yourself what you already have that will go with it.
DON’T be too tied to a particular season. A shirt dress, for example, isn’t really an investment piece if it’s adorned with a very summer-specific print or doesn’t look good over tights.
DO go for neutral colours, or colours that you know you wear a lot. This doesn’t necessary mean black. A deep, rich burgundy? Yes. A neon yellow? Unless you’re Anna Dello Russo, we’re not sure.
DON’T buy shoes you can’t walk in. Ever.
All photos from linked retailers. Header photo by Freedom of Animals. This article uses affiliate links.