Home Building Your Wardrobe Why I’m Only Buying Investment Pieces From Now On

Why I’m Only Buying Investment Pieces From Now On

by krismkoch

Every year I lust over certain key items, a mix of staples that often I’ve had on my wish list for seasons or even years, and the trends I simply can’t imagine my life without.  And, inevitably, the ones I really want are pricey. But then I chicken out on spending what is admittedly a ridiculous sum to spend on any one clothing item, money that could buy a couch or half a month’s rent or go toward a down payment on a townhouse I’m eyeing or a bucket list vaca I’m craving, and I start to feel guilty. A battle inside my head ensues as inevitably occasions where said item would have totally made my outfit or been the only thing I wanted to wear and instead I was stuck wearing something lame, and  I immediately regret not splurging on it early in the season to maximize the cost per wear principal (more on that later but essentially the idea that if you divide something’s price tag by the number of times you wear it, you end up with its true value and justification for whether a splurge is actually worth it, and often the opposite of how most of us shop).

But because I can’t get the item I really want out of my head, and occasions where I just need it inevitably arise again and again, I end up appeasing my guilt by forgoing the itMe I really  want for a cheapwe alternative. The problem is the cheaper alternative is rarely right and  it doesn’t provide that instant outfit solution it’s pricier but perfect original does. Yes, inevitably it gets worn but I still end up craving the original and cursing myself for not
Splurging on that to begin with and eventually I give it away because I want to look polished and the best version of myself with fewer pieces but every piece being on that makes me want to do a dance as I once advised glamour readings as a fashion writer and happen to be words I still dress by.

To that end, I’ve decided that this year, I will only invest in high quality pieces I will wear forever, that will instantly make me feel like a million bucks in that polished, elegant, incredibly chick way, and while the initial investment will hurt, I will suck it up. Because in the end, all those
Zara pieces and discounted not-quite-right designer pieces add up and I end up getting five eh pieces for what I could spend on one ~fAbuLouS~ piece that would be an instant confidence booster, compliment magnet and outfit upgrader.

I know sounds good in theory but so hard to do when fast fashion makes buying now versus waiting to be able to afford what you really want or choosing one instead of five really hard. But I came to this realization after finally splurging on a nice parka I wear everyday and feels so much less schlumpy than the cheaper, dowdier, less warm one I would have worn everyday anyway. The Costner wear has definitely paid off and kept me looking more put-together in winter when inevitably I choose warmth and practicality over style, and now thanks to my $900 Canada goose parka, I don’t have to.

I’m working on a post of more splurges  that have been worth it, including some Alexander wang, 3.1 Philip Lim, and DVF dresses and a Helmut Lang blazer that were pricey but make me feel like a true boss when I wear them.

But in the meantime, here are the investment items I’m saving up to splurge on this season. And mark my words, I’m not buying anything else. I swear. No seriously. But I’m going to need some major moral Support on this. Like going to the gym with a friend. So who’s with me?

Anyway, here’s what’s on my investment list right now: 


Leather Moto Jacket: I’ve made the mistake of going cheap on a not-quite-right leather jacket trying to avoid the major splurge that is a proper leather jacket. But using the cost per wear principal, it’s well worth it. I mean, I wear the one I don’t love almost every day and the days I don’t wear it, I would wear it if I had the right one. That’s why I’ve committed to investing in a really nice leather jacket that I absolutely love and want to wear every. single. day.

On my list:

Rebecca Minkoff Nana Leather Jacket

Madewell Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket

IRO Lambskin Leather Jacket

BLK Motorcycle Jacket With Quilted Stripes

Acne Studios Mock Leather Moto Jacket

All Saints Belforn Biker Jacket

Doma Classic Leather Jacket


Quality Cashmere Sweaters: I wear oversized neutral  sweaters all. the. time. To work, weekends, you name it. Yet, because I wear them all the time and tend to get them dirty, I thought it made sense to just stock up on a bunch of cheap ones from H&M and Zara. I probably ended up spending the same amount as I would have on 2-3 quality sweaters, and while I double the amount, they have worn out pretty easily under the wear and tear and washings, and honestly, they just don’t look as nice. I don’t get excited to put them on, or feel that rush of “damn, I look chic” that I get from putting on other special pieces. And if I’m going to wear something every day, especially to work or when I’m meeting friends and want to look good, I feel like I should get that “damn, I look chic” feeling.

On my list: 

Everlane Women’s Cashmere Sweaters

Vince Women’s Crewneck Cashmere Sweaters

Uniqlo Men’s Cashmere Sweaters (I prefer my sweaters a bit boxy, so I like Uniqlo’s men’s fit)


Versatile LBD: I have quite a few black dresses in my closet but honestly, I never seem to have the right one I need when I need one. Does that ever happen to you? That’s why I’m planning to invest in a really nice work-friendly LBD that can work just as well for an engagement party as for a funeral or dinner party.

On my list:

Tibi Draped Crepe Midi Dress

The Row Benita Scuba Maxi Dress

DVF Leyah Wool Jersey Dress


Pretty Maxi Dress: I need a really nice summer dress that I can wear to a wedding or other dressy spring/summer event. I rarely want to splurge on one, but then come time for a wedding or party, I have nothing to wear. So I’m going to just suck it up and invest in one dress I can throw on and know I look amazing if I don’t get around to buying something first, or it’s a last-minute thing.

On my list: 

DVF Printed Maxi Dress

Erdem Floral Print Maxi Dress

DVF Julian Wrap Dress

Tory Burch Pleated Wrap Dress


Black D’Orsay Pumps: It’s funny, because of course I have a ton of black pumps, but I never have the right pair when I need them. One pointy-toe pair is a little tight, my Loubs are a little high for every day, and my Manolo slingbacks are just a little too.. well, UES granny. I want a slightly sexy pump that fits perfectly, with a heel that’s high enough to be chic but low enough to wear everyday. And considering how many times black pumps are the shoe of choice, I’m definitely willing to spend on one if the perfect pair happens to cost a little more.

On my list:

Vince Celeste Suede Pumps

Manolo Blahnik Black D’Orsay Pump

Jimmy Choo Black D’Orsay Pump


Black Clutch: This is another staple I should have, but I never feel the need to buy until I am walking out the door and realize I don’t have the bag to go with my awesome dress. But by then, it’s too late and I just shove everything into the black Prada makeup bag I now use as a clutch or an old Fendi bag (or use my husband’s jacket pockets), and then when I see a perfect black clutch on sale, I always add it to my cart, but even on sale it’s usually at least a couple hundred dollars, which seems like a lot to spend instead of something I can immediately use that second, ya know? But my goal this year is to make everything less stressful — going out, going to work, walking the dog, cleaning the house, etc. To that end, I’ve gotten everything from a new vacuum cleaner to a new rub that I can walk and eat on without worrying about getting dirty. And as part of that, I’m going to make going out, going to weddings etc. easier by investing in this much-needed closet staple.

On my list: 

Mulberry Shoulder Bag *I like this because you can carry it as clutch or use the strap when you want to carry a drink and a canape 🙂

Bottega Veneta Knotted Clutch

Jimmy Choo Mesh Clutch

Clare V Mini Velvet Clutch

Mulberry Leather Clutch


Black Work Tote: I have a really quality leather tote I’ve been carrying around for years, but it’s tan and at this point, it’s covered in gunk. I invested in a navy Philip Lim bag awhile ago that I love and is really understated and classic, but it doesn’t exactly go with everything, and it doesn’t have long tote bag handles, so when I”m carrying a ton of crap, it’s not the best. So I end up alternating between my seen-better-days leather tote and my classic Goyard, which I love but hate that it doesn’t close (I get paranoid like that especially on the subway, and when traveling, it’s easy for stuff to fall out when I stuff it under my seat on an airplane and whatnot).

On my list:

Victoria Beckham Liberty Tote

Vince Medium Tote

Kara Tie Leather Tote

Everlane The Petra Market Leather Tote

Barneys Top Zip Tote Bag


Black Wool Coat: Isn’t it weird that I don’t have a solid black coat? I mean I have a bunch of different coats in versions of black, navy, and camel, but I tend to splurge on statement coats or the occasional Zara grab in a pinch, and I have yet to invest in a really solid, boss lady black coat that will make me feel instantly put-together and chic on my way into work, a night out with friends, or a party. The good news is that there’s no better time to buy one than the end of the season.

On my list:

Reiss Lennie Wrap Coat

Joseph Wool and Cashmere Coat

Club Monaco Chelsey Calf Hair Coat


A Few Really Nice Work Dresses: Getting dressed for work is so much easier when you can just throw on a dress and be done. But instead of investing in a bunch of Zara dresses that are cute but don’t make me feel like a million bucks and that I’ll definitely be over in a month, I’ve decided to invest in a few really quality nice dresses that I’d typically save for a special work presentation or after-work day plans kind of dress. Because as they say, you should dress the part, and why not look and feel like a boss lady every day? You never know what will pop up anyway, ya know?

On my list: 

Thakoon Addition Striped Shirt Dress

DVF Taffy Floral-Print Cotton Dress

DVF Kennie Crochet-Knit Wrap Dress

Vince White Drop-Waist Pleated Midi Dress

Suno Printed Canvas Dress

A Few Really Nice Work and Going Out Tops: Same idea here as with the dresses. I have so many tops, but I’m seriously lacking in the tops department. For some reason, I always hate to spend here. I think it’s because I’m susceptible to spills and sweat, but at the end of the day, I don’t end up wearing any of my skirts or pants because I don’t have tops to go with, and getting dressed to go out is always a pain without tops, so I’m excited to invest in a few quality tops that I can wear to work or out, and that will really complement the skirts and pants in my closet as well as good ole jeans.

On my list: 

Diane von Furstenberg Brielle Lace Top

3.1 Philip Lim Gathered Silk-Georgette Blouse

Solace London Ruffle One-Shoulder Top

Co Ruffled Poplin Shirt

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