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The Style Edit: Further considerations for investment pieces
Happy Monday! I tried to come up with another name for these types of pieces while writing this. Without success, I might add. Often, the term ‘investment piece’ is used to mean any larger-than-average wardrobe purchase. However, the actual definition of ‘investment’ means that the piece is going to provide some kind of benefit to you in the future. Reselling a piece for a fraction of the price after it goes out of style isn’t beneficial.
When I do make a larger-than-average purchase, I try to look at it as an actual investment. The many J. Peterman pieces I bought between 2006 and 2008 have not only lasted until 2023, but were also purchased to mark my transition from college student to fully fledged working adult. Looking more professional and mature is obviously a tremendous benefit for a twenty-two-year-old.
If you’re at the stage of life where you’re considering purchasing investment pieces for your wardrobe, chances are good you already know the basics. If not, they’re already splashed all over the internet. Don’t ‘invest’ in trendy things. Know the markers of a high-quality piece. Beyond the usual tips, here are a few other things to consider when making an investment wardrobe purchase.
We all fluctuate, and this can be difficult to project. It’s also a major consideration. No one wants to buy a pricey blazer that won’t fit in two years. It’s best to be at a stable size when making a purchase like this. Have you recently hit a goal weight or size and need to adjust to maintaining it? Have you been meaning to lose or gain weight and are waiting for a sign from the universe? Hold off on your purchase until you’re sure you’ll be in the same size range for the long haul. Definitely don’t buy an investment piece in an ‘aspirational’ size!
What will happen to it next?
Another thing that’s hard to control, but worth some thought. I wear an abnormally small shoe size in my family. As the odd 7.5 out, it makes me wonder what will happen if my daughter ends up being a size 10 like everyone else. She’ll have to invest in her own investment shoes.
At the end of the day, you’re buying this item for you and not for the people inheriting your stuff, but it’s a good reminder to stick with timeless pieces that will age well. Even if your children or grandchildren can’t wear the items, hopefully the piece will help them remember you fondly!
How will the piece age with you?
Let’s say you’ve found a great piece that checks all the boxes - it will fit long-term, it’s made well, it’s not a passing trend. Think ahead to sixty-year-old you. Will they be comfortable wearing this? That’s also hard to predict, but stay with me.
I’m at the tail end of my thirties, and anything low-cut, aside from swimwear, makes me super uncomfortable at this point in my life. In my twenties, I was a big fan of the low-cut dresses and tops, and now I cringe at the thought. Going back to the story above, twenty-three-year-old me did not think about this point while relentlessly purchasing all of J. Peterman’s available stock. I’ve ended up letting go of the more revealing items via eBay within the past five or so years.
My advice would be to look at people 10 - 15 years older than you whose style you admire. How much skin are they showing? What do you like about their wardrobes? You don’t have to ‘dress like a granny’ (although I can think of many a chic granny), but keep your investment pieces on the conservative side.
What’s on your investment wishlist right now? I’ve been eyeing up the Wincanton tweed suit from Cordings for quite a while and am really hoping to add that to my cart (and then actually complete the checkout process) for this fall. I also keep thinking about this Dahlia gown from Molly Moorkamp, and my size is one of the three left in stock. That’s a sign, right?
Have a wonderful week! See you back here on Wednesday for the return of ‘At Home With’ and a very special guest.
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