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An investment piece is usually timeless. Timeless can also be subject to your own definition but to me, timeless is a piece you wear often, is ALWAYS in season, on trend and relevant; something that matches your wardrobe to an everyday extent; something you will love when you're 85 years old.
- A designer's classic bag (Marc Jacobs' "Stam", Louis Vuitton Damier "Speedy 35/40", any Chanel quilted handbag, etc.)
- Not trendy or limited edition
- Made of materials that aren't PVC, plastic, rubber, etc.
- Work well with your wardrobe, which doesn't mean your wardrobe works with the bag, the bag works with your wardrobe. If you have more of a classic, preppy style, a nice Louis Vuitton or Chanel would work well, if you're more of hippie/rocker girl, Balenciaga is the brand for you....in my opinion.
- What do you find yourself drawn to when you're at the mall? Walking to class? Shopping? Online window shopping at? For me, it's a Louis Vuitton 'Neverful GM' in Damier!
- Something you will sport often.
Investment handbags don't have to be designer. My mom has a handmade, leather knapsack that my dad had made for her on their honeymoon. She loves it, she uses it more of a briefcase but still, she uses it often. Investment pieces are made to be worn often. Investment pieces wouldn't be the limited edition Chanel PVC tote bag you saw in Teen Vogue one month. They are the bags you see old ladies in Macy's carrying around, durable, made well, life-long friends.
Clothing can be more difficult to justify as an investment, in my opinion, because it varies person to person. I love Free People, Anthropologie, Equipment, Ralph Lauren and 7 For All Mankind. I could literally live in those clothes for the rest of my life and be content with my life. Those are brands/stores I invest in.
What you should consider when choosing investment clothing:
- What do I wear often? I wear jeans a lot. They are the basis of most of my outfits. I spend good money on 7 For All Mankind jeans. Usually I catch them on a sale. Stores like Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Macy's rotate clothes often. I check sales section online and in stores. Macy's usually has some kind of coupon on holiday weekends and sometimes 7FAMs will be on sale there for no reason at all. I buy them whenever I have the money and whenever my AE jeans aren't doing me justice any longer. 7FAMs are usually around $178-250, they're an investment to me.
- What do I usually go for an everyday outfit? This question is kind of the same as the first but now we're talking basics. I usually go for a flowy top, and nice jeans or leggings. My investment pieces are Free People, Anthropologie or Equipment shirts. Usually, I wait until a sale just like I do for jeans which brings down my PPW or Price Per Wear, which I'll go into more detail about below.
- You're running late, what's your go-to outfit? What in your closet can you throw together and have it work instantly? Polo and jeans? Button up and leggings? Think about it.
- Basics. I love H&M tank tops. While they aren't super expensive, they last pretty long for me and I buy about 5 at a time in white, black, grey, tan and navy blue. I also wear v-necks quite often. Investment. J. Crew has great v-necks. I have invested in a few and they outlast my Old Navy, H&M and Hanes ones in the long run.
- Which brand do I like the best? Don't go with a brand that is popular at the moment. Shop around, try things on at the store, walk around the dressing room in it for a little bit and see if you like it on you. Don't buy J.Crew v-necks because I buy them and don't buy Hollister Co. tank tops because your friends wear them. If you want your clothes to last a long time, you need to chose brands that conform to you with a style that you will love forever. Don't be a follower, don't be a trend-chaser, and don't do what someone else tells you to do.
Shoes are girl's best friend. Any shoe lover will probably describe something along the lines of Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin as their dream shoe. The great thing about great shoes like Choos and Louboutins are that they are made fabulously. Seriously! They are made so well and it is no lie when they promise a lifetime of wear. I don't wear heels that much so they aren't a great investment piece for me right now, but as far flats, boots, and sandals go, I'm willing to spend a nice chunk of change on nice shoes.
Here's what to consider when choosing your investment shoe:
- What type of shoes do I wear often? Sneakers? Heels? Sandals? Boots?
- Invest in weather appropriate shoes. A good pair of winter boots, rain boots and even cowboy boots (my favorite) can last you a long time and will survive the weather! I highly advise spending $100+ on winter boots if it snows where you live, rather be safe than sorry when it gets snowy out! Also, rain boots are practical. I didn't realize this until I got to college and it rained and the floors in the lecture halls were tracked with rain.
Price Per Wear
Price Per Wear is the best fashion math. It's very simple.
- Take the price of the item and divide by how many times you think you will wear it in a month. Then multiply by 12.
- Then take that and divide it by how many years you think you will have it.
Your Dream Jeans= $178
Each month, if worn 14 times, you pay $12.71 a month to wear these jeans or 90 cents per wear.
Each year, you pay $152.52 to wear them. Meaning in a year, your price per wear is almost equal to the price you paid in the store. You still have $25.48 more, so you'd have two more months of wear before you surpass your retail value. This is a good investment.
Say you'd have then for about 10 years....
$152.52*10= $1525.20 worth of wear in a lifetime. You get 10 times your retail value in 10 years. Owning them and wearing them for a little over a year, your price per is greater than your retail. This is what you look for. A lot of people go by a $1 per wear, in this case, these hypothetical jeans were less than that.
Doing this simple math will help you determine (and justify) an investment piece. It will also help you determine whether something would actually be an investment piece for you.
I hope you liked this post, let me know what you think!