Andrea writes, “What are some investment pieces to have in your closet? For example, as much as I like Christian Louboutin shoes, is it smart to spend $600+ on shoes? I want to have a fashionable closet, but I don’t want to invest too much money on trendy items.”
Though I have my thoughts on the matter, I thought it would be best to tap celebrity stylists June Ambrose, Phillip Bloch, and Becca Alexis to see if they could offer some insight. You ready?
1. A chic suit.
Though bright pink or patterns aren’t for everyone, you can’t go wrong with a two piece suit in a classic color like black, white, or beige. June says, ““Most women don’t have that classic chic suit in their wardrobe. But I think you can use it as separates, mix and match, and really have a good time with it. [One of my best investments is a] Gucci suit. It has a cocky lapel. I’ve recut the trousers several times.”
Phillip adds “A classic suit is a great piece. Different cuts come in and out of style, but just hold onto it. The style you have will be trendy again in five years.”
2. A Diane von Furstenberg Wrap Dress
Becca says, “I’m a single woman living a very cosmopolitan life in New York City and Los Angeles! I make time for personal interests so I’m always going out on a date. [Since] my life is super hectic I can’t take hours to get ready to meet a man. Its has to be quick! The DVF wrap dress should be every women’s go to piece when in a rush before a date. I have a simple black 100% rayon long sleeve version of the iconic dress. I wear it with a statement necklace, watch, and eye catching shoes.”
” Ladies I get so many compliments everytime I wear this look. The best is when I’m on a date and a lady will come and compliment me. What makes this simple look such an investment is that I will always look good in it. Whether I lose or gain 15 pounds the dress still works. For $300, clearly, the DVF dress is one of my best investments yet!”
(Sidenote: I’m a fan!)
3. A classic handbag
June says, “I would rather make an investment in a non trendy Balenciaga bag or save for that Hermès bag [instead of] getting that Céline. I’ve been there before when the bag [of the moment] is sitting there collecting dust. A smart shopper will buy the python bag, the lizard, the exotic skin. Those never go out of style.”
If you need more tips on great bags to buy, visit our guide to investment handbags.
4. A pair of cigarette pants.
Becca says, “4 years ago I noticed I was wearing the same cigarette pant silhouette and felt it was time to look for a more classic straight leg pant. I splurged several hundred dollars on a pair of Alessandro Dell’Acqua pants. I’m your typical curvy girl with small waist at 28 inches and wide hips at 46 inches. These are the first and only pair of pants to this day that I never had to alter on the waist! The thick cotton jersey fabric has maximum cellulite coverage so I don’t have to worry about wearing spanx!”
5. A nude pump
June maintains, “Everyone should have a nude pump. Nude doesn’t have to be that beigy flesh toned pinky shoe. [Make sure it matches your skin] so there’s not a hard contrast. Brian Atwood has a great price point. He’s cheaper than a YSL, cheaper than a Louboutin. He’s really finding his niche, but his shoes are still classic–a punctuation piece with chic appeal.”
6. Leather Biker Jacket
June says, “A good leather biker jacket will set you free!” Though Rick Owens is a celebrity favorite, you can find great pieces by All Saints, Helmut Lang, Marc New York, and more.
7. Cashmere Sweaters
Phillip stands firmly behind cashmere sweaters, saying, “Get one in a great pop of color if you like, or a red or cream. Invest in a designer piece so it has some resell value if you ever choose to part with it.”
8. Jewelry Pieces that Speak to your Personality
June says, “I’ve had my Hermès cuffs for many years. My oldest cuff is 10 years old.” Other worthwhile splurges would include diamond studs or gold hoop earrings.
9. A great coat.
Alexis writes, “I have a plethora of coats in coral, red, green, black, blue and other colors and patterns, but my biggest splurge and vital investment was a Loro Piana camel coat! It’s a good, durable, and practical investment. It’s very basic but I can style it up depending on my mood. I wear a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off to make it more downtown. I wear my Gucci scarf with it to make it look classic. I wear it over a tight American Apparel dress and roll the sleeves up with slouchy boots for a brooklyn eclectic vibe. Cashmere travels well and doesn’t wrinkle. It offers great insulation, is long lasting, and actually becomes softer over time. It will last a lifetime and I will pass it on to my daughter.”
10. A Black Blazer
Black blazers cinch everything in, can dress up a t-shirt and jeans, and automatically offer a bit of polish. Phillip says, “ I’d buy a classic navy or black blazer that has special buttons and great details.”
Start building your investment wardrobe with these key pieces:
And now that you know what to spend on, do you want to know where you can save? June says, “Save on super trendy pieces like neons.”
“…[Also don't spend your money on] white shirts, t-shirts, button downs. They lose their color, you’re gonna get rid of them. It’s ok if you buy a button down for like $29, or a t-shirt for $20.”
And Andrea, if you’re wondering about splurging on black pumps, Becca writes, “While my shoe closet is stacked with Giuseppe, Marni, Louboutins and every other designer shoe you can think of, the shoe that has the most mileage in my closet are a black pair of three inch platform Zara shoes. This round toe classic shoe has a gold side zipper and simple gold metal where the sole and heel meets. I’ve had these $79 shoes for 3 winters. I’m 4’11 so I wear heels daily. I’m jetting in and out of a cab, on and off the train, up and down the stairs so after a long day in heels my knees and shoes take a beating. These Zara shoes have held up nicely. Quality leather, metal accents and classic shape is what makes this shoe an investment, not the color of the sole!”
And there you have it! Insight from three of the industry’s top stylists.
What do you think of their picks? And is there anything you would add to the list?
*To see more of their musings, follow June on Twitter at @JuneAmbrose, Phillip at @PhillipBloch, and Becca at @BeccAlexis. Also, be sure to step into June’s Juniverse at www.thejuniverse.com and check out a few of Phillips projects, including his latest book, “The Shopping Diet” at www.phillipbloch.com.