Trends come and go, we all know that, but they seem to fly in and out faster than a jet plane when it comes to fashion. We all want to look our best and on top of the latest and greatest looks, but we shouldn’t be spending our week’s pay on it either. My rule of thumb when shopping is fairly simple, I just ask myself, “Will I wear this again next year, and the year after that?” If the answer is no, and the price tag has one too many zeros, PUT IT DOWN. I really only invest a good amount of money on the classic items I can wear for years to come. Things I can simply add to in order to make them fit whatever trend that may be hot right now.
I admit I shop A LOT, but I don’t often spend a lot. I buy things on sale, or even used! Especially if I am not going to like it or want to wear it again next season. For instance, this leopard top and Gucci belt, is a perfect example of how to mix classic with trendy. Leopard is hot for fall, all animal print is, so when I wanted to get a few pieces I went to the sensible places. H&M and Target…This top, with their promotion that was going on at the time ended up costing me $17 bucks. Gucci belt on the other hand, now THAT’s the investment. Yes I cried a bit when I bought it, but I have worn it more times than I can count and it will last me FOREVER. Pieces like the belt are where you should spend the money.
If you are just out of college and want to build up your big girl wardrobe or just want an overhaul of your current mess (I say mess with love, because let’s face it no one’s closet looks pristine 100% of the time) here are a few items, in no particular order, that I recommend you spend some dough on and take EXTREMELY good care of.
- Trench/Rain Coat – Now I am talking specifically BURBERRY – These guys are THE end all be all for trench coats and jackets. Any good commuting girl, like myself, or mom with a car full of kids to take everywhere, knows how important being protected from the elements is. I LOVE my Burberry coat. The fit is fantastic, the details are impeccable and the service you get if anything happens to it is even better! I’d recommend a basic quilted coat (here’s the link to mine) or the traditional khaki trench. Weatherproof, stylish and practical! Some even come with thinsulate lining so you can stretch this coat into the colder months!
- Large Designer Hand Bag – This may be one of the more major investments on the list, but I can honestly say that ever since I purchased my Louis Vuitton pieces, I haven’t bought another large handbag, not counting the occasional clutch or tote bag. I got my bag over 8 years ago and use it all the time. Unfortunately LV doesn’t make this style anymore, so I guess it’s now technically vintage??!?!?!. Here’s one similar to mine. I use it mainly for work, but it’s a great bag to travel with because of it’s size and open space. It’s basically an extra carry on! The leather has aged well and just keeps getting softer as I use it. Again, if anything breaks or cracks, if you take your bag back to LV they’ll repair it! So you really could have this bag FOREVER.
- Classic Pumps – Everyone knows the importance of a good shoe! My father always said to never neglect your feet and so shelling out some money for a classic pair of heels that won’t make you want to chop your little piggies off is well worth it! Granted your opinion on the heel height changes over the years, mine sure has, but the concept of a classic black and nude pump never changes. They are the basic of all basics and a must for any wardrobe. I wear my shoes out till they basically fall apart and typically have a pair or two that I wear in over time while still enjoying my current “favorite” pair. My advice, befriend a shoe cobbler. They still exist I swear! They can help keep the super expensive pairs, looking great. I saw one re-sole a pair of Loubitons to wear the red sparkled like a new Ferrari! Need to break a shoe in faster than you like? They can stretch them out for you too. They can even come in handy when dealing with belts! Which brings me to my next item.
- Belt – I will admit this was a late addition to my list, as I never wear belts, at least not to hold up my pants. Which is kind of funny because I am actually wearing one right now while typing this and it’s been the one thing people have commented on most about my outfit today. Anyway, I usually wear belts to create shape when wearing a loose dress or top. But even then a classic brown or black belt can easily elevate your look and make it more polished. I adore my Gucci belt and while it took me many months of saving to purchase, but I think it was worth it. Hermes belt are also a true classic and am hoping to add a brown one to my collection soon! Just note that the sizes of the designer belts are a bit funky and can take some trial and error before you find which works for you. On a budget? Try looking at sites like Poshmark or Tradsey to pick up gently used belts for a fraction of the price. Not quite your size? Opt for a slightly larger waist size, then take the belt to your shoe cobbler who can add a few additional holes to make it work for you! It’ll cost you less to fix than you think. Plus it’ll grow or shrink with you! Especially around the holidays when we all seem to lose all control and eat everything and anything for 3 months straight or is that just me?
- White Button Down – Last but not least on my list, the classic white button down. Pop the color and do a half tuck into your jeans, you are ready for the weekend. Perfectly pressed, tucked into a pencil skirt – the letters CEO will be after your name before you know it. Left unbuttoned over your swim suit – you are basically a royal on vacation. THIS IS THE MOST VERSATILE PIECE IN YOUR CLOSET!!! Buy one that fits you well, but you can always make it fit better with a few nips by a tailor. Simply taking in the sides of a button down top, especially on us ladies, helps define your waist and make you look more put together than if a celebrity stylist dressed you themselves. Like I noted in my post a few months ago about fit being the most important about creating a look, I am being 100% honest. It can really make or break you. Here are a couple of classic shirts I own and rotate through (OPTION 1/OPTION 2). Some materials are better for casual looks, but each can be rotated for any occasion.
So there you have it – my top 5 pieces worthy of your entire paycheck or maybe even two of them. It’ll hurt, but just like pulling off a band-aid, just do it quick. Won’t feel a thing when people are stopping you on the street and admiring your fabulous looks!