I'm often asked how best to manage shopping for fashion; which items are worth investing in and which pieces are just as good from the high street. To say there's a cut and dry formula for every woman would be wrong but I do believe there's certain wardrobe pieces that most women need and will give you a better cut, style and longevity if you invest in designer brands. Equally, there's pieces that the high street do so brilliantly that I wouldn't consider investing in so it's important to get your shopping pounds to work hard for you.
In response to this request I've designed a two part series focusing on designer brands versus high street. The first blog post today looks at my edit of investment fashion from a range of designer brands whilst Friday's post will celebrate the best of the high street. I've spent a few weeks scouring the stores to bring you the best from the current collections so I hope you find this interesting and useful. As usual, I've linked all images so all you have to do is click and it'll take you to a vendor's site.
The 6 Items Worth Your Pennies
The six items I suggest investing in are:
- A Trench Coat. A great, versatile piece that works through Autumn, Winter and into Spring. It keeps you dry and warm and can be layered with knitwear or other jackets, whilst also working well thrown over a t-shirt.
- A Classic Blazer. I believe every woman should have a classic, black blazer in her wardrobe. I like the ease of dressing with a blazer - it can be styled with jeans and a t-shirt for a smart casual look, with dress trousers and a shirt for a more formal look or over a dress for easy evening dressing.
- A Leather Jacket. Another great, ageless piece that becomes such a staple for day to night dressing and works with almost anything in your wardrobe....jeans, dresses, smart trousers, white shirts, knitwear. Investment here is key to get longevity plus a good quality leather only improves with age and wear.
- An Everyday Handbag. When I worked at Harrods, our Chief Merchant spoke of the importance of accessories dressing and was an advocate of having a great classic handbag that could work for meetings, shopping and evenings out. I've invested in a few over the years and completely agree with this notion. Not only should they be practical and multifunctional but a good bag will lift any outfit and last you for years.
- A Pair of Classic Heels. I don't own many pairs of heels at all, I am much happier in flats. However, a classic heel will make a difference to your overall silhouette and really lift an outfit. I do believe that investing in a well-made designer shoe is worth it. A good shoe from a more expensive brand does tend to be much more comfortable and easier to walk in. They also last much longer. I've had my Jimmy Choo patent stilettos for 5 years now and they are still as comfortable, fit perfectly and look fantastic with a host of outfits.
- A Pair of Great Flats. If I'm going to wear a pair of shoes four plus times a week and expect them to look great with most outfits, then I feel it's worth investing. Always opt for a classic style with a great fit. The flats I've invested in I've had for years and they look as good now as they did on their first wear, if not better.
My Shopping Edit
The Trench coat
THE CLASSIC BLAZER
the leather jacket
The everyday handbg
THE CLASSIC HEEL
the everday flats
And finally...some shopping tips!
I hope you've enjoyed this investment dressing article and have found some great new discoveries. My final piece of advice is to make sure you do your research and consider purchases well when you're making more of an investment....
- Go for staple classics in more neutral colours so they don't date and go with more items in your wardrobe.
- Opt for quality and great fit. I've really researched my edits because whilst they carry brand names, I wanted to ensure they came with quality - good fabrics, strong make and beautiful finish. This is where you'll get true distinction over the high street.
- They should 'sing'! If you're going to invest in something you have to love it! My mum was shopping in Paris and the sales assistant asked her the most simple yet effective question...."does it sing?". Ask yourself this before you buy - you want to love wearing your new purchase and enjoy it for a long time.
- Research and shop around. Do the leg work and ensure you try everything on and really think about what your lifestyle will demand of that piece. Shopping around is key and you can often find some great bargains in designer outlet villages and on auction sites if you know what you're looking for.
- Look after your purchase. This seems obvious but invest in leather protectors for shoes and handbags and source a great dry cleaner for apparel. The better you look after it, the long you will have it for.