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16 Investment Pieces That Are So Worth it (And 4 That Aren’t)

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Investment pieces. Workhorse wardrobe items. Sartorial staples.

Whatever you call them, these timeless garments and accessories are built to last and never go out of style. 

Let’s explore the two types of investment pieces you can own and plenty of chic examples below. 

This post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission when you shop, at no cost to you.

What is Considered an Investment Piece ?

Style enthusiasts often use the term “investment piece” to describe items that transcend the fleeting trends of the moment.

But I’ve noticed these pieces typically fall into two categories. Here are the types of fashion investment pieces you should know about:

Cost Per Wear Powerhouses:

Definition: Cost per wear investment pieces are wardrobe assets known for their exceptional longevity and versatility. These are the staples that seamlessly integrate into various outfits and endure the test of time.

french capsule wardrobe essentials striped shirt, blazer and trousers

Attributes:

  • Longevity: These pieces are crafted to last. With quality materials and construction, you’ll have them for years.
  • Versatility: These investment clothing pieces play well with different styles, occasions, and pairings.
  • Frequency of Wear: They have a low cost per wear, making them a sustainable and rewarding investment.

Examples:

  • Trench Coat: Timeless, adaptable, and suitable for various seasons, a well-made trench coat can be a cost per wear powerhouse.
  • Cashmere Sweater: Luxuriously soft and enduring, a quality cashmere sweater is versatile enough to suit lots of outfits.

Financial Investment Pieces:

Definition: True financial investment pieces extend beyond immediate style considerations. They are chosen with a deliberate focus on retaining or appreciating over time. Often, people buy these with the intent of selling the item after it appreciates in value.

couple shopping in mid-luxury brand clothing store

Attributes:

  • Exclusivity: Limited availability or a unique selling proposition adds to their potential financial value.
  • Brand Reputation: They come from stablished brands or those with a history of maintaining or increasing value.
  • Resale Potential:  Reselling these items, whether due to rarity, brand popularity, or collector demand, is a key consideration.

Examples:

  • Hermès Birkin Bag: Renowned for its scarcity and craftsmanship, the Birkin bag is an iconic financial investment in the fashion world.
  • Rolex Watches: Crafted with precision and often becoming heirlooms, certain Rolex watches are known to appreciate in value over the years.

In need of an investment bag? See these timeless bags ASAP.

16 Investment Pieces Every Woman Should Own

Now that you know the types of investment pieces, explore some from beloved brands.

Tops

Cashmere Sweater

 

 


Why It’s Worth It: The softness and warmth of cashmere make it a wardrobe essential for cooler seasons. When it comes to investment pieces, cashmere is a staple that adds a touch of luxury to your everyday looks.

How to Shop for It: Invest in a well-constructed, pure cashmere sweater. Check for thickness, and stitching, and choose neutral colors for versatile styling.

Silk Blouse

 

 


Why It’s Worth It: Silk drapes beautifully, giving your outfits an instant upgrade. The smooth texture and lustrous sheen exude sophistication.

How to Shop for It: Look for real silk with proper stitching. My suggestion- pick a top in a neutral shade like ivory or blush for easy pairing.

Button-Down Shirt

 

Why It’s Worth It: Can you say closet cornerstone? A crisp white button-down is a versatile piece that seamlessly transitions from the office to casual outings.

How to Shop for It: Look for high-quality cotton or linen for comfort and breathability. You can add a unique touch with a balloon sleeve version or delicate embroidery (both seen above)

Bottoms 

Sleek Trousers

 

 


Why It’s Worth It: Tailored trousers are a flattering option for both casual and formal settings. Plus, they are fuss-free compared to dresses and skirts – perfect for cooler days.

How to Shop for It: Pay attention to the fit around the waist and hips. Opt for a high-quality fabric that maintains its structure.

Classic Denim Jeans

 
Why It’s Worth It: A well-fitted pair of classic denim jeans is a wardrobe workhorse. I love finding new ways to style mine. Once you find “the ones”, you will too. 
How to Shop for It: Focus on fit and comfort. Look for durable denim in a versatile wash, ensuring it complements your body shape. Also, avoid ripped denim if you want to wear these in a range of settings. 

A-Line Skirt

 

 


Why It’s Worth It: A-line skirts are universally flattering, providing a polished and elegant look. They seamlessly transition from day to night.

How to Shop for It: Length matters. As a petite, I prefer a midi that hits a few inches above my ankle. But find what suits your body type.

Outerwear

Tailored Blazer

 

 

Why It’s Worth It: A blazer is a power piece that pays dividends. Slip one on for instant polish. Think of it as your wardrobe chameleon, adapting to diverse settings.

How to Shop for It: Focus on the fit. For a polished look, choose a tailored silhouette that nips in at your waist and hits just above your hips.

Timeless Trench Coat

 

Why It’s Worth It: Trench coats are timeless and functional, making them an investment in both style and practicality. If you spotted one in my French capsule wardrobe, you know how effortlessly elevate any outfit.

How to Shop for It: Opt for quality materials like cotton or gabardine. Make sure the trench is not too loose on you – you don’t want to swim in it.

Denim or Leather Jacket

 

 


Why it’s worth it: A denim or leather jacket effortlessly layers and adds texture to your look. The best part is a quality one looks and feels better over time.

How to Shop for It: For denim jackets, focus on a classic, well-fitted design with minimal distressing. For a leather jacket, look for quality material and craftsmanship.

Dresses

Little Black Dress (LBD)

 

 

Why It’s Worth It: The little black dress can save you in a pinch. Choose one in a classic silhouette and you have a reliable choice for various events and gatherings.

How to Shop for It: Choose a silhouette that flatters your figure. Pay attention to details like neckline and sleeve length for versatility.

Dress hunting? Explore these flattering dress brands

Breezy Maxi Dress

 


Why It’s Worth It: Maxi dresses are the one-and-done style solution I can’t get enough of. They are a chic option for day parties, brunch, and even weddings if depending on the dress code.

How to Shop for It: You can go neutral or patterned with your maxi. But be sure to choose one in a timeless silhouette. Also, pick one with a flattering yet conservative neckline so you can wear it on lots of occasion

Accessories

Leather Handbag

 
 

Why It’s Worth It: A quality leather handbag is sophisticated and durable. It’s the item you can rely on for years. 

How to Shop for It: Look for genuine leather, sturdy construction, and a timeless design. Choose a size that suits your lifestyle. 

Want more? Check out 20+ stunning handbags here.

Quality Sunglasses

 

Why It’s Worth It: Quality sunglasses offer UV protection and elevate your style. They’re a functional and fashionable investment.

How to Shop for It: Choose a shape that complements your face. The oversized Celine glasses may look great on your favorite celeb, but another option may suit your face more. Try different sunnies on!

Check out my list of the best capsule wardrobe accessories here.

Diamond or Pearl Stud Earrings

 
 

Why It’s Worth It: Diamond or pearl studs are an understated accessory that enhance your overall appearance.

How to Shop for It: Choose high-quality materials and a size that suits you. They’re versatile, complementing casual and dressy looks alike.

Leather Belt

 

Why It’s Worth It: A leather belt adds a finishing touch to your outfits, defining your waist and providing subtle elegance.

How to Shop for It: Look for genuine leather, a timeless buckle, and a width that suits your style. Choose neutral tones for versatility.

Shoes

Classic Pumps

 


 

Why It’s Worth It: A pair of classic pumps in a neutral color is a classic investment piece. These shoes transition from work to events to date night and always look chic.  

How to Shop for It: Focus on comfort, heel height, and quality construction. For materials, consider suede or patent leather for added elegance.

Timeless Flats

 

Why It’s Worth It: A pair of well-crafted ballet flats or classic loafers in a neutral tone can check the comfortable and stylish boxes. Plus, it’s hard to find an outfit these wouldn’t look good with.

How to Shop for It: Look for genuine leather, comfortable insoles, and a weight that suits your style (chunky vs lightweight).

Walk a lot? Here are the best capsule wardrobe shoes.

How to Shop for Investment Clothing Pieces

winter boots and jeans outfit

Set a Budget

When selecting your investment pieces, set a budget parameter. For instance, you can set a percent of income rule. Allocate no more than a certain percentage of your monthly or yearly income to your fashion investment pieces. 

Choose Quality Over Quantity 

Numbers don’t equate to style. A well-made piece, even if singular, outshines a heap of mediocre trends. Think craftsmanship, durability, and materials and you’ll find classic fashion pieces worth investing in.

Consider Cost PerWear

If this is a wearable rather than a financial investment piece, evaluate how often you realistically foresee using it. Items with a lower cost per wear often prove to be wiser investments, ensuring you get your money’s worth from the garment. 

Use The 3-Point Evaluation

Versatility: Can it mix and match? A versatile piece maximizes its utility.

Timelessness: Imagine it post-trend. Will it be wearable for years to come?

Longevity: Is it built for the long haul? Evaluate the construction and materials.

Maintain Your Investments

Investing isn’t just buying; it’s preserving. Regular upkeep, proper storage, and professional care are the guardians of your investment clothing pieces. Maintenance is key

Clothing That's Not Worth Splurging On

woman shopping for capsule wardrobe items

We’ve covered the best fashion investment pieces. Now, let’s discuss certain areas where you’re better off saving. 

Heavily Branded T-Shirts

Fancy logo-branded t-shirts often come with a hefty price tag, capitalizing on the brand’s name rather than the quality of the garment.

Save your money for items that offer both style and substance.

Trendy Pieces

It’s tempting to follow the latest trends, especially when your favorite influencers look great in them.

However, the cost per wear is high with trendy pieces since they last for just a few seasons.

Splurging on these types of pieces will leave you with a closet full of items that quickly fall out of fashion.

Celebrity-Endorsed Clothing Lines

Just because your favorite celebrity has a clothing line doesn’t mean it’s worth the splurge. Some celebrity-endorsed items carry a premium for the name, not necessarily the quality.

Take time to read the reviews and prioritize craftsmanship over celebrity association.

Synthetic Fabric Pieces

While there is a time and place for synthetic fabrics (workout gear, we’re looking at you), you should pay close attention to materials in expensive items.

Cheaply produced synthetic garments often compromise on comfort and breathability. Just because a brand is considered luxury does not mean every piece is up to par.

So read labels and don’t shell out lots of cash for synthetic materials.

FAQs on Investment Pieces

Investment pieces that tend to hold their value well are those with timeless appeal, enduring craftsmanship, and versatile style. Classic items like a well-tailored blazer, a quality leather handbag, or fine jewelry often retain their value over time. Pieces from reputable brands known for their durability and enduring style are also likely to hold or appreciate in value.

When choosing investment pieces, consider items that transcend trends and remain relevant across various occasions and seasons.

Calculating the cost per wear ensures that your fashion investments are economically justified. Follow these steps using the guide provided:

  1. Determine the Trench Coat’s Price:

    • Note the price of the trench coat you’re considering, let’s say it’s $350.
  2. Estimate Wear Frequency:

    • Consider how frequently you anticipate wearing the trench coat. If you plan to wear it twice a week, that would be a reasonable estimate.
  3. Calculate Annual Wears:

    • Multiply the weekly wear frequency by the number of weeks in a year (52).
    • If you plan to wear the trench coat twice per week, it would be 2 wears/week * 52 weeks = 104 wears/year.
  4. Calculate Cost Per Wear:

    • Divide the trench coat’s price by the estimated annual wears.
    • Using the example of a $350 trench coat, it would be $350 / 104 wears = $3.37.
  5. Assess Affordability:

    • Evaluate if the resulting cost per wear aligns with your budget and affordability.
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