This year has taught this little know-it-all dozens of fashionable lessons, the most valuable being what to take advantage of at a bottom dollar sale price, and what to break the ceramic piggy bank for. Have you ever had a John Wayne style stare down with the sale rack at your favorite boutique? Or been lured into the Gap by the promise of 30% off the latest denim arrivals? Me too. CONSTANTLY. It drives me bananas. I stand in front of a sea of beautiful pieces doing math calculations in my head for hours…can I afford to buy six of these if I carry the 2? How much am I saving if I buy enough to last me through my 30’s? Is this on sale due to poor quality or just lack of interest from other fashionable minds making it totally tasteless? Should I save my pennies and actually INVEST in a timeless piece instead? Helllpppp!!!!!
Well, the shopping goddesses sent me a priceless little message that they demanded I share with you pronto. Back away from the sale rack, stand in front of your closet and begin by selecting a neutral color palette for the year (brown family or black family…pick a team), then find your core staple investment pieces. Whatever cash is left in your beautifully constructed handbag, you may squander on sale or generally inexpensive fashionable purchases. Love that advice, direct and to the point…it stopped me in my clearance stockpiling tracks. But what on earth are my core staple investment pieces this season?
A quality sweater… all natural fibers, classic design with a subtly modern twist, soft, cuddly and WARM. Live in a climate that includes SNOW? Double the order and invest in at least two of these.
A designer handbag from a reputable name with serious street cred. Sorry to be like that, but be at this moment I need you to be like that too. Your handbag should be a neutral shade that can be easily worn with your entire wardrobe, yet add a fun spark of attitude to your personal style. Neutrals don’t have to be limited to brown and black, remember that navy, olive, grey, nude, ivory and even some animal prints can all double as neutrals. The heavy pricetag on a designer bag may seem ridiculous when you could easily find something great at Target, but when we are talking about the one piece of your wardrobe that you will be exposing to the world constantly, putting your best foot forward is crucial to your image. Quality is noticeable always, even if you are not a bag snob. I swear, trust me.
Boots. One, maybe two trustworthy pair that look even more amazing the more miles they walk with you. Black or brown are probably best in this situation, out of practicality (they hide scuffs better than lighter shades, and seem to build character the more they are loved). They do not need to “match” your handbag, but they probably should look complementary to your jacket or coat.
A heavy jacket, and if you live in that climate where winter lasts more than a couple of weeks, an actual coat. Invest, it’s worth it. The materials will be better, you will look amazing and your body’s heating system will thank you for it.
Once you’ve invested in these core staple pieces, it should be years before the need to re-invest should arise provided you stick to your selected neutral color palette and select pieces that are classic with small hints of modern elements. Everything else you adorn yourself with can be at whatever price point is realistic for you. Seriously, it’s that simple.
This year I’ve already checked off my heavy fall jacket purchase (Citizens of Humanity Carnaby Coat), and am moving on to an army of sweaters. Being from the Midwest, and one that shivers from early November until about the end of April, I’m going above the bar and grabbing three that I think will improve my quality of life tremendously…and look kind of awesome as well. My neutral palette is in the black family, so I like to stick with grey, black, stone, dark browns, and anything I think will look amazing with my new black skinny jeans.
Here are my selections…I love them all for their own unique elements and personalities and they all look as amazing as they make me feel hanging in my closet or on my body. Each can be worn solo, layered with a cami, or well played with a button up collared shirt like my new Steven Alan for a little bit of fabulous.
Vince, Hi Lo Thermal in Nutmeg
50% Yak, 50% Wool
Demylee, Jonathan in Steel Grey
Vince, Crop Boatneck in Natural
50% Yak, 50% Wool
Love, love, love.