Quick question—what's adding the most value to your wardrobe right now? We aren't talking about the cheapest thing, or the designer dress you found on the sale rack that you're saving for a special occasion. This is about the items in your regular rotation. These pieces might have cost a little more, but there’s a tradeoff to that investment—they last longer than a fast-fashion impulse buy and probably get even better with age. When it comes to cost per wear (that is, the initial cost of the clothing divided by the number of times you put it on), investment pieces are a smart bet. And after our long winter of loungewear, this is the perfect time to take stock of your closet and find the items you'll be wearing for the next few seasons.
So how do you know that something will stand the test of time? The best investments are the items you always want to wear. They should be versatile, comfortable and timeless. They shouldn't be tied to a trend, but they should still make a statement all on their own. As always, our stylists have some suggestions to get you started.
Why to buy: a denim jacket never stays in the closet for long. It can be layered under coats in winter, over sweaters in the spring and with your favorite sundress in the summer. It can skew sweet or edgy, and the clean, flattering cut looks good on absolutely everyone. If it does start looking a little rough around the edges, all the better—broken-in denim is the best denim.
Why to buy: a button-up in bright white is a blank canvas—but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. A quick styling change can take it from tomboy-chic to ultrafeminine, and on its own it’s the picture of effortless elegance. To make it last, look for crisp, high-quality cotton (and keep the stain stick close).
Why to buy: nothing looks as good as the perfect pair of jeans—and nothing feels quite like luxe denim. It usually lasts longer too, thanks to more thoughtful production processes. Best of all, it gets a little softer with every wash until it achieves that made-for-you look that keeps you reaching for your favorites.
Luxe Leather Sandals
Why to buy: sandals with staying power have a few things in common—they're undeniably stylish, comfortable and easy to dress up or down so you can wear them for any occasion. Opt for something strappy, but subtle enough to work with your lowest-key casuals. Invest in supple leather, and treat your feet to a cushioned footbed.
Simply Chic Jewelry
Why to buy: jewelry makes it easy to express your personal style and dress up your everyday look. While chunky chains and big baubles have their place, here's the golden rule for choosing signature jewelry you'll love now and forever: keep it simple, sleek and timeless. When you find the right pieces, you won't feel fully dressed without them.
Why to buy: bags are the arm candy of your closet—chances are you have (or want) one in every color, size and style. The trick is finding styles you'll still love next season. Iconic silhouettes in rich materials may cost a little more, but that's because they'll outlast the impulse buys and look every bit as fresh five years from now.