If you have made the decision to rejuvenate your style, either by going all out and creating a new capsule wardrobe, or you want to add a key piece, such as jacket or coat, then you will need to spend some money. This is a fact of life. How do you know if the item, or items, you buy represent good value? If you have read my previous posts on the 10 style essentials then you will have some basic guidelines in making the right choices. You may also find it useful to look at my article on’The Art of Shopping’, where the tips given can save you a fortune.
Over the years I have adopted a rule of thumb when making style choices. I do not have a huge budget nor do I have unlimited credit. Aside from layering tops and basic T-shirts, or my occasional jaunts into Zara, I always consider clothes to be an investment not a cost. As with any investment I want a good rate of return.
My three year rule
When faced with a purchase choice (except footwear) of over £250.00 I ask myself one simple question. ‘Will I wear this for 3 years?’ I don’t mean once per year, by the way! To give some examples; I have a Italian fine wool blazer in a marvellous deep chocolate brown which I bought 9 years ago at the staggeringly (or at seemed so at the time) cost of £350.00 which I still wear regularly, I have a cashmere sweater bought 7 years ago for £110.00 which comes out every autumn and I wore only last week. I also have a Diane Von Furstenburgh black wool dress, which is my ‘to go to’ item when a stylish simple dress is needed, purchased 6 years ago for £295.00 which I’m still wearing and still enjoying wearing.
My most recent purchase
LK Bennet crochet dress £295.00
I will definitely wear this dress for more than 3 years. It flatters my body shape, looks good with flats, heels and boots and it works with 3 of my ‘smart’ jackets, both my leather jackets and both my ‘posh’ black coats. Plus, as I travel around quite a lot it doesn’t crease!
Diane Von Furstenberg matte jersey wrap dress £308.00 – the ultimate wardrobe staple
Max Mara £365.00
Max Mara is renowned for style and quality. The jacket above is an investment piece which will work with tailored trousers, jeans, a dress or skirt. Depending on what you team it with it will look good and give you versatility.
Hugo Boss spring coat £580.00 – timeless
Investing this amount of money in a coat may seem quite high. The style is timeless and the colour can be fused with other neutrals, worn with black and other deep colours. You can also create a more casual look with white jeans and a colouful top. You are only going to be limited by your imagination. You should never be bored with the same clothes.
Style rejuvenation may require that you change how you think about buying clothes. Invest in essential pieces, at your own pace and no doubt guided by your budget, that all work well together and you will have a wardrobe that works for you. Get rid of the items you no longer wear and when you look in your wardrobe you will feel good about what you see. No more ‘what on earth am I going to wear?’ moments.