How can you be sure the garment you’re eyeing up is a good long-term investment? Follow these five principles to make sure everything you buy will be a cherished part of your wardrobe for many seasons to come:
1) Sales skew perception: Sales are instinctively appealing and affect us on a primitive level. As such, they have the ability to impair our judgment, something retailers know and take advantage of. A great sale on a run-of-the-mill garment isn’t a bargain. If the item doesn’t make you look your best, then it’s not a good purchase, no matter how great the price. A good rule of thumb to remember is, if you wouldn’t want the garment at full price, you shouldn’t buy it on sale.
2) Fit is the foundation of style: Make a perfect, flattering fit your number one priority for everything you wear. If the garment has any pull points or sagging, it is not a good investment. It doesn’t matter how “close” to perfect the garment might be, if the fit isn’t right, it’s not money well spent.
3) Investment pieces compliment your existing wardrobe: Most of us assess clothing as individual pieces, valuing an item’s unique merits above how well it works with our existing wardrobe. While natural, this instinct is short-sighted and ultimately undermines our style, since the long-term utility of a garment is directly linked to how well it works with other pieces we most love wearing. Evaluate new garments based on how well they elevate your favourite outfits and prized pieces.
4) Quality over quantity: Most of us have been duped into believing that more is better. When it comes to clothing, however, the world only assesses you one outfit at a time. You don’t get image points for having a closet stuffed with garments. The only thing that matters style-wise is how pulled together you appear on any given day. Investing in the highest quality, most versatile and flattering pieces you can find is a much more style enhancing way to go than buying many mediocre pieces.
5) Timelessness over trends: When it comes to quality investment pieces, focus on the classic staples. Trendy pieces are useful for adding flair and character to your wardrobe, but they date themselves quickly. In contrast, a great pair of classic nude pumps or a multi-season trench coat are likely to be wardrobe workhorses for years to come. Invest your money where you’ll get the most fashion bang for your buck.
Related: What is Investment Dressing?