'Investment pieces' is a phrase that's been kicking around, well, forever, in the blogging and fashion world. I'm sure it's been written about a thousand times, but it's got me thinking about the concept of investment and how you can actually 'invest' in fashion in the first place.
'Investing' can mean something completely different to each individual person. We all have different budgets, daily needs, moral preferences and so forth, but we all do invest in fashion in some way, shape or form every time we purchase something. However, I wanted to talk more about those purchases with a bit of meaning behind them, rather than the weekly trip to H&M, so here's four ways I think about when it comes to investing plus a final note on what I think an 'investment' really is.
01. That Special Piece
The most obvious way to invest, in my eyes, is with more of a 'luxury' purchase. This varies from person to person, as it could be something as every day as a good quality coat, right up to a Hermes or new Chanel bag. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. I'm very lucky to own a few special pieces now and know that I'll have them for a very long time, and, honestly, they make me feel amazing every time I wear them. To a lot of people, that will sound vain or materialistic, but we have to get dressed every day (or not, I am about that PJ life) so why not wear items that make you feel a bit more sassy?
Personally, I've stopped spending all of my money on ASOS on mediocre 'trend' items and started putting my money into things I adore and, although I'll only purchase a few bits a year (whereas previously I'd own 30 bags), they have more significance and, more importantly, I actually wear them to death rather than recycle them a season later.
02. Something You Wear Every day
We all have pieces that we wear constantly (mine are jeans, boyfriend coats and boots) and yet sometimes we wear things that aren't quite right. You know, the trousers that dig in a bit or that blazer that isn't quite the right length. Sometimes, 'investing' can be as simple as getting those every day pieces to fit perfectly. You don't have to spend a bomb either, just consider materials and tailoring and you're good to go!
For example, I've been saying I wanted to upgrade of my worn out H&M tshirts for a while that had stretched and looked rubbish. So, a little while ago I picked up the perfect white tee from & Other Stories and, while it may not cost a bomb (£12 more than H&M to be precise), I've already noticed a huge difference. They fit nicer, they wash better, they're 100% cotton and they've kept their shape even though I've washed them countless times.
03. On The Wish-List
There's something so special about finally getting that thing you've wanted for ages. Again, this doesn't have to equal a high value, but ticking something off the wishlist is something I really love to do. I wanted a black vintage Chanel bag (with the original chain) since I was about 14, so it was very satisfying when I was eventually going through the checkout and it was finally here, roughly 11 years later.
This is why I'm not a huge fan of buying high street 'dupes' of higher end pieces. I personally see it as a waste of money, as I often see people buy 3 or 4 pairs of Gucci loafer dupes and by this point they've already spent half the money they would have spent if they bought the real thing... then they end up buying them anyway! I'd rather just wait and buy the thing I really want, instead of spending money on things that aren't quite right.
I wrote about this more here, but next on my list is the perfect off-white or cream silk shirt and I'm very excited to tick this off!
04. Consider Vintage
If you are considering spending a bit on an item, it's good to double check the second-hand or vintage sites. The jacket I'm wearing is Isabel Marant from A/W 2016 and I would definitely consider it a luxe but perfect purchase, as I know I'm going to wear it for years to come (and I got it brand new for 1/2 of the RRP on Vestiaire). The Chanel comes in at 1/3 of the current retail price and, despite it being vintage from the 90s, it's in almost perfect condition. It doesn't matter if someone has owned it before, as you'll end up with an amazing piece that's cost you much less and often has more character!
Of course, if you want the in-store experience and the carrier bag, then by all means go right ahead, but for some pieces pre-owned is a great way to get the piece you want without parting with all of your cash (plus it means there's cash left for pizza, so who's really winning here?)
Is it only an investment if it keeps its value?
A lot of people will say yes to this, but I don't always think it is. An investment can mean such a range of things, so it doesn't always need to have a monetary value attached to it. If you've bought those good quality jeans that fit like a glove, you'll never get your money back for them, but they're still an investment if you've actively looked for something that'll last.
I mean if we're going to talk about ROI (I hate that phrase, reminds me of working in my 9-5 job), there's the obvious choices like Chanel whose prices go up every single year, so if you purchased a classic flap five years ago, you would still get your money back for it (or even make a profit) because of their ludicrous increases. Even if I sold my two vintage bags, I would still probably get the money that I paid back, as they're a classic and popular style.
There's nothing wrong with selling your items, too, as our style change over the years - I'm currently selling four bags of mine - but while you have them, wear them! Enjoying the item you've invested in is so important, otherwise what's the point? I hate seeing people say they're keeping pricey items 'for best' - why? Get them out, wear them every day if you can as I promise they'll bring you joy and up your sassy level by at least 80%. I can wear the most mediocre outfit but throw on a nice bag or my favourite boots or even a nice fitting tee and I feel so much better about what I have on!
What do you think about 'investment' pieces?