I think we all agree the term 'investment piece' is thrown around a little too easily. I am very guilty of this, it's almost like a turn of phrase I apply to anything expensive without thinking how it is an investment, or if it can even qualify as that in any sense. Personally, when I am shopping designer the 'investment' is never going to come from selling said piece later down the line and making the money back, because I buy pieces I think I am going to want forever. In theory it could be an 'investment' because now I have the one pair of Gucci loafers, they will last forever, so I won't buy lots of cheaper ones - but really it never works like that because we are all to tempted by new things all of the time. The 'investment' for me is in how it changes and enhances my style and wardrobe. How buying one piece that you really love (and the brand attached to that might well make you love it more, it's shallow but a lot of us do it and you can do a lot worse than love a shoe more because it comes in a fancy designer box) can then become a staple in your style and wardrobe and really define how you dress. Sometimes you really hit the nail on the head and the cost per wear of the item (another phrase thrown around a lot) can really come down so that item feels like the best buy ever, other times it might be something so special you only wear it for best.
I have come to terms that while I can stand in Selfridges and say 'THIS BLAZER IS AMAZING and if I have this one I will never need another one, it's an investment', doesn't mean I won't run to Topshop next week and find (and buy) another blazer I love. But it is still an investment for me, because I will inevitably keep it for longer, and something like a blazer is so key to my personal style. The investment is in my own style, not a financial one.
I am not sure how much this will be making sense, so I put on this outfit to hopefully shine a light on things a little more...
So, let's start with something that was undoubtedly worth it - my Gucci loafers. I think we all know how much I have worn these. I have had them for over two years now and still wear them all the time. Buying these really was a defining moment in my style because it is where my love for loafers began, which has become a huge aspect of how I style my looks and bring a smarter element into my really laid back combinations. I can't see them as in investment in terms of 'oh I have this pair so I don't need anymore now' because I have since gone to buy loads of high street ones, a pair from Celine, and two more pairs from Gucci. If anything from a financial point of view, it's made me spend more money than I would had I never got them. But the investment they have been in my personal style has been huge, and so worth it, and I will still buy more pairs!
Sticking with Gucci, the trousers, Now I didn't pay for these, which makes things harder to consider as any level of an investment but as being gifted clothes is part of my job (and every other blogger) I thought I would mention this too. Whenever I get offered gifting of an item I always pick it myself, but it does make me choose things a little differently. Hand on my heart, I wouldn't have bought these trousers with my own money. The practical side of me would have stopped me (for some reason that side is always strong, until it comes to shoes), no matter how much I loved them I could not bring myself to spend hundreds on PINK trousers, which are so different for me anyway. But, when it's not my own money, I am inclined to give things a go a little more. Needless to say I realise how incredibly lucky I am for this, but one of the best things about it is that I can sometimes choose something different that then does become a huge part of my style, that I wouldn't have necessarily bought anyway. Honestly, these trousers weren't that. I love them, they fit amazing, feel amazing, are amazing, but I can't see them as a worthwhile investment into my wardrobe. I have worn them a handful of times, they didn't spark an endless love for coloured trousers (they did help me wear more pink, so brownie points for that), but they have spent more time in my wardrobe than on my legs.
The denim jacket was another expensive piece. This time from Testing Basics, which has been the cause of a lot of my designer purchases now. This jacket came in last place because there was no way I could warrant the insane price tag, but it's now the one I have gone on to wear the most. I think a lot of that is just because it's black with gold buttons, which doesn't need to cost hundreds. But, despite having worn this a lot, I can't see it as a great investment. I like it a lot, it doesn't look hugely special, and it has had no huge effects on my personal style. I mostly wear it when I want to stop myself from wearing a blazer again, a piece which is always far more of a worthwhile investment for me.
I think the point is that I have found the best way to shop is not to think of an 'investment' piece in terms of the price, but in how it will change/enhance your style. And that could be with a high street piece too, maybe you then want to go out and buy a designer version if you have a little bit of a soft spot for a brand attached to something (I know I do). But I have countless highstreet pieces that have come to define my style in huge ways and have been better investments than some of the designer pieces I have. Maybe we need a highstreet version of this post too?
PHOTOS BY DEAN MARTINDALE.