As this post has been requested, I thought I’d outline some tips and suggestions of what I think makes an ‘investment’ fashion purchase and how I save for them. I initially hesitated at writing this as I didn’t think I could be very helpful, but these are a few little methods I follow. It helps me prioritise and if it helps anyone else, that’s a bonus. Let’s begin with the basics..
What is an investment piece?
For me, an investment piece is an item that I will wear/keep for as long as I possibly can (as long as it lasts). I choose carefully and I consider whether the item is something I could see myself still wearing in 5 years, 10 years, or even further into the future. Since I have looked at fashion this way, I have made better decisions.
I know some people consider resale value when making investment purchases. If i’m honest, I am more bothered about whether I love the item or not, rather than whether I can sell it at a later date. However it is a good way to consider whether something is classic or not. For example, you are much more likely to sell something if its in a neutral colour. A black jacket will be a lot easier to sell on than an orange one. I personally do not buy to sell, but not because I’m against it as it’s a fantastic way to get money back to put towards something new. It’s more down to me loving every investment piece I own so much that I can’t bare to part with it!
How do I save for investment purchases?
I suppose I should start with the more obvious things; work as hard as you can and save as much as you can (much easier said than done I know and not always possible). Any overtime/extra shifts are welcome when you are saving. I work as much as I humanly can for what I want. Of course, other outgoing payments that need to be covered are prioritised before ‘treating myself’. I’m sure currently being without children helps my situation too. At the moment my main priority is myself, when that changes, what I spend my money on will also change.
Move any extra money into a savings account. This way you can see your savings increase each time you add to them and you will be less likely to take from it. If you leave it in your current account, you will probably spend it.
Think about the item you want as much as you can whilst saving for it. It will make you more determined to get it. If you really want something, you will still want it just as much when you finish saving for it. You might even realise you don’t want that particular thing as much anymore. You might want to book a holiday instead, or just to keep it in your savings and that’s fine. Prioritise what’s important to you. You don’t need to be strict all of the time and treating yourself occasionally is definitely a good idea!
If there are a few things I want, I will make a list on the notes section of my phone. If I’m out shopping one day and I get distracted by a few tops and jumpers I like (not on the list), I will consult the list first and see whether the total price of the items in front of me are worth paying out for, as it will technically be taking away from the other pieces I’m already saving for. If I can justify them because I really like them and can see them working with my wardrobe, I will go for it, but considering it first means you can buy without regret.
Make sacrifices. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. I’m talking about making sacrifices to be able to buy something that you really want. Some examples of things I do to save:
I do my own beauty, where possible. I paint my own nails and give myself manicures and pedicures rather than going to a salon. I don’t wear false nails or false eyelashes, as it’s too much cost and up keep than I am willing to commit to.
I decided around two years ago that I was going to invest in my make up, expanding my collection of brands and product types. To balance it out I wear make up less often now to avoid wasting it. If i’m not going out I won’t wear it (that might sound normal to some but I used to wear make up every day, regardless of what I was doing). My skin can breathe and I save money as I’m not constantly buying face powder and mascara, win win.
One thing I won’t touch myself is my hair. I have always believed in going to a good hair salon, but I have to make sacrifices with that too. I used to have my hair coloured quite often, but now I choose to go around 4 times a year, sometimes less. Yes I have more roots, but my hairs in better condition and I’m saving more money than if I still went as often as I used to.
I try not to waste too much money on food and drink when eating out. I’m all for a good time, but there’s no need to go overboard.
It’s not a race, take your time and build your collection over months and years. The cami top I am wearing in this post is last years, the jacket is now over 2 years old, my bag is almost 4 years old and I’ve been collecting my jewellery since my late teens. Recycle your wardrobe, most things come back into fashion every year or so.
What is the best type of investment purchase?
I do not buy with the intention of wearing the item ‘for now’, or just for this season. That is a waste of money. I’ve been there and done that. I used to spend my money on purely high street clothing, bags and shoes and I wasted every penny of it. Yes I wore the clothes, but only a few times and then I got bored. I don’t own any of it now, years later. It was ‘fast fashion’ that I was impulse buying and then looking for something else not long after. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy the majority of my clothing on the high street, but I am much more selective. I buy high street clothes to go with my investment pieces to make an outfit come together. A high street t-shirt under a Balmain jacket looks just as good as a more expensive t-shirt, if its a good high street tee! For my current fave high street t-shirts, check out this post. Everything in my wardrobe has its purpose.
The best items I would say for investment pieces are accessories. It’s a great place to start if you are easing into high end purchasing. Belts are a good choice because if you choose carefully, you can wear them with so many outfits. Winter scarves are great because you are guaranteed to get them back out of the wardrobe year after year. I purchased my Burberry scarf 3 years ago (that might not seem that long ago but I’m in my 20’s, so to me it is) and I wear it so much every year, without fail.
My first ‘big’ handbag purchase was my pale pink Mulberry Lily Bag. It was the most expensive thing I’d ever purchased and I saved so hard to get it. I can remember the day it was delivered and I felt sick as I was removing it from the packaging. It gave me the bug for handbags and I realised if I wanted something, I’d need to save for it. Years later and I still use that bag regularly, it was well worth it.
Clothing can be a good investment, but it depends on the item. Tops are tricky, because if you wear the same top over and over again, it could eventually get boring. I suppose it depends how much you love the top! Denim is a great buy, the perfect jeans can be worn non stop and will last years. Jackets and coats are great because they can go over the top of most outfits. Shoes are good as long as they are practical. Flats will be worn more than heels, unless your job or social events mean you’re often in heels. Look at your circumstances, what you do day to day and what colours you wear most often. If you wear a lot of nude, go for a nude pair of shoes. If you’re obsessed with the colour red and always have been, you need to buy the shoes in red!
Have you worked out how much wear you will get out of it?
This is so important, in fact, it’s the most important point! Is the item worth it? If you think I just purchase things left right and centre, without any thought or care, you would be 100% wrong. I will buy an item and when it arrives (or when I get home if I have purchased in store) I will spend time working out whether it was worth buying and if I am going to keep it. If it doesn’t pass the test, it’s not going in my wardrobe, as pretty as it might be! It will be returned as quickly as possible, before I get chance to change my mind.
I will empty my wardrobe to make an item work. I will stand in the mirror and put multiple outfits together with the item I’ve just purchased. The most recent example would be my Gucci loafers (see post). The day they arrived I took a few pairs of jeans out of my wardrobe, a few tops, skirts, a jacket and one of my bags and put together multiple outfits with them, to see if I could make the shoes work with my wardrobe. It’s all well and good thinking something is lovely and wanted to own it, but if you can’t style it with anything it is a waste of money and you won’t get the use out of it.
Does anything ever get returned? Yes. I ordered a Gucci handbag online back in August and it arrived a few days later. The most gorgeous shade of Blue. It was an impulse purchase to an extent, as although I’d longed for that bag for a while, I hadn’t put much thought into how I would style it. This was my downfall and resulted in me sending it back. I tried it on with a jumper and jeans combination from my wardrobe. The problem was, as much as it looked nice, any of my other bags would have looked just as good with that same outfit, if not better. I don’t own any shoes to go with that bag, so I’d have to purchase some. There was also less space inside than I’d anticipated, which went against it too as I’d have had to pack it strategically (I prefer being able to fill my bag with lots of ‘just in case’ things I probably won’t need). I loved the look of it initially, but I haven’t missed it at all since returning so I know I made the right decision. I can always consider purchasing it again in future if I change my mind, but I can’t see it happening. The Gucci loafers have unintentionally replaced the Gucci bag, which is 100x better value for money as they have already become key pieces in my wardrobe.
Ok that’s it for now. I hope you have found some of my ramblings useful. If you would like me to write another post in more detail about something mentioned above, let me know. If you have any tips yourself please leave a comment.
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