I wrote a post about fashion investment pieces a few weeks ago on my other blog (yes, I have two, I’m crazy) and thought it was an issue that would pertain to many post grad fashion lovers as well. Check it out below!
I read a ton of fashion blogs. I admire all of the photography and editing that goes into the posts, and find that many of the girls have genuinely sweet and relatable writing styles. And of course, there’s the fashion. Mixing patterns, neutrals with pops of color, color blocking, belting, belting, belting! These are all trends that I’ve picked up on from reading blogs. I get behind these trends for the most part because they can be achieved on most budgets, but I’m still wary of one common phrase that seems to dominate the fashion world: “investment piece”.
As a 23 year old girl making a modest salary, I can’t imagine spending money on what many fashionistas would consider “investment pieces” at this point in my life. This doesn’t mean I like to run around town in mismatched outfits. It just means that that I always take cost into serious consideration when making clothing purchases.
Take one of the most classically described “investment pieces”: the pencil skirt. I see many girls that rationalize the purchase of pencil skirts as investment pieces. It’s okay to drop over a hundred dollars on one piece of clothing because it will be worn forever….right?
If you’ve made room in your budget for this piece and know that you will be able to put away the same amount of money for savings, rent, food, student loans as you normally do monthly, then yes, I think it’s totally fine to treat yourself to a versatile piece. But if you are already swimming in debt, paying bills month to month, and have parents that are still helping you with car payments and phone bills, I think it would be better to look for a piece that’s equally versatile, but at a lower price point.
I know, I know. The quality just isn’t the same! You will love the Jcrew skirt forever! But the truth of the matter is that we change sizes and change styles over time. We also live in a consumer culture that likes new things.
Once again, if you have the monetary means and budget to buy these pieces, go for it! If you have a smaller wardrobe made up of more expensive pieces that you budget for, that’s fine. I think it’s just important that we don’t kid ourselves about our financial standing when it comes to fashion, especially those of us who are just starting out in the working world. The idea that this one extra piece of clothing will complete my closet just doesn’t seem like a healthy way to view the role fashion should play in our lives. I think that our personal style should be used as a way to compliment who are as individuals, not complete us.
Instead of a “sky’s the limit” attitude for an investment pieces like pencil skirts or black dresses, I would suggest setting a strict budget. Consider shopping at stores that fall a price point below the skirt you’ve been lusting after. Or even try thrift stores, consignment shops, or Ebay to see if you can snag a used version of the pricey skirt.
Will a less expensive or used skirt still be in great condition 10 years from now? Probably not. But I’m willing to bet that the item you blew your rent or student loan payment on will be shoved somewhere in the back of the closet, and you’ll be on the hunt for new pieces that fit your 10 years from now lifestyle.
Alright, I’m stepping off my soapbox for now. I may not be a huge fan of the whole “investment” piece idea, but are you? Have you ever completely splurged on an item of clothing that was worth it? Tell me your stories!