The Value of an Investment Piece
The idea of investing in a few quality items is personally thrilling to me. I love the idea of having a handful of wardrobe staples and condensing all my possessions down to one backpack that I can carry and go around—be still my minimalist heart!
There’s quite a lot of hype around capsule wardrobes, minimalism and slow fashion these days and I have to say that I am solidly on the bandwagon, no looking back. A concept that has been circulating for years in the fashion industry is the term ‘investment piece’, which essentially means spending a bit a more on a quality piece you really like that with last for years, regardless of the trends that come and go. Whether you’re a minimalist or working towards a capsule wardrobe or not, I believe there’s a lot of value in investing in quality pieces.
What Makes an Investment Piece?
It takes time to build a wardrobe full of investment pieces. It’s a completely different approach from just snatching something trendy off the shelf without considering when, where and how to incorporate it into my wardrobe. Fast fashion carries a huge imaginary urgency with it—the idea that there’s not enough and I need to act fast or else I’ll miss out! Taking time to really evaluate my wardrobe and be specific about what I actually want or need is one of the core considerations for buying an investment piece. Questions like, “What do I frequently feel I am missing when I get dressed?” and “What could I continue to use years from now?” help narrow my list so I can get to work and search. Instead of thinking of immediate gratification, I’m thinking specifically about selecting something quality for not only my present, but my future as well.
It can be difficult in the face of temptation to just pick out something that’s “almost” what I’m looking for but it isn’t a true investment piece because if it’s not exactly what I want I will ultimately want to replace it with something else, or just stick it in the back of my closet and feel defeated.
The fast fashion industry is churning out products as quickly as possible to keep up with the 52 season industry it’s created for consumers and the actual quality of the product is diminishing rapidly. Taking time to research which fabrics are the best quality and to learn how to identify a quality-constructed garment really helps when I’m selecting my piece. It’s important to note that just because an item costs more than another doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a quality-made item. Loosely sewn hems will come loose, buttons will pop off and chintzy fabrics will lose their quality very quickly (think of sweaters piling, necklines stretching out and gauzy shirts becoming transparent).
There’s an old saying most of us have heard: “Quality over quantity” and it perfectly sums up the mindset and focus I have now when it comes to hunting for my investment pieces.
Depending on our lifestyle and our available budget, what we each consider to be spending a lot will absolutely look different and that’s okay! I believe that regardless of your budget, you can work towards filling your closet with investment pieces. All it takes is a little time and self-control. Instead of loading up on a bunch of cheap sale items that I didn’t plan for and haven’t evaluated for quality, I save that money for a quality, higher priced item. It may seem scary or counterintuitive to consider buying a pair of trousers for a higher price instead of getting a cheaper pair for much less, but it’s almost guaranteed that a cheaper price means poorer quality. I would rather have a good pair of trousers that lasts me for several years than settle for a pair that I have to replace in a few months! I would end up spending the same amount for several fast fashion pieces and still be creating waste and extra work for myself.
Once I’ve taken time to consider my current closet and what I want to purchase, done my research about the best fabrics, found an ethical brand I’m comfortable supporting and save appropriately for my investment piece, the work isn’t completely done yet.
Investing in my wardrobe continues even after I come home with beautiful new purchase in hand. Researching and reading how to care for my items is critical. I have destroyed SO many items by just being lazy and throwing them in the washing machine instead of reading the tags or doing a quick Google search to figure out how to properly care for different fabrics. Now when I bring home an investment piece, I do the research and take the time to preserve it. I’ve already taken the time to get the perfect piece—to bring it home and not maintain it would be a shame and a waste. If I need to occasionally visit the tailor for repairs or the dry cleaners for hard to remove stains, I will! Taking good care of my garments will make them last longer and I will ultimately get more wear out of them, truly making them investment pieces.
As I said in the beginning of this piece, whether you’re a minimalist or working towards a capsule wardrobe or not, I believe there’s a lot of value in investing in quality pieces. I feel more pride for my wardrobe, appreciate and care well for what I do have, and I’ve cut down on my spending ultimately. It’s a bit different but definitely worth it, especially on my ethical fashion journey.
Do you currently have any investment pieces? Do you want to try it out? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
@alizetigirl on social media