Style Watch 2010: 5 Items To Invest In
Hi, my name is Erika. I'm an absolute beauty and fashion fanatic, and I'm pretty sure that I am (in all seriousness) a recovering shopaholic. I still love to shop (wait, let me say that again - I LOVE LOVE LOVE to shop) but I will no longer risk my credit rating for a sale at the GAP. True story. I once did exactly that (have you ever heard of a denim emergency? I had one.), but I suppose that is a post for another day. So, now that you find yourself equipped with this knowledge, you may be surprised to know that until this year I had never owned a single item of "designer" anything. In the past year, however, I have learned the value of a carefully crafted wardrobe that is comprised of well-made pieces that will simply never go out of style.
Not every item in your wardrobe has to be the best of the best - especially if we're talking items that are trendy. However, a few well-made, high-end items mixed into a thoughtful collection can make all of the difference. With that, here are my top 5 picks for items that you should consider investing in for 2010:
1) The Perfect Pair of Jeans. Denim is a very forgiving material that can cover all manner of sins and flaws - every woman should own a pair that makes her feel like the sexiest woman in the room. Something to consider: how many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet? Now think of this: out of all of the selection in your closet - what is your favorite pair, your go-to pair, and why? Answer that question, and then use that information to go out and find another pair of jeans that make you feel as fantastic as those do, or better yet, even more so. Maybe you love them because it's the perfect cut or because everytime you wear them your significant other can't keep his hands out of your back pockets - no matter what the reason is, you feel good in them because you know you look good in them. Try some of the high-end brands of denim - you will immediately notice a difference in fit, in cut, and in quality. You'll also notice a difference in price, but I am serious when I say that you can't put a price tag on confidence.
2) The Perfect Coat. In all fairness, I'm pseudo coat-obsessed. I will don my long winter-white coat and matching hat anytime the temperature dares to dip below 60. I live in Louisiana where we can practically barbeque on New Year's Day, but that doesn't stop me from running my fingers across racks of wool peacoats and drooling over the perfect trenchcoat. My excuse? I travel a lot. Your excuse? Well, I'm not sure you need one. I strongly believe that every woman should have at least several coats in her closet - one classic look, one lightweight, one with color, and one that she can wear with a cocktail dress. I'm willing to bet you already have a classic coat - a peacoat or a trench coat, so consider investing in an ultra-feminine swing coat, a coat with a pop of color, or a fitted coat that accentuates your figure. While the Michelin-man type puffer-coats may be acceptable, they don't make you feel like the svelte little thing that you actually are. Don't forget that sometimes people spend more time seeing your coat than the ensemble underneath it. My advice: shop and invest appropriately.
3) The Perfect Pair of Shoes. This year, decide what your must-have shoe is. Maybe it's the perfect pair of suede slouch boots, some ankle booties, or the pair of Tory Burch "Reva" flats that you've been eyeing for a minimum of 5 months (Ok, so I might be projecting a bit, there.). Shop around, make sure that you and said shoes are a match made in heaven. Make sure that you would willingly skip your morning Starbucks for a month for them if necessary. Then, once you've confirmed that there is absolutely no other shoe on the planet that would fill the gaping void in your shoe rack quite like these - BUY THEM. I'm not saying you should splurge on every shoe you see, but find a pair of shoes that you love, that are well-made, that you would take to get resoled should the need arise, and invest in them. They will serve you well, and you'll feel like a million bucks in them, which is by far the most important thing.
4) The Perfect Cocktail Dress. Tell me that you don't know the feeling of panic that sets in right before a wedding, significant other's holiday party, or reunion and I'd call your bluff. I don't know a single woman who hasn't scrambled around, looking for the "perfect" thing to wear to that event that is not too casual, not too dressy, not to short, but not too frumpy. You know the dress I mean. The one that you've deemed simply DOES NOT EXIST (especially on the limited budget that you typically have at the last minute)? That's the one. Kick 2010 off by going shopping for the perfect cocktail dress FOR NO GOOD REASON. Prep yourself for a day of shopping for a dress as if an event is imminent. Prep your wallet as well - invest in a good brand, a good fit, and then have the dress altered to fit your body. Choose a look that is classic as opposed to trendy, in a color that can be worn in almost any season, and your investement will last you for years on end. As a final step in the process, take your perfect little purchase home and promptly hang it in your closet. Trust me, you'll thank me in a couple of months.
5) The Perfect Splurge. Ha! You thought I was going to say bag, didn't you? Or maybe you guessed accessory? The fact of the matter is, you should treat yourself to a piece that is something that you just WANT. Make it something good, of course - maybe it's the David Yurman ring that you've had your eye on that you know you'll wear every day, or maybe it's that perfect pair of pink ruched leather gloves from Coach that you know will make you feel like Audrey Hepburn every time you slip them on. Choose wisely and your splurge will still be in play in your wardrobe for years to come. Next year, choose a new splurge, and your collection of thoughtfully chosen pieces will begin to grow over time. Then just imagine all of the fantastic items you'll eventually have to pick from - what an amazing dilema to have!