I posted a throwback picture from a few years ago on Facebook recently in which I was wearing some leather pants I had raved about. A friend asked me if I still wore them and if I would do a post on investment pieces I don’t regret buying/ still wear all the time. I thought it was a great idea. It’s hard to pull the trigger on higher priced items, it’s so scary to invest in clothing, but sometimes it’s so very worth it. When you wear something non-stop and it’s made well it makes more financial sense than lots of cheaper items you wear once or twice and then they shrink/fall apart/ fall out of style. Some I even buy again once I’ve worn through them, and some torture me because they are not made anymore (I’m looking at you suede Tory Burch flats with jeweled bows!!!! RIP)
So here are 15 things I invested in (some not even SO pricey i.e. J.Crew) that have become total staples in my wardrobe.
- I bought a cream Veronica Beard tuxedo blazer two winters ago and I have worn it non stop with jeans and heels for semi-dressy evenings and my leather pants (#2) for dressier occasions. This version (mine no longer available) is a bit different, but it has a similar cut and color.
- Ahhhh, my leather pants. (OMG!!! They are 40% off today on Outnet- run, people, run!!!!) Now four years old and not one moment of regret, despite the astronomical price. I’ve worn these so much I had to have them repaired- price per wear is probably lower than anything else in my closet other than jeans!
- I have four DVF New Julian wrap dresses, all of which I still love (one is eight years old and still going strong). So flattering, forgiving and perfect for just about any occasion from a meeting to a wedding. A must have.
- My black Loubs. I thought this brand was super over-hyped- but not when you buy the right pair. The classic heels are so comfy for the height and look so insanely flattering on the foot. I had mine resoled with red rubber soles for durability since I wear them so much!
- I’ve said it before (a few times) but I’ll say it again- Citizen’s Racer jean is the perfect cut. PERFECT. I have three pairs now and am nervous they will stop making them so will probably buy more. I’ve bought cheaper jeans that sit on my shelf- these I wear 3-4 days a week.
- When my book was published I treated myself to a Chloe Marcie bag. Since then I have carried it almost every day! The size is great, it has the perfect amount of pockets, there is a long strip plus the handles AND the leather is thick and amazing. Worth every penny.
- I wore these Ancient Greek sandals into the ground (mine are gross now but I can’t bring myself to toss them!) Time for a new pair! Love the mix of gold and leather- goes with everything from sundresses to denim cutoffs.
- Also time for a new pair of Rag & Bone Newbry suede booties before fall comes! Perfect heel height and size for lift with stability and a simple, classic look.
- Wallets are something you use every day no matter what bag or outfit you choose- so I invested in a classic Louis Vuitton one and haven’t looked back. Still looks brand new and I will never tire of it.
- This Clare V clutch is such a staple for me. Goes with everything, a great size for all your stuff and LEOPARD, so duh.
- I’ve never repeat bought a product as many times as Child perfume. My signature, I still love it over a decade after discovery.
- I had a total Halley’s Comet fashion moment when I found this Veda leather jacket at 50% off a couple winters ago. Lucky me, as it’s such a staple for cooler weather dressing and SO comfortable with the stretchy panels in the sleeves.
- My J.Crew denim jacket is probably coming up on 10 years old and I don’t see myself buying a new one for another 10 years. It’s the perfect cut, soft and worn and I would be lost without it in the spring and summer. The one they sell now is a very similar cut and wash.
- Another J.Crew classic- this sparkly chain link bracelet is still a favorite for when my outfit needs a little spunk.
- The Saint James striped tee– well made, classic cut- never, ever going out of style.
This post is perfect timing! My 40th birthday is coming up later this summer. For each “big” birthday, I splurge on something for myself. I’ve been considering the Chloe Marcie and was so happy to hear your thoughts. I think you also got the Cartier bracelet from Andrew. How would that rate on your investment pieces? I’m also considering a piece of jewelry (and taking ideas for a baby gift my partner can get me).
I bought a LV wallet on a vacation in Switzerland. It brings me happy memories every single day I use it. I also have the Clare V leopard clutch and don’t regret it one bit!
Wondering where your Valentino nude rockstuds fall in the per-wear price range? Worthy of the splurge? I’ve been eye-hustling them forever and ever…
@Erin, which taylor did you use to get your leather pants repaired?
Those are the same leather pants I’ve been wearing for years! The best. So comfortable.
Love the post! Love keeping up with your blog, Jamie Herzlinger
For those coveting the DVF wrap, I got one of mine on sale at Bergdorf for less than $200. So keep an eye out! Another tip: Make sure to get it in silk, which lasts longer. One of mine is rayon (as they don’t make a plain black in silk), and the hem is constantly falling out and needing to be re-hemmed.
Great post! All classic, timeless pieces! Love!
yes…I have the JCrew bracelet and really like it. However, I’ve worn it about three times and the third time I noticed that stones are falling out. I would expect a little better quality. Otherwise thanks for the blog and also visit here for new blogs and articles: http://www.rapidleaks.com/
Can you say more about re-soling your Loubs?? I’m SUPER tough on shoes for some reason and would love to invest in Loubs but am worried about ruining them immediately.
Also I just treated myself to the same Chloe bag and *swooooon* it’s amazing. I got the matching wallet for Mother’s Day an I love that too!
I have a DVF wrap dress that I can’t live without, accentuates the good- hides all the bad! Must upgrade the rest. Great post, Erin
I am in Ethiopia right now and you would dieee if you saw these soft buttery leather jackets I scored!! Ethiopia has incredible leather and that leather jacket you have posted at 12 I have bought in a lovely, dark, mossy green and I also bought a different cut in blue!! I swear they fit so well, I know I will wear them forever! Every girl 16 to 98 needs a leather jacket!
Do you think you have to go with the 4 inch heel in the Louboutin to get the look? I am already 5″11 it feels weird to be 6’3.
Just want to share that Helmut Lang leather leggings are on sale 50% off at the Outnet. I nabbed a pair for next winter.
I know right??? And they have lots of sizes too. Enjoy!!
Erin, 8 1/2 years ago my house caught on fire and we lost almost everything. Most of the damage to our clothes was smoke, not fire, so I was able to itemize all of our smoke infused clothes for the insurance claim. It made me realize that I was spending SO MUCH MONEY on cheap stuff that doesn’t last. Now I try to only buy classics, things I love and things I’ll want for a long time. I have fewer things, but they often are more expensive. But to use your analysis above, the “cost per wear” for my expensive things is probably lower than the junk I’ve bought from Target over the years. Great post, thanks!
I am soooo glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way about the racer jean. If they stop making them I will curl up into a ball and die. I am absolutely convinced they are sprinkled with fairy dust and worth every penny.
Oh hello sister from another mister!
Okay, I might need to try those jeans out. My favorite pair of jeans just ripped the other day (too much crawling around on the floor after my 11 month old). I bought a couple pairs from J.Crew Factory and they look like mom jeans on me (mid-rise and too baggy in the butt and legs). Now, to justify to the hubs on the splurge… If I wear them 3x per week, that means that they only cost about $1.50 per wear and after the first year, they’re paid off ;)
I have the JCrew bracelet and really like it. However, I’ve worn it about three times and the third time I noticed that stones are falling out. I would expect a little better quality. I wore it anyway and it wasn’t particularly noticeable that there were missing stones.
Love the white jacket and the jeans!
I’m on round #3 of the J Crew bracelet. The gold tone on mine keeps rubbing off and turning more of a brass color. The good news is, even after I had the first one a year and a half I took it back and they exchanged it for a new one. They will only do it once but you should give it a try! I’m going on almost 4 years of wearing the bracelet so I figured I’d pay for a third after the second was worn out.
Great post! I’d also love to know where you took your Loubs to be resoled!
I have a white double breasted wide collar blazer like the one above from Zara about years ago that I am just IN LOVE with. I have never been able to find anything to replace it- the cut is so perfect. The one above is almost like it, but I would prefer white if possible (Im super pale). Let me know if you see a white version!
Love this post! Question for you (as if you don’t get enough) I need to get my Loubs fixed as well- where did you take them in Boston? I’m so scared to try a place and they get messed up. Thanks!!
I actually used a place in Newton Centre- on Pelham Street. Can’t recall the name. Did a good job!
Perfect, close to my house! Thank you!!
All great classics!
These are excellent choices. I am lusting for a DVF wrap dress.
Re jeans, there is no perfect cut. There’s only a perfect cut for you. I’m curvy; SIL is straight; we’re the same height and weight. Certain brands are too tight on my hips but too big at the waist on me; perfect on her. And other brands are perfect on me; way too tight at the waist for her. I really appreciate that some brands are figuring that out and offering different cuts. But I’m glad you found a brand/cut that works well for you!
Of course this is true. :)
I’m curious to try those jeans! I have actually been moving to higher and higher rises, which hold my tummy in (2 kids…) and don’t fall down, and I see these have a really low rise. May have to try them out. Also Ancient Greek sandals are just the best, and if you don’t have them already, you should try to track these down — they are amazing and right up your alley and I wear them with everything (including a kelly green lace DVF top — somehow the craziness of the combo works really well, at least in my opinion): https://www.shopbop.com/taygete-slide-ancient-greek-sandals/vp/v=1/1502796774.htm?folderID=2534374302201800&fm=other-shopbysize-viewall&os=false&colorId=12139
I LOVE those Ancient Greek sandals and wish I could find them in my size. So cute. I have two other pairs but am in serious need of these leopard ones!
I can also vouch for so many of the pieces you listed, but the Rag & Bone booties and the DVF dress are my two top picks. The booties are supremely comfortable and can be worn with so many different styles. The DVF dress is a classic – since it wraps around the natural waistline, it’s flattering on any shape. The knit fabric makes it also very forgiving and comfortable.
I’m laughing out loud because I too have those Clios (I think I had to have them after I saw them on EOS), mine are also disgusting, and I can’t seem to throw them out either!
P.S. I thought you handled a lot of Wednesday’s meaner comments with class and grace!
Erin– I am laughing as a read this post for a few reasons– first, when I put on my outfit this morning, I totally thought “This is an Erin Gates outfit!” For the record I am wearing an olive green drapey tank from Banana, a pair of distressed skinny jeans, J. Crew factory brown leather flat sandals with sparkly jewels (that I bought after you posted about them!) a leopard scarf and a pair of tortoise and cubic zirconia statement studs. Second reason is because I own just about every item on this list… apart from the blazer, REAL leather pants or the Chloe bag. Also the perfume… never knew that was your signature and now I am tempted to try! Anyway, my two cents but consider writing your next book about fashion! xx Ali
I tried! The pitch was turned down- they wanted another interiors book. But I plan on publishing it at some point because I was really happy with the pitch!
Can’t wait! xx
Yay! So glad you ended up sharing this. My J. Crew denim jacket is also probably 10 years old (or more) and still gets lots of love. I invested in a Michael Kors bag a year ago and have been so disappointed – the quality is not at all what I expected for the price, but on the other hand I snagged a wallet there, too (in a different type of leather), and it still looks like new. I splurged on some Kate Spade tall leather boots that I found on a whim at TJ Maxx and they’ve been well worth it. As with decor, investing in a classic piece of clothing that you absolutely love, is well worth it in the end.