Freckles in April: Investment Pieces

Monday, March 19, 2012

Investment Pieces

Louboutins. Serious investment.

A couple people mentioned on my last Wednesday Want post that they do spend $80+ on jeans because the cost per wear ends up being pretty low. Nicer jeans end up being investment pieces.

The concept of an "investment piece" is one that I like in theory but struggle with in practice. Every once in a while (usually in January when it comes time to make resolutions) I'll get the idea that I'm going to invest in good clothing - jeans, a white button up, high quality shoes - and then it comes time to actually fork over my cash and I just. can't. do it. Aaron is the same way. He's been talking about getting a nice suit for at least a year but the thought of actually spending that much on a suit will probably prevent him from ever taking the plunge.

The other day I was thinking I'd like to have a couple pieces of nice jewelry-- the kind of thing I could pass on to a hypothetical daughter or granddaughter. And maybe that will happen someday but probably only if it's given to me as a gift. I doubt I'll ever spend the money on myself!

Do you own any investment pieces? How do you choose what is worthwhile to splurge on? If you had to choose ONE thing to splurge on, what would it be? Shoes? Jeans? Makeup? Skincare? Jewelry?

36 comments:

  1. Jeans. I still struggle to spend that much on a pair but find that I'm actually not shopping as much for other pants. Love my pairs of Citizens of H and they do last a long time. Jewelery. Have a few favorite quality pieces that I wear frequently.

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  2. I'm the same way. In theory I like the idea of having a few quality pieces but when it comes time to actually fork over the cash, well, I can't do it. I always think "when I finish losing weight, when I have cash to spare, when..." So far it hasn't happened but I'm starting to see the value in some quality boots and jeans. So good luck with that.

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  3. I splurge on boots (I have farm-girl calves that mean most cheap boots won't fit, so I automatically end up in a higher price class and wear them for at least two or three years before I buy new ones) and jeans (but splurge here means Gap, and usually either sale or two-for-one because it would kill me otherwise).

    I don't have much nice jewelry, mostly because I'm pretty sure I'll end up losing it anyway. I have one really nice leather bag, which my mom bought me. I love it, but I would never have bought it myself.

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  4. I'm a Scrooge. I can't justify spending oodles of money on investment pieces. Rather than spending $700 on a pair of Loubies, I'd rather spend $100 on two pairs of decent shoes and swap them out regularly so that neither wears out too fast.

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  5. The only thing I really splurge on are my handbags because they are something I use every day and they last longer when they're well made. But I also have a hard time spending a lot of money on one item!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  6. I have ridiculous clothing commitment issues. Even when I find a shirt/jeans/jewelry that I really like, my head starts doing the "But...if I don't buy this, I could buy like 12 things that are similar..." I also like to shop, so if I were buying even just a few investment pieces, I would feel like I could never go shopping again.

    I do think it's a good idea to spend a bit more on bras and the like. Those are things that I can much more easily justify spending more money on, because it's easy to get the cost per wear down below a dollar or so. I keep thinking that someday I'll feel differently, and start splurging on a few good items of clothing, but for now, I'm happy with my cheap refashioned wardrobe. At least when something gets ruined by me or a child, I don't have to cry over the cost.

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  7. I have a coat that I adore, and we paid much more than we normally spend on clothes- even at 60% off, too. But it is a perfect color for me, wool, and in a classic shape. I can see myself wearing it for twenty years. I think something like that is worth the investment, but carefully, carefully considered.

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  8. Not shoes, because they get worn out. Not white button down shirts, because they eventually get discolored after a year. But jeans- those I have decided wi ll be my investment piece. I am so sick of spending $20 here, $40 there, only to have this giant pile of jeans that fall down within an hour of putting them on. I am ready to see if $175 jeans really do fit great.
    My husband invests in suits, shirts, and shoes. He has no problem doing so because he has an image to uphold. And because he wears the same brown or black shoes 5 days a week .

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  9. I will say, Bart bought a Brooks Brothers suit a couple of years ago and it is SO far and away better than any suit he has ever owned. We got a good deal on it, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

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  10. Also, I'm reading these comments and thinking that even something that costs FORTY bucks is a ton to me. I am so cheap.

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  11. Quality means different things to different people. You can find quality at thrift stores. And sometimes Anthropologie clothes fall apart after a few wears. They're just clothes. And splurging/investing for me is like the J Brand jeans I bought on clearance + 50% off that I love. So investment and quality don't have to break the bank. I like to find something I love and then decide how much it's worth, at what price would I buy it and either wait or look elsewhere. Thanks for the post!

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  12. The few times I've spent $100-ish on an item of investment clothing (which is waaaaaay above and beyond what I would otherwise ever spend), it has been on my birthday or Christmas. I'll fixate on one item for months and months and months, scouring the internet for something similar, and if I can't find it or if it doesn't go on sale by the time my birthday rolls around, I just get it and never look back. I got a fall jacket, a coat, and some customized Nike running shoes over the last few years, and I wear them all ALL THE TIME. Those three items make me feel like myself more than anything else I own, so I'd say it was worth it.

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  13. I struggle with investment pieces too. I'm so frugal when it comes to buying anything! The one thing I will splurge on is jeans - cheap jeans don't fit well enough and investing in a pricier pair not only looks better but lasts a heck of a lot longer too. I try to do the same with shoes too, but usually just end up waiting for them to go on super sale once the season is over and I'll wait it out until I can wear them next year. Thrifting has actually helped me find a few 'investment pieces' that I wouldn't spend full price on but was excited to find for much cheaper.

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  14. I'm a huge beliver in investment pieces. When I got my first bonus I invested in a Givenchy bag & a DVF little black dress that I still have today - 6 years later. Yes, they were my most expensive purchases to-date, but all these years later they're still gorgeous and make me feel special and chic whenever I pull them out. Another bonus? I've taken AMAZING care of them over the years since they meant so much to me!

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    Replies
    1. I also did a series on the pieces & accessories that I think are worth spending a little extra on.

      Real Girls Need Real Closets - http://moicontrelavie.com/2011/03/30/real-girls-need-real-closets/ & Real Girls Need Real Closets: Accessories Edition - http://moicontrelavie.com/2011/04/20/real-girls-need-real-closets-accessories-edition/

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  15. I am much happier buying fewer clothes at a higher level of quality because I can wear them--and I *DO* wear them--for years. I got a great, charcoal wool pea coat in HIGH SCHOOL and still wear it most of the winter. My Dad spent quite a bit on it, but I wear it all the time (including wearing it today). I only buy well made (read: usually more expensive) jeans, as a result, I only buy jeans maybe once a year. I have pairs from 6 or 7 years ago that still look great, feel great, wear great. Those $80-$120 pants have been worn for 6 years, washed two or three times a month, and are still going strong. So, MATH ALERT!, for $120 and 6 years puts those pants at $1.60 per month, washed three times/month is $0.55 per wash, worn 2-3 times between washings puts the cost of the pants at $0.18-$0.27 cents per wear. And I'm not done wearing them yet, those prices will only continue to drop. Wise investment? I think so.

    xox

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    1. Coincidentally, if you wear a $20 dollar pair of pants the same amount for one year you are in the same boat, but then you have to buy new pants. And when was the last time you owned a pair of $20 dollar pants that you could wash 36 times and still love? What about washing them 72 times (2 years)?

      (Yes, I did the math.)

      xox

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  16. I splurge on classic pieces for my wardrobe, but tend to be way cheap on anything trendy.

    creamyclothes.blogspot.com

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  17. If I have cash to splurge, I go straight to makeup. It makes me feel good about myself without acknowledging how much weight I want to lose :) I can't commit to clothes or jewelry enough to justify much expense. I'd rather buy a cute little necklace at F21 for $2 and not feel bad if I never wear it.

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  18. My splurges are typically jeans and makeup. But--I definitely still buy cheaper jeans at places like F21 and some drugstore makeup items. I bought a Coach purse several years back when I got a nice bonus at work and had only one child. I still use the bag and think it was well worth it, but think much, much more carefully before dropping any large sums of cash on anything--even investment items. The voice in my head argues with me about college funds, family vacations, emergency savings, etc. :)

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  19. Thanks for the comment on my blog, it was kind of you.

    I'm certainly not a style guru, but a black/ gray skirt is one thing I will spend a lot of money on. If I can find one that is cut well and comfortable, I know I'll be wearing it 10 years down the road.

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  20. I can't pretend I've ever spent $700 on a single piece of clothing, but I regularly 'splurge' on classic things that I have been looking for for a while. The perfect $80 pair of jeans, the perfect $90 fitted grey blazer, the perfect pair of $100 boots.
    The rest of my wardrobe tends to come from thrift stores so at any given time I can be wearing anywhere between $6 worth of clothes and $300 worth of clothing.
    Typically if I can get my cost-per-wear down to $1 or less I feel justified. I've worn those jeans WAY more than 80 times.

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    Replies
    1. I love cost per wear calculations!! :)

      xox

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  21. I feel the EXACT same way. I don't really splurge on anything. Maybe I should. If I did, it would be shoes or accessories because the size will never change!! :) I like your idea of a nice piece of jewelry to pass on to children, too.

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  22. I feel the same way! I always joke that I have some "phantom number" in my head that I can't spend beyond on any item. The "phantom number" is a bit of a pain when I'm shopping for things that usually cost more to begin with like coats, boots, sweaters, etc. I just can't bite! (I turned down a $20 sweater last week because I had seen it somewhere else for $14 in the wrong size... really? What's wrong with me!)

    I always have to remind myself that things like styles of jeans constantly change, so if every year I'm laying down $80+ for 1 pair of jeans... I just can't do it. Lucky for me my favorite jeans are American Eagle and I can usually find them on sale for $15-20. I like that I can use the money I saved to get some other things I love!

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  23. Jeans and business dresses are the only things I spend a lot of money on. I feel like everything else goes out of style way too quickly.

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  24. I'm actually saving up for some nice investment pieces. I'm going for some INDI jeans (since you can custom-enter ALL of your measurements, so they'll be high-quality AND fit perfectly, haha). And if I could, I would absolutely, positively snatch up a simple pair of black Louboutin pumps like the ones you posted, just for the sake of having them. Dream on, Emma, dream on...

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  25. I pretty much have to spend a lot on shoes. Any inexpensive shoes I've ever bought are impossible to wear for more than a few hours, especially when walking around the city. Getting good quality shoes that are comfortable and stylish often come at a price but are definitely worth it in my book. I'd love to talk to you about how this plays into how we consume things. I often dislike buying a lot of inexpensive stylish things because it feels more wasteful than spending a little more money on something that I know will last longer.

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  26. Being 6 foot 2, I always had a hard time finding a pair of jeans that fit me. So, that is the biggest thing I am willing to spend money on. To me, the most important thing is fit. I can feel it when I try something on. If something fits just right and it is a classy-looking piece that won't go out of style, I will invest in it. But IT HAS TO FIT PERFECTLY.

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  27. You know how frugal I am, but when it comes to a good pair of jeans I suck it up and pay the price. I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit me well. BKE's have always been a successful find. So if it means shelling out $80 to know I can walk into one store and find a great fitting pair of jeans that will last me years, I talk myself into doing it. And every time I put them on I feel warm and happy inside, so I think that makes it worth it.

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  28. I splurged on a huge Louis Vuitton purse over a year ago. I knew that with a new baby and all the junk I would carry that having a quality piece that would withstand all the wear and tear would be worth it! Was it heartbreaking to spend all that money? Oh you bet! But I did feel super awesome that one afternoon walking into that Louis Vuitton and buying the purse I had always wanted! I'll admit though that i probably could never spend that much money on shoes or even jeans!

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  29. The three things I splurge on are purses, shoes and coats. I want all three to last me awhile. I had $20 purses that fell apart within months. I've had my current $70 purse that was originally $120 and it is still in good shape. Good leather costs good money, but if I'm buying a $20 purse every year it's going to cost the same as laying out the money for a more expensive purse once in awhile. I have narrow feet so shoes that fit are just going to cost more than normal. A coat needs to last awhile and be warm. I have two LL Bean coats. One is a parka that I got in college and it is 15 years old. I have a wool coat and although the lining had to be replaced. It's still in good shape on the outside.

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  30. This is something I've recently been dealing with. I'm so sick of buying cheap, trendy pieces, and now I'm more likely to save and splurge on something classic. My next purchase will be a really nice purse. I never ever bother changing purses, so mine tend to fall apart pretty quickly. I need one that will last me!

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  31. I spend good money in jeans, as many have already said, but I will also invest in a good, well fitting bra. Both I wear on a daily basis a consider worthy of the investment.

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  32. Interestingly enough, I've been on both sides of this. I actually really enjoy purchasing investment pieces--I have pieces I purchased at 16 that a) still fit and b) are in AMAZING condition for the amount of time I've owned them.

    Now, however, I tend to only invest in shoes or items I know I will get a TON of wear out of. (I did also invest in a purse over X-mas, but I don't switch purses until they get utterly destroyed so this one should be used every day for next 5 years at least!)

    I usually get gift cards around X-mas which is when I purchase all my jeans, and I do tend to go on the more expensive side there (however, the best pair of jeans I've ever purchased was $11 at Ross).

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  33. I usually do thrift shopping for clothes, especially jeans - they tend to last long, are a cheap buy and really... no one knows if you bought ZARA jeans at a store or at a thrift shop. I sew bags myself (except for that Cambridge Satchel love one), so no real investment here. But that's why I spend on accessories - I have a nice collection of personally made designer jewelery and handmade shoes. If you have those, any outfit looks much better. I'm thinking Louboutins or a Stephen Webster ring for my birthday.

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