As a stylist and fashion blogger, I see a lot
of clothes. They are all over my life, at the core of my livelihood and my most commonly used medium for creative expression. I see the high and the low and I spend a lot of time thinking about what combinations communicate certain moods or ideas, what tells a great story, what will be comfortable, what will have longevity, what is made well, what is not ~ and in the end, what is worth actually
I have come to the unsurprising conclusion that, whenever possible, it’s worth ponying up for really good stuff. Of course, few of us can afford to spend serious dough on each passing trend, so it’s valuable to consider which pieces you’re really, really going to get a lot of use from, and will be excited to wear for many seasons to come. It’s something I’ve obviously put a lot of personal and professional consideration into, so I was inspired to team up with Zappos Couture
to present to you my Top 5 Investment Items for Fall:
#1: REALLY FABULOUS RAIN GEAR: I moved to New York immediately after graduating from design school, and it didn’t take long after that to realize that I needed to invest in wet weather accessories that would not only stand up to the elements, but also hold their own in a job interview. You see, important meetings don’t get cancelled just because it’s nasty outside (though I’ve often wished that they would!). So, as a grownup, it’s important to be stylistically prepared for the worst ~ that way you’ll always look your best. Next time it rains and you have a potentially career-changing meeting on the agenda (the two always seem to coincide, am I right?!), you’ll thank yourself for splurging on that chic pair of waterproof boots
Similarly, it only takes one upturned umbrella to not only ruin your day, but convince you that quality is key in this department; never cut corners where natural disasters are concerned. But it’s not just that. Style is equally important ~ your umbrella is part of your outfit! Buy one that’s gloriously well-made
, has a bit of style to it (even better if it matches your jewelry!), AND folds up to fit in your handbag, and you’ll never once regret it.
|LOOK 1| Alexander McQueen umbrella
, Catbird beanie
, Westward\\Leaning sunnies
, Zoe Chicco
and Jennifer Zeuner necklaces
, Tibi tank top
, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto skirt
, Burberry boots
#2: A WEAR-ANYWHERE DRESS: Don’t be fooled, this sounds a lot easier to find than it actually is.
A wear-anywhere dress is the holy grail of garments. Can you wear it to work? Out to dinner? To meet your boyfriend’s mother or your boss’s boss? A cocktail party or luncheon? And what if you were suddenly invited to tea at the White House? With a few stylistic tweaks (and a smart blazer thrown on top), could you make it work? If the answer is yes, then you buy that damn dress
|LOOK 2| Catbird beanie
, Rachel Roy dress
, Salvatore Ferragamo belt
, Alexander McQueen clutch
, Giuseppe Zanotti boots
#3: THE PERFECT BLACK PANTS: Much like the wear-anywhere dress, these are much harder to find than you might imagine. The goal is to find a pair that are as comfortable as sweatpants, as easy to wear as blue jeans, and yet structured and tailored and crisp and chic
. That’s a lot to ask of one piece of clothing!
That’s what makes this particular pair
so magical: they are actually cut from a cotton knit, but built in a way that tricks everyone around you into thinking they must be far less comfy than they actually are. Their straight-cut leg is deceptively elegant.
|LOOK 3| Westward\\Leaning sunnies
, Calvin Klein top
, Alexander McQueen clutch
, Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto pants
, Proenza Schouler shoes
#4: A QUINTESSENTIALLY STYLISH COAT: This is another fashion lesson I learned in my early days as a new New Yorker. I’m originally from Texas, and had never experienced an East Coast winter before moving here. My mother, with the very sweetest intentions, had bought me a high-tech, truly warm but totally unstylish topper. It was a heating MACHINE, but I could never bring myself to wear it, no matter how miserable the cold.
You see, from December through March, my coat is often the only thing anyone sees on me. So it’s got to look good. I expect to be kept warm, of course, but function isn’t everything. A good coat
has to be able to stand alone as an outfit, for those days when you’ve got no other option. I don’t know about you, but nothing chills me to the bone quite like looking a mess. #fashiongirlproblems
|LOOK 4| House of Harlow sunnies
, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto coat
, Burberry sneakers
#5: A SUPER-YUMMY SWEATER: This is one of those items that most people (myself included!) would traditionally skimp on. For years I thought it was best to spend on the dressier stuff, and save on loungewear ~ just like I used to pinch on flats and splurge on heels. But lately, I’ve been realizing that it’s those everyday indulgences that really
Indeed, it’s taken me a while to realize that a great sweater like this will earn its cost-per-wear value so much faster than a fancy cocktail frock. It’s the sort of thing you’re going to wear every single Saturday and Sunday for months on end. And if you upgrade to a really thoughtfully designed number
, instead of some run-of-the-mill mass-produced drone, you’ll be able to dress it up with a chic skirt as easily as shrugging it on over your weekend jeans.
Consider also, the fact that the yarns used to make higher quality knits are formed from longer fibers than their down-market counterparts, meaning they are far less likely to pill after the first couple wears. Nothing sours the thrill of a ‘good deal’ faster than watching your assumed-score fall apart after the second wear. Quality is crucial!
|LOOK 5| Tiffany & Co. sunnies
, Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto sweater
, Just Cavalli skirt
, LOVE Moschino flats
So, what do you say? Do you agree with my list? Would you invest in these sorts of pieces, or do your most-needed indulgences look a little bit different? Tell me everything!
|PHOTOS| by Mark Iantosca