Have you ever wondered if there’s really anything to the saying, “less is more”? Especially when it comes to clothes and building a wardrobe. As someone who’s always tended to lean more toward the “indecisive” side of the clothing spectrum, I’m here to tell you that yes! Less really is more. But that also more is less.
“But how can this be?!” you wonder. How can two such opposing realities find themselves to be true? I, myself, might gravitate toward spontaneous purchase on trendy items that I may or may not ever wear in real life, I’ve learned a thing or two the hard way about the concept. So let me explain.
Building an Investment Wardrobe Begins with Building a Philosophy
The fact of the matter is this: when it comes to your wardrobe, the two most opposite statements – that less is more, but more is less –really do cohabitate to build a solid fashion foundation.If you want a selection of items you’ll keep coming back to, and in which you feel chic, comfortable, and confident, it’s time to embrace the idea that investing more money in fewer, better pieces will give you more outfit combinations for every event. So spending more on individual items might require you to have less pieces to your closet, but having fewer, better pieces also means always choosing from items you love and pair well together to form more outfits than ever before.
Embrace the Basics
In one of my recent blog posts, we learned that one of the keys to becoming a style queen is discovering the power of basics-with-a-twist. Owning a ton of great basics makes putting together an ensemble effortless and dependable, but there’s more to it than that. It’s also important to make sure the pieces you spend the most money on are ones that will pair well with many things and for many occasions. This way, the pieces you love the most will fit well and last many seasons to come.
Where to Start
One of the best investments you can make in your wardrobe, apart from the money itself, is the time spent finding a handful of labels that offer basics which fit you well and suit your taste. I know finding a starting point for learning a whole new way to shop can be intimidating, so here are some places you can begin.
There are several places to look for basics, and many stores specialize in tailored pieces to suit every closet. But one tried and true label, Madewell, offers beautiful basics that are crafted to withstand time, and they cater to many different closet styles. They’re known for their relaxed fit, which can be dressed both up and down and can look surprisingly structured when paired with the right pieces. Take, for instance, this short-sleeve flannel that pairs well with cardigans for warmth and can be worn solo on warmer Autumn and Winter afternoons. It costs more money than a discount-bin, fast-fashion top, but it’ll be worn Autumn, Winter, and Spring for many years and will never appear dated because it’s versatile enough to be paired with trends of every kind.
Another label that’s known for creating high quality basics is Grana. They’re based in Asia and ship quickly all over the world, but their pieces are humanely produced by artisans who are paid a living wage, and they sell directly from their own warehouses which cuts costs enormously. Take, for instance, this silk crew neck tee. Its basic cut means that it’s appropriate for even the most casual occasions, but its genuine silk material means that it can be worn for business events and nice dinners when paired with dressy, structured pieces. Plus, silk is known for its ability to last many, many seasons and even years.
When to Splurge and When to Save
Besides knowing when to spend money and invest in yourself and your wardrobe, it’s important to know when to hold back. As a general rule, never spend the big bucks unless you’re confident the item will be integral to your style for at least two years. While it’s tempting to splurge on a fabulous, trendy bag or necklace, these are the things that won’t give you much return on your investment. You’ll wear them maybe a dozen times, and they’ll take important funds from the pieces you’ll wish you’d invested in that could become part of your closet for much longer.
But when shopping as an investment, the most important thing to remember is to plan your purchases as you would any other investment. If you resist the urge to make purchases unless you’ve taken the time to determine how they will benefit your overall aesthetic, what gaps in your closet they’ll fill, and how you’ll wear them in the future, you’ll prevent yourself from experiencing buyers’ remorse. If you thoughtfully make purchases based on your own style, shape, and look, you’ll never make the wrong choices. Your style is your own, and taking the effort to invest in it will help you feel confident and look stunning no matter what you’re wearing.