The other day on Instagram someone asked me about designer purchases. Ironically, I had actually shot the content for this post so decided to fast track it to go live today!
Designer and expensive purchases are obviously a big deal, so in today’s post I’m sharing the five investment pieces that are worth the splurge.
I chose these five items because whether you wear them separately or together, they all provide a solid foundation for any outfit. Read on to find out about what they are, style tips, and more.
A White Silk Shirt
First, let’s start with some closet fundamentals to create a great base wardrobe. I love a white silk shirt for many reasons:
- You can wear a white silk shirt for all occasions: work, a night out, or casually
- You can treat this shirt as it is, as layering piece (AKA wear it over a tank and unbutton it), or tie the ends at the bottom for a fun cropped version
- White matches everything
- A slinky fabric like silk ensures the piece is fancy enough for a dressy event, but breezy enough when you dress it down
Equipment makes my favorite silk blouses because the cut of them is perfect. I’m not a fan of fitted button up shirts, and they make their shirts perfectly oversized without being too baggy. They make two silk shirt classics: this version without front chest pockets, or this version with pockets.
I also love that Equipment styles are the perfect length; I can wear this shirt untucked, with a half tuck in the front, or fully tucked in. You know I’m all about my options!
Silk is obviously a more expensive and delicate fabric, but it’s one that you can wear all year (AKA get more mileage and cost per use for your money.)
SIZE NOTE: I’m wearing my normal size, a small.
A Pair of Classic Blue Jeans
As someone who used to work in the denim industry for years, there is nothing I appreciate more than a great-fitting pair of jeans. I love all styles of jeans, but if you’re looking to splurge on one pair, opt for a mid- or high-rise medium blue slim cut jean. Then, make sure you have a tailor on hand if you find that jeans are always too long on you.
Find the rise that works with your body. I say mid- or high-rise because where the waistband hits on one person will be different for the next. This can also vary even by brand. What’s a mid-rise in one brand could be a high-rise for another.
As you try on jeans, look pairs that comes up to your natural waist, AKA the narrowest part of your torso. You should be able to fit a few fingers between the waistband and your body, but remember that unless the jeans are 100% cotton, they will stretch. Make sure there isn’t too much wiggle room between the two, otherwise you’ll find yourself wishing for another size.
A slim cut that’s not too skinny or straight is going to stand the test of time between the trends that come and go.
I’m 5’4” and almost always have to them my jeans to get them to hit where they do on the model. This is where your tailor comes in. For a pair of slim cut jeans, I like the hem to hit just at or above the ankle. Sometimes taking up the length changes the silhouette, but your tailor can adjust accordingly. This length allows you to wear your jeans with a variety of shoes from booties to flats to heels.
Finally, when it comes to color: go for medium blue. Ask yourself these two questions:
- In the spring and summer, will this blue go with lighter colors like white and taupe?
- In the fall and winter, if I pair black with these jeans, will it look okay, or will there be too much of a color contrast?
If you can answer yes to both of these, then you’ve found yourself your perfect medium blue wash. A clean wash without any holes is very easy to transition from day to night.
(The exact pair I’m wearing is sold out, but here’s the same style in a very similar wash. Also linking a few other options below in the shoppable carousel.)
A Well-Fitted Blazer
Now that we have a great white shirt and fabulous jeans, it’s time to add a blazer.
When to wear a blazer:
- To work
- For an interview or important meeting
- To dress up jeans
- Over a dress for an edgier spin
A blazer is going to add the finishing touch to your look by providing that “third piece” that acts as an outfit finisher. Black of course, is a staple, but if you lean more toward neutrals and browns, go for a blazer in that tone range instead. You do you!
Baggier, thinner blazers tend to be a little trendier and can lean slightly casual, so for me it’s worth investing in something a little sturdier with a defined shape. This blazer from Club Monaco has strong shoulders without being too 1980s, and I love the matte gold button detailing.
To get the size right, look where the shoulder hem is; it should be exactly over the edge of your shoulder. If the seam is above the shoulder (like the strap of a dress or tank), then it’s too small.
The end of the sleeve should hit just below your wrist when your arms are at your side. Remember to ping your tailor if needed here; find a blazer that works in the shoulders and the rest of your body first – arm shortening is an easy fix.
Perfect Black Pumps
Although I am a self-proclaimed terrible heel walker, I love them, and I wish I were better at walking in them. And amongst the many heels in my closet that I’ve purchased in the hope of wearing them, these black suede Manolo Blahnik heels are my most reached-for pumps.
Black pumps are like the little black dress. Meaning, they’re good for all occasions, and you’ll never be over or under dressed while wearing them.
Trust me when I say I have spent years trying to buy the perfect black heels in an attempt “to save money” and not buy these Manolo Blahnik ones. Over time I have probably spent more money on various black heels I never wore, than this single pair.
Are they worth the hype, though? In my opinion, yes. There is something so perfect about the pointed toe and where the cut is for the foot opening. And after lots of shoe testing, I am convinced that there must be a patent on this design because this pump has always looked the most flattering on my foot, no matter what.
In terms of heel height and comfort: any heel after 8 hours is going to sting a little. I’m not here to tell you they feel like clouds at the end of an event or workday. But, compared to other designer heels I’ve owned, these are by far the most comfortable.
A Timeless Handbag
Here’s the big-ticket item here: a timeless handbag. Maybe you’re not into bags and so you don’t care about this section. But if you are, I really just have two rules when it comes to buying a designer handbag purchase.
The first rule, is that the bag has to be a practical size for YOU. I don’t carry a ton of stuff in my purses and I never have, so I’ve always gravitated toward smaller bags. But my mom and various friends notoriously carry around more things than I do. Know thyself. Buy the size that makes sense for you.
Don’t spend extra money on a larger size if you’re never going to use up the space. Alternatively, don’t buy a tiny bag if you know you’ll only use it for special occasions or certain circumstances.
If you can’t imagine a lot of scenarios in your head where you’d take and use the bag, it is not worth your money.
The second thing to think about is the color. Just like the blazer, maybe black isn’t your thing. A lot of people will disagree with me here and say, “Buy something in black for starters,” but if you really love brown, get brown. If you wear tons of color all the time, buy your favorite color. It just so happens that I have a lot of black in my closet and really only wear browns in the summer, so a black bag to me is a good choice since I’m likely to wear it 75% of the year.
While yes, a black Chanel bag will hold more re-sale value over time because it’s safe, that might not work with your vibe and that’s cool. Of course, it doesn’t even need to be a Chanel bag. Buy whatever designer you want. (If the thought of selling your bag makes you gasp because you’ve spent so much money on it that you want to keep it forever, then it doesn’t matter what color your get. You feel me?)