Investment pieces

I’ve never been one for Primark bargains. It’s mostly an ethical choice – how can they sell clothing so cheaply? – but it’s also one of value. If I impulse buy cheap clothing, it will often be that same stuff which annoys me when it goes with nothing and starts cluttering up my wardrobe. I just don’t value the thing I’ve spent my money on when it’s that cheap. Spending a bit more cash makes me truly consider a purchase, and a well thought out buy is generally a better one. Rather than stopping at “do I like it?”, I move on to other questions such as “does it fit really well?”, “is it reasonably practical?”, “will it go with things I already own?” and “how often will I wear it?”. In addition, spending more on an item often indicates better quality, so it will last longer.

It’ll take a while for me to completely move away from making impulse purchases, but right now I am very much enjoying the anticipation of having what is effectively a wish list. Here are my current obsessions. Feel free to share your own in the comments.

Practical handbag
I’ve got this one covered already, but it was the first step on my road to seeing the benefit in investment purchases. A couple of years ago I bought an handbag for a night out and it turned out to be rather useful on an everyday basis too. Sadly, it was cheaply made out of imitation patent leather which cracked under the weight of the contents, so I went in search for a similar style in leather. I went in every department store on Oxford Street and one bag ticked almost every box for me: The Osprey Bug.

There was a cracked vintage-effect black leather version for sale at a reduced price of 150 in John Lewis and I spent a while pondering it. The most I’d spent on a handbag up to that point was probably 30, and I desperately wanted something red, but the poor quality of cheap bags was really annoying me and this bag was the perfect style and size for my needs. Of course, I bought it and promptly filled it with stuff, which it has coped with admirably. I’m always on the look out for new versions of the Bug, but it looks like the one I have will last me a while yet!

Knee-high boots
They may be an extremely useful fashion staple when it comes to winter, but it’s been a while since I was able to zip up a pair of off-the-shelf knee boots. I even tried Evans one year, where I was eyed suspiciously by the sales assistant and ended up buying a style I wasn’t keen on just because the boots fitted my wide calves. I’ve chatted to many women whose legs are either too wide or too slender for most boots and often wondered why there wasn’t somewhere that offered more than just a size that is based on foot length. Then the internet led me to Duo who, amongst other things, sell a stylish range of calf boots in a variety of width fittings.

I just can’t decide which boots I want from Duo though. Do I go for the Albano with the lovely buckle details, or something plain and timeless like the Aralia? Or perhaps the higher heel of the Genova? I think I might just have to pop into their London store to see if seeing the styles in real life will help me come to a decision.

Well-fitting jeans
Jeans were one thing I thought I might be able to do without once I re-vamped my style. Whatever was I thinking? There’s no way I can do without jeans! Once I realised just how unflattering my low-rise New Look pair are on my shape, I began the hunt for a new pair but was determined not to spend much as I don’t wear them every day. I thought I’d found a bargain in TK Maxx with some mid-rise straight-leg dark indigo denim that I added turn-ups to for a Land Girl look, but they’re still far from the most flattering item in my wardrobe. So, what to do?

When Cate Sevilla wrote about Levi’s CurveID last year, I pushed the information to the back of my mind because I didn’t want to pay Levi’s prices for something I won’t be wearing that often. However, I remembered just how much I loved each pair of Levi’s jeans that I’ve purchased in the past, and how much better they were than others I’ve owned. I read more about the CurveID emphasis on fit and think that they may just have what I’m looking for. Why do I keep spending 20 here and 30 there on jeans that are far from perfect when I could have saved it to spend on something that actually fits?

Image via fatseth‘s Flickr photostream.

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